Tag Archives: Chronic fatigue syndrome

AWAKENING TO RELEASE OUR PERFECTIONISM

“It is easier to be better than you are than to be who you are. The point here is that perfection belongs to the gods; completeness or wholeness is the most a human being can hope for.” Marion Woodman Serene pool

Are you a perfectionist? Does that work well for you? Does it create problems with other people or your family? Do you see an advantage to letting go of it?

Why do we try to be perfect? Perhaps because somewhere in our lives we received the message that it was not acceptable to be anything less. In my case, I thought if I could do everything correctly that my parents wouldn’t scream so much, but of course they screamed at each other more than at me. Despite that, I felt I should be able to make my mother, especially, more happy.

High Expectations in Childhood Create Fear of Failure

The other part of it that came from my childhood was that my parents said I was special and intelligent; therefore, I should always make straight A’s in school and do things well. I shouldn’t waste my intelligence or talents but always do my best.

This made more of an impression on me than it might have because I was weak from illnesses and was a disaster playing any physical game at school—even simply throwing a ball. I needed to make up for that somehow and I did do very well in academics and reasonably well in music, especially singing.

We Want to Be Perfect Because We Want To Be Loved

Sadly, when we follow the perfectionist path in life, we are destined to fail often. We set our standards so high they are virtually impossible to attain and so we often feel inadequate. This disappointment is inevitable because as Marion Woodman points out “perfection belongs to the gods.”

Often the need for perfection is focused on external creations rather than going within to find ways to grow and evolve. We need to look perfect, do our jobs perfectly, find the perfect mate, say the perfect thing, and paint the perfect picture. We crave the love and attention that we believe will result from this, and we often do not see the connection between our trying to be perfect and our failure in relationships and other areas of our lives.

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Becoming Whole Is More Important Than Being Perfect

This pursuit often takes us away from what is most important—becoming whole and complete as our true selves because this journey requires us to take chances. If we take a chance, we may fail—it’s very risky and it conjures up an enormous amount of fear. We have to go within and there are no clear guidelines for succeeding. We have to rely on our very unconcrete intuition.

Pursuing perfection in many areas of our lives will often lead us to moments when we are confronted with how unhealthy or stressful our pursuit really is. These times are opportunities that offer us the possibility of change, moments when we can see there is a connection between what is not going well in a relationship or with our health and the demands we make on ourselves.

Health Challenges May Teach Us Lessons

In the late 90s I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My adrenals were depleted, my cortisol levels were off the chart, and I was vitamin and enzyme deficient. I lived in New Orleans, down river from chemical plants and in a climate where mold thrived. Most doctors didn’t acknowledge the existence of the syndrome at that time, but I found a doctor in Tucson who specialized in treating this naturally and whose plan had been helpful to a friend of mine.

I spent several days at the Tucson clinic with many different practitioners. The phrase they kept repeating to me was “you’re being too hard on yourself.” When the therapist there told me I needed to be kinder to myself, I insisted, “I don’t feel like I’m so hard on myself—I just want to do things well. Why is that a bad thing?”

“It’s a matter of degree,” he said and recommended I read The Spirituality of Imperfection. I felt so overwhelmed that I broke down in tears. He continued, “Remember, there’s always light in the darkness, and even if it’s a small glimmer, pay attention to it.”  (Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, p. 186)

Releasing Our Perfectionism Frees Us

By the time I left the clinic, I was able to see some of the ways that perfectionism was harming me. I was dedicated to healing naturally, and that was a major challenge because I had to change my diet, take many supplements at different times, and be in bed at 9:00 pm every night. In addition, I had to continue teaching so I could afford the treatment.

Chronic-Fatigue

This journey of healing took me inside the deepest part of myself and I had to let go of so many things I had thought were absolutely necessary and fed my perfectionism. At first I felt deprived by having to eat only healthy, organic food, but with time it became a satisfying habit. I became adept at reading food labels to avoid preservatives, sugar, and all chemicals.

I revived my meditation practice and read spiritual and inspirational books. I became used to not going out at night and had long conversations with two friends who also had chronic fatigue. I began recording my dreams which often revealed significant messages.   Within two years, I was significantly better and within four years I was completely healed. Unfortunately, others I knew healed much more slowly. I was blessed.

Releasing Perfectionism Is An Internal Journey

Throughout this process, I learned to accept my imperfections and to love myself despite them. Most significantly, I learned to ask others for help when I needed it and not feel I was a failure because I couldn’t completely take care of myself. Although the process of healing often frustrated me, I learned I had no alternative but to release those feelings. Hanging on to anger and frustration only made me feel worse.

If we are wise, we will recognize there is a difference between pursing perfectionism and simply doing something well. One often distresses us and those around us while the other brings delight to all. By developing those aspects of ourselves that complete us and make us whole, we are honoring our most sacred selves, and we learn to love ourselves. After all, wanting to be loved is often why we pursue perfectionism. By nurturing our spiritual cores we are developing our wholeness and that is an inspiring journey.

What has been the most important part of your journey to become whole?  Please share a comment.

© 2015 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Loving Yourself: Getting Beyond Approval and Perfectionism (video)

AWAKENING TO YOUR TRUE IDENTITY

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not.”  Denis Waitley

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?  Do you define who you are from your deepest core or do you define who you are based on what others think of you?

We are all spiritual beings and that means that we are part of the creative energy, the core DNA of the universe.  Because of this, we are all, at our centers, good, but we are also in this life to learn lessons, and those challenges may lead us to focus on our weaknesses.  Many times we forget who we really are and create stories about ourselves that are judgmental and negative.

Avoid Accepting Another’s Negative Vision of You

The negative stories that can create serious blocks in our development are the ones that come from childhood.  When I was four years old, I had rheumatic fever and developed a heart murmur that I eventually outgrew by age twelve.  During that time, I had many childhood illnesses.  As a result, much of my childhood was spent in bed, not being active.

When I was fifteen, I had a modern dance class at school and saw that, through dance, I could develop the strength I lacked.  I pursued this interest in dance at college, studied professionally, danced in a company and taught.  By the time I was an adult, I was very strong and energetic, but my mother continued to see me as weak.  Throughout my young life, she worried that I would make myself sick and warned me that what I was doing could hurt me.  For years, she was unable to let go of this image of me, and even after I rejected it, it lurked in the dark corners of my mind ready to undermine me.

Don’t Let Limitations Define You

I developed the idea that being tired was the equivalent of getting sick. What held me back in many endeavors was that I didn’t think I was strong enough to put forth the effort required to be successful. Even as an adult, I sometimes stopped short of achieving my goal because I was afraid I wouldn’t succeed.  It took me a long time to push past this and realize it was my mother’s vision of me, created out of her fear, not who I was.

I’ve always been inspired by Laura Hillenbrand who wrote the best-seller Seabiscuit while she had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Not only do I love her book; I admire her courage and strength.  She did not let her limitations define her.

Do you let your limitations, the things you are not, define who you are? Do you think, “I’m a decent, competent person who is out of a job,” or “I’m a loser because I’m out of a job.”? Limitations are only one aspect of life.  Don’t let them define you.  When you define yourself in a positive way, it raises your vibrational energy.  Not only does that make you feel better, it draws more positive people and experiences to you and may decrease the restrictions in your life.

Practice Positive Spiritual Principles

I’m not suggesting that you ignore the things in your life that aren’t working well, but affirming what you want and taking some steps toward making them a reality will move you forward more quickly than focusing on the negative aspect of the situation.  Of course, ideally, we look honestly at the situation, release our ego-attachment to the outcome, and do what we can to correct it.  Affirming with genuinely positive emotion that somehow we will find a solution to the problem adds more positive energy to the mix. However, what we think we need isn’t always what we do need, and the universe is kind enough to correct our delusion.  My spiritual teacher used to say that we will get what we need, but it may not look like what we expected or come at the time we expect.

Manifestation may also be blocked by a contradictory statement.  “I affirm that my illness will be healed in three months, but I accept this may not happen.”  The last part of the statement cancels out the first, so the energy that is created by the positive statement is neutralized by the negative.  Be aware that all statements that begin with but contain fear and fears block manifestation.  It is worthwhile to look beneath your negative statement and ask, “Why do I believe I can’t manifest this?”  If you truly believed you could manifest your desire, you would not need the qualifier.

Believe in Yourself

Believe that you are part of this magnificently creative universe.  Believe that what you manifest is a step forward and that you have succeeded even if it doesn’t exactly meet your expectations.  Believe that as you practice spiritual principles, that you will change your life for the better.  If you are not the person you want to be, know that you are in charge of who you are and commit to accepting what is best about you, knowing that is who you truly are and take action to change what you don’t like, knowing that the universe supports all that is good in you.

What negative ideas about yourself have you discarded lately?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  5 Ways to find Your True Identity, Becoming the Person You Were Meant to Be:  Where to Start by Anne Lamott, Total Recall of Who We Are: Stop Thinking and Start Being