1. October 2021
The carrot of perfection dangles before us in many forms. It might drive us to try to become perfect parents so that we can raise perfect children to become perfect adults. However our daily, sometimes hourly, failures are hard to ignore, making us feel unworthy and ashamed. The truth is, if you aim for perfection you will live with failure. But that is not as hopeless as it sounds. What if we were to accept that perfection is impossible but our attempts at it are brave and graceful expressions of our unique beingness?
What won’t allow us to see things that way is the fear that someone else will attain perfection and then we will be seen as failures. We get caught up in the game of comparison and competition and we can’t appreciate the richness of our life and the beauty of our imperfections.
Someone who recently helped me appreciate the beauty of imperfection is the writer Anne Lamott. In her books about faith she candidly admits both her physical and spiritual faults with such warmth and humor that she reminds us that ultimately, in the eye of God, we are accepted just as we are. Reading her is like being in the presence of a good friend, someone who knows all our flaws and petty foibles and who loves us anyway. It is such a healing to be with someone who is sufficiently aware of and honest with themselves that they know the futility and folly of judging others. In matching her energy you experience the relief of self acceptance and for a few moments you can appreciate your life. Once you close the book and go back out into the world it is easy to get caught up in the game of competition again and tense up. However occasionally you remember one of Anne Lamott’s observations and find yourself smiling, and that warmth of acceptance returns.
A clairvoyant reading can be like that. For an hour you are in the presence of a reader who can see your uniqueness. It is a worthwhile reminder which helps you find a new form of self awareness, one that is free from the deadening effect of competition, and that nurtures your growth as a unique and remarkable human being.
2. November 2021
It has been said that, as a society, we are becoming increasingly factionalized into groups of people who share our ideas and alienated from those who think differently. I think that part of the reason for this is that we identify less with the place where we live and our neighbors. With increased mobility we have lost some of our rootedness in place. Instead we derive our sense of self from what we do for work and the people we feel we have something in common with.
Psychologists say that we need a strong sense of self to operate in the world and I don’t disagree with that, but I would say that we also need to see that that self is not the totality of who we are. It is necessary, but it is a small self compared to the big self, spirit, that is who we really are.
Our small self is associated with the ego and a level of awareness that you could describe as everyday. At this level of awareness we see our separateness and the differences between ourself and others. It is at this level of awareness that we can be manipulated into fearing those who are different.
There is another level of awareness, spiritual awareness. At this level of awareness you can see your connectedness to everyone and everything. Meditation, spiritual healing and clairvoyant reading are all practices which cultivate spiritual awareness. This level of awareness enables us to connect to a deeper reality, and that connection renews us and informs our life in many ways. Instead of living exclusively from that small self, the ego, we are increasingly able to live from our spiritual center and awareness. I think that spiritual awareness inevitably teaches us humility, through it we are able to see our relationship to others more clearly and we are less likely to get caught up in games of control and competition with others. I remember something I was told by a man who worked with addicts. He told them, “There are two things you need to know, one, there is a god, two, you ain’t it.” That is a good place to start to find both inner peace and to live peacefully with each other.