Perfection

Posted on Jan 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Perfection, this culture, this lifetime, this country asks for it.  The perfect present with the perfect bow.  The perfect body, the perfect recipe for the perfect meal for the perfect family, who are we kidding, and what is perfect?

I know perfection as a feeling of comfort and feeling at home in my body, a feeling of knowing my path and a certainty that I’m on it, all “mistakes” and hardships included. What’s the underlying drive, though? Let’s talk about perfection’s ugly and brutal cousin: control.

Most of us have control issues.  I am admitting to you, publicly that I do.  I’m not even ashamed.  My control issues stem from a misunderstanding of what I’m in control of and what I need to surrender to.  The fact is, that I need to surrender most of the time.  I have very little control over most things, there is an entire Universe at work out there and it’s spinning and cycling results in a gravitational force that I can’t reckon with.

My colleague and acupuncturist, Allison Carr (allisoncarracupuncture.com) and I were talking about control, because I felt, on that particular day, that I was out of control, too many swirling emotions, and all my efforts were leading me into an ever greater tail spin, so we got down to basics…What can I control?

When everything is overwhelming and happening so fast, but not fast enough, it’s helpful to simplify, take a step back and get perspective. We made a list about what I can control.  It’s elementary and philosophically deep at the same time.

I have control over how I spend my time, I have control over my own boundaries, I have control over my own priorities, I have control over how I react to situations (clarification, not over my emotions, but how I relate to my emotions and also how I handle my emotions and the situations relating to them). I have a little bit of control of my breathing.  I  told you, I’m getting basic here… For me it’s awfully helpful because I strive for the best! I want to be impeccable with my work, relationships, my health… and where I can make changes is in my actions.  I have absolutely no control over the results or how people see me, react to me. I have no control over my clients, or how their body’s respond to acupuncture treatment. If I make realistic expectations, or better yet, have no expectations and focus on what I do have control over and then be curious about what shows up, I have found that I can reduce my stress level 90%! When we strive for perfection, we are missing the point completely. As hard as I’ve tried, I’ve never successfully gotten around the process of life and directly reached the goal, it just doesn’t happen cause it’s not what this Earth is about.

This is hard to do when wrestling with health issues;  anxiety and depression, hormone imbalances, pain, digestive issues, diseases, and even a common cold, because as proactive as we can be, we have no control.  This is the part of surrender that I am practicing.  I have no control over my suffering or yours. Being in a human body often comes with some for of suffering.  By approaching suffering with a sense of curiosity we don’t necessarily have to accept it as a part of the deal. We have to listen in a different way and assess what we can do, that we have control over.  Most times our cracks and pains are our greatest strengths, if only we can take a step back and gain a new perspective.  Take our nose off of the grindstone, stop to smell the flowers, or let the rain fall on our faces, we will know that we can choose to take a deep breath, and that is what we can do.  We can’t make the roses grow faster or the rain go away.  We can listen, look learn, prioritize, set boundaries, listen to our bodies, chose how we spend our time and with who and live.  If we let go a little, let the tension fall away and out of our bodies, we can allow more room for beauty.  We can choose to live.

My blog challenge to you is to discover at least one way you can be easier on yourself by finding an aspect of your life where you can surrender, and give up any ILLUSION of control.  Let’s face it, we don’t really have control over most of the things we think we do, it just causes stress.  What can you surrender to?

2 Comments

  1. How lovely Lindsay! Very nicely said. I particularly like the line, “by approaching suffering with a sense of curiosity we don’t necessarily have to accept it as a part of the deal”.

  2. dearest lindsay, i love this post! i have been deeply working on letting go of control and one of my bestest friends in my tool box is affirmations. i have control over my thoughts and what i choose to think when i direct my energy towards choosing positive and optimistic thoughts instead of letting myself spin out with negative, fearful, anxious thoughts…i spent almost my entire morning pages session today writing out affirmations i am so pumped on it right now! thanks for sharing this reminder and challenge to surrender control and challenge perfectionism…2013 is the year of moving past the perfectionism that stalls our creative ventures and undermines our deepest creative desires! love you!!!