Sunday, October 28, 2012
Tip #44: Perfection is not the goal
But, although I'm upset as I said, I'm going to try to not beat myself about it. Today I was listening to Dr. Dan Siegel, in a talk part of a series called The Compassionate Brain: Activating the Neural Circuits of Kindness, Caring, and Love. Practical Neuroscience for Transformation, and he mentioned as an example someone who hurts himself in the foot and reacts by cursing himself for being so clumsy and stupid. He said that instead, that person would have to look at the situation from outside and tell himself, "It hurts, I feel the physical pain, I have been clumsy but maybe I can learn not to do this again. But I'm human, it is not that important. I can go on." Easier said than done, but he also mentioned several other mental exercises one can do to train your brain to think this way. Considering I don't feel right now like I have so much time for meditation, I guess, I'm not going to do his exercises either, but I did learn something already: it's definitely OK to do as little or as much as I can. I will continue trying to mediate, this time without a challenge. Maybe I can do it three times a week. That will be fine. Those of you who know me (probably all, thank you so much for reading!) I'm sure are thinking, "But, of course, you do so much already!!," but we just cannot see what we do, we keep beating ourselves up because we feel we are inadequate in so many ways. Dr. Siegel also talked about how society makes us geared for competition, rather than collaboration, and I feel maybe sometimes it is a competition within yourself. We want to be perfect. We need to be cured. But perfection is overvalued and a cure means really little. Are you fine now? Right this moment? Yes, you are. That's all that really matters.
So, I found that lovely quote from Leonard Cohen's song Anthem, and I'm going to try to remember it the days I don't get to do everything I had on my long list for the day. Another crack. But how beautiful is the light that goes through it.
Any other tips for me? I love your comments.