So, something that feels so important to me about following your joy, getting to know who you truly are (whatever that means for you), and being courageous enough to keep on keeping on with it, is recognising for yourself that no matter how diligent you are, how carefully you monitor what goes on in your thoughts and energies, no matter how often you surrender and go with the flow, sometimes it just. ain’t. joyful.
Sometimes it’s so not joyful that it is actually just the scariest, most painful ride of apparent insanity you could ever imagine and beyond. Sometimes it’s just too much, even though it never actually is (somehow). Sometimes, the most joyful thing we can do for ourselves is just acknowledge that it isn’t always joyful. (And I will say here, one of the most mind-bending things that has happened in this particular journey for me is the moment when I realised that I was enjoying the unjoyful moments. That I was actually getting joy from the process, however it felt. Woah Nelly! My mind did NOT like that one one bit. Just as well I’m not my mind… 😉 )
One of the hardest things for me about this has been that I am a truly full-on perfectionist. And that perfectionism, and more so the older I have become, has been focused INWARDS. Not joyful. Or should I say, often this has not in any way contributed to my joy. Instead it’s been more of a how-much-can-Sara-hate-and-criticise-herself-and-point-out-all-the-ways-she-is-consistently-failing-to-deserve-to-exist. Fun. And oh how I now know that that is what has got me here, to this point, where following my joy is the only thing I’m interested in.
And oh god/dess am I such a beginner!
What I found happened – that was perfect, but also feels like now really needn’t be necessary – is that as I learnt more and more about the spiritual side of things, the more pressure I put on myself to be spiritually perfect. That is, to always go with the flow, to surrender, everywhere, to let go all the time, to tell myself over and over and over that I could choose in every moment to be joyful and if I wasn’t, then I was a complete FAILURE and should try harder. Yes, this has pushed me through this process ultra-fast. No, I would not employ this technique EVER again. No, I would not recommend this technique to anyone (unless they truly wanted to use it, and then I would support them with the whole of my being, of course 😉 ).
So, in those moments where I felt like crap, was so exhausted form all the clearing, the mental chatter, the feelings of failure, my apparent complete inability to manifest ANYTHING WHATSOEVER and absolutely no energy to even try and focus on the joy, what I would have loved someone to say to me at that point was this:
Allow yourself to fail.
Now, as any perfectionist knows, this phrase is guaranteed to either paralyse you in a paroxysm of denial and fear, or smash the computer in rage at reading such ridiculous words because you’ll be darned if you’ll let yourself fail (this last in ever-increasing volume and force). But I kid you not, never have I felt such relief as when, after YEARS of pushing myself in every conceivable way and really only ever seeing where I wasn’t progressing, and absolutely having no idea how to stop and relax, I just stopped listening to that bossy, controlling voice inside that tells you where you should to better, and said ‘you know what, I can’t do this, and I have absolutely know idea how to’.
Yes, to be completely honest, this had to happen more than once. Lots more than once. And this usually happened after months and months of tension and pressure on myself and countless hours trying and trying and trying to be more perfect, to the point where, suicidal and beyond exhaustion I would scream at the universe about how unfair this all was and what the hell was wrong with them all (that’s the light beings I’m referring to) when I was in so much pain that they couldn’t even help me manifest a tenner, and THEN break down sobbing hysterically and say the magic words ‘I just can’t do it’. And I am most definitely still learning this one.
But the further along this path I have gone, and the more I have come to understand the dynamics of how I perceive everything to actually work, the more I have realised that the bit that is constantly trying to be perfect is really not who we are. It’s a tiny, terrified bit of our consciousness that desperately needs to control everything and actually truly doesn’t have clue how anything works and was never supposed to. Some people like to call this the ego. And I consider it to have a total different job (namely, as an interface with which to experience things on this planet). But that’s another story.
It’s just, when you start discovering that letting your mind say ‘I can’t do it’ brings the most tremendous feeling of relief, and you start to understand that that part of you is just not supposed to know and is never going to work it out, you really can start to truly surrender and get out of your own way, and let the rest of you get on with expanding your joyful experiences in the way I feel is so natural to us all, way beyond what most of us know as reality right now.
So, when that perfectionist mind of yours starts winding you up into ever-tighter knots and demanding so much of you that you start wanting to claw your mind/eyes/hair out, consider just allowing yourself not to know. Consider the freedom in ‘failing’, because ‘failing’ is only something you can do when you care how it looks from another’s point of view! Think about it. If it were just you in the world, how much would you really care whether or not you had a great job and a mortgage and looked good? If it were just you, and you really loved you just as you were, would you ever consider failing to even exist?
Letting yourself pass through the fire of appearing to fail, is one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever encountered (after all the initial hideousness of course!). It’s not necessarily comfortable ( 😯 ), especially to start with. But then there’s comfort and there’s comfort, and I would consider being comfortable with myself a much greater asset than having a comfortable material life and being deeply unhappy. Being me, I love both, and am intending on that! Because, hey, I’m me, and I deserve it! (Yes it’s taken me years to really believe that.)
It’s just, allowing yourself to fail, to be ‘less than perfect’ in everyone else’s eyes (and your own) is one very simple way to see where you could love yourself more by helping yourself to see your own opinion is the ONLY opinion that matters. And getting to love yourself opens you up to discovering what I have found to be the true joy of life: getting to know YOU! (Because I guarantee, YOU are awesome, AND I know you are perfect, just as you are.)
*My beautiful cousin just gave me the perfect way to encapsulate the beauty and experience of expanding through pain, by sharing this creation from the exquisitely self-expressed Bjork…to Ebi and Bjork, two most incredible goddesses, thank you….enjoy…*