Like many of you, I’ve pushed myself to be better: a more loving, less judgmental person; a reliable friend; and a more enlightened being. I’ve learned to have grace and patience for others.
That sounds positive, right? A good way to live one’s life. But I’ve found that I’ve missed a central point: compassion for myself. The more I drove myself to be “good,” the more critical of myself I became. I wasn’t enough and I needed to be more.
Joy fled my life. I grew too serious. After all, I have limited time in this realm and I wasn’t making the most of it. Why wasn’t I spiritually progressing like I thought I should?
Allow me to back up a bit and explain how my life began to spin out of control. In 2007, I experienced a miraculous healing and simultaneously received a Divine message that I had important work to do. You are probably wondering how this could be a bad situation.
The problem was that I second guessed God’s abundant gift. I determined that I needed to prove to God (and myself) that I deserved this miracle. No matter how hard I tried to be worthy, in my eyes, I always fell short.
A little more than a decade after my spontaneous healing, I fell chronically ill. Again. I had ten years to get ahead, and here I was back lying on the couch, physically and mentally defeated. The same as I’d been in the 1990s.
I had proved my point: God finally realized I wasn’t worthy. I had seen everything in life as a lesson I had to get an A on. I’d driven myself toward the goal of perfection and I’d failed miserably.
Thank God that I did!
We weren’t meant to be perfect.
The Most Divine doesn’t expect us to strive to be perfect, serene people. God loves us unconditionally. I believe we are expected to:
- live in the light as consistently as possible and to grow from our dark times
- set our hearts with the best intentions
- grant ourselves grace when experiencing darkness and to have faith that the light will return
- see ourselves as worthy, creations of the Most Divine and
- be joyfully open to the experiences we face.
I had made life too difficult: a race to win. It hadn’t mattered that I stressed myself out and was continually judging myself. I’d thought enlightenment equaled perfection. Now I understand that perfection is meaningless and pursuing the unattainable does not benefit me.
When we obsess over perfection, we miss out on life.
When we push too hard, we stifle our spiritual, psychical, emotional and physical wellness. We end up stressed and depleted. And in my case, my body responded by making me ill. It is my body’s cry for peace and acceptance. And, even more, it’s God’s way of saying, “Kathy, time out. I love you.”
Illness forces me to pause and reevaluate what I am doing.
What gets your attention? Financial difficulties? Stressful relationships? Challenging health issues?
Let’s keep this in mind: The Great I Am created us as flawed beings with freewill. We were never meant to be God-like. God shows us grace and expects us to extend that same generosity to ourselves.
Are you giving yourself grace today?
Let’s work to limit our negative internal chatter, the criticisms that prevent us from getting the most out of our existence. When we release that automatic loop running through our minds, we free ourselves to be happy.
God doesn’t put conditions on the heavenly blessings we are given.
There are no conditions we must meet to dwell in Divine love. God knows our hearts. To get the most from our lives, we must refocus our efforts away from perfection. Instead, let’s concentrate on loving others and becoming comfortable in our skin. Let’s enjoy what this realm provides us. We can be effective vessels for the Most Divine, however imperfect we may be.