The second we realized that mind creates reality and the minute we became acquainted with the law of attraction, we took that to the worst possible place and became spiritual perfectionists to the degree that we were actually more self loving when we were unconscious and believed that the world was separate from us and bad things just happened to us. We believe everything is about positive focus and feeling good and that if we aren’t feeling good, we’re out of control and failing miserably.
The law of attraction essentially is the law of mirroring. It is a learning construct in this time space reality that enables us to clearly see ourselves in that whatever is inside us is reflected externally. In seeing things clearly like this, we can then change our thoughts and words and actions so the external reflects what we would prefer. It is the perfect platform for expansion, evolution and progression, all of which facilitates awareness and awakening. But so much of the stuff that reflects in our external reality are things within us we have no conscious awareness of, until it shows up externally. We call this post-manifestational awareness. And even when we become consciously aware of it, it’s not all that easy to change. You can recognize that your spouse leaving you is the reflection of the abandonment issues you have, but did that awareness cause you to feel good about your spouse leaving? No. The bottom line is, we don’t feel good all the time but we’ve been told it’s our choice to feel good or bad at all moments of the day and so, what do we do? We feel like failures because our life isn’t picture perfect but all we know how to do is try harder and so we become self-abusive in the name of spirituality. Let’s take a good look at what we really expect from ourselves and each other….
1. We expect ourselves to be aware of everything within ourselves so things never “surprise us” and thus we have total control over our reality. 2. We expect ourselves to consciously choose everything in our life. To intentionally create our life to the degree that nothing unwanted ever crosses our path. 3. We expect ourselves to be able to instantly change the thoughts we’re thinking and way we feel and thus feel good all the time, even if you fail at creating your reality and tragedy does strikes. 4. We expect ourselves to be the image of spiritual perfection we have in our heads. If you’re anything like me, under this kind of spiritual pressure, you’re thinking… I rue the day I ever got into this spiritual stuff. Consciousness isn’t worth it. And as if it isn’t bad enough that we expect this of ourselves, we expect it of other people too. We face the judgement within this community all the time. As if it isn’t bad enough that things aren’t going well, we get to add “and you’re creating it all” to the mix so we can essentially burn in the hell fire of self-blame. We have a belief that if we weren’t doing something wrong, our life would be going perfect. In other words, if life isn’t going perfect, we make it mean that we’re doing something spiritually wrong. You think “I should be feeling good no matter what is going on and if I’m not, I’m doing something wrong and bad things are gonna manifest. And I can’t seem to get it right cause look at my life… so something must be wrong with me.” Stop for a second and look at how terrible that kind of pressure and self-blame is for a minute. Even if you have to stop this video to think about that for a minute, do it. This is shame! And the spiritual community actually supports it! Speaking of which, I have a video on YouTube titled: How to Overcome Shame, I suggest you go watch it!
So, depending on your particular spiritual discipline, you have an externally imposed idea of how perfection should look and if you fall short of that, you make it mean that you’re failing. For example, if you are in some Buddhist circles, if you’re not at total peace in a state of non-reactivity, free from attachment and living as a minimalist in brown robes… There’s something wrong with you. Or if you’re in the positive focus law of attraction community, if you’re not a millionaire by now, with the perfect partner and the best possible career and wonderful friends and perfect health, feeling unconditional love as you drive your new Ferrari down the freeway with a positive forward thinking attitude… There’s something wrong with you.
Nothing is wrong with you. You’re not failing. It’s just that the ego has covertly hijacked your spiritual practice. The ego is the only aspect of you concerned with right vs. wrong, good vs. bad and failure vs. success. And the deeper truth is that you’re still desperately trying to get love by being right and good and successful. So give yourself that love. Have compassion and loving affection for the aspect of you that is so desperate to keep yourself good and right and successful in order to get love that it is now using spiritual practice to punish or pressure the rest of you into that mold. Realize that you’re dealing with yourself the same way adults in your childhood did. You’re expecting perfection from yourself in order to believe that something is right and lovable about you.
Sit down and have a come to Jesus moment about what you really expect from yourself and be honest about it. Get present to the pressure you’re putting on yourself. There is a difference between actually feeling forgiveness and expecting yourself to feel forgiveness. For example, I realized a while back that as a spiritual teacher I genuinely expected myself to feel good no matter what happened to me. I couldn’t do it. And so I felt like there was something wrong with me. So just so you get the spiritual pressure that even I put myself under, I believed something was wrong with me if I couldn’t feel love and joy when people were writing slanderous articles about me on the internet and burning my paintings publicly and sending death threats. Talk about self-abusive.
It’s also tempting when we aren’t genuinely honest with ourselves to resort to spiritual bypassing. If we believe we know how we should feel or should think or should be, to create a façade that we do feel that way and do think that way and are that way when the truth is we aren’t. So I suggest if you struggle with putting spiritual pressure on yourself to watch my video on YouTube titled: Spiritual Bypassing.
It is tempting to look at people you think are succeeding at actually being the spiritually perfected image you have in your head and making that the new standard you compare yourself to. Take it from me; I’m around other spiritual teachers all the time. So much of it is total pretense. For example, if I didn’t flat out tell you just then that I don’t feel good when I interact with the people who publicly slander me, you would have assumed I was fine with it cause my perspective is so transcendental. You don’t know what’s really going on with other people when they don’t flat out tell you and most people wont flat out tell you because they don’t want to be seen as failures and so you assume you’re the only one who can’t ‘get it right’. What if no one can get it right? And on top of that in this universe, there is no ultimate right. Let that set in for a minute. Right is a matter of perspective and if you haven’t noticed yet, no one agrees on that perspective. So right vs. wrong is an entirely subjective experience.
Let yourself off the hook. You can’t get life wrong because there are no words in the sky spelling out what is wrong. So there’s no way to get it right. What if you stopped expecting yourself at this very minute to feel good because feeling bad doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, would it be ok to not feel good? What if you stopped expecting yourself at this very minute to have the perfect job or the perfect partner or to be a millionaire because not having those things doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, would it be ok to be where you are?
Right now, make a list of the things you disapprove of about yourself. Those things that mean something is wrong with you. The things you expect from yourself but just can’t seem to live up to. Find approval for each item on this list. And involve other people in this brainstorming process if you’re having a hard time with it. So, for example, how is it good to feel bad? How is it good to be reactive? How is it good to have no money? Etc.
When you look at the things you expect from yourself or desperately want to reach, have another come to Jesus moment, but this time about why you want those things. Also, take a look at what are you trying to get away from to the opposite end of those things. For example, a person may want a perfect partner because they want to feel a sense of being loved and valued because to the opposite side, they hate the feeling of being alone with the feeling of being unlovable and worthless.
The bottom line is, you’ve been trying it this way for a long time. You’ve been trying to get it all right and be perfect according to your spiritual tradition and it hasn’t worked. You’ve just added your name to the overwhelmingly long list of people who hate themselves and are looking to spiritual practice to make them better and more lovable. If you knew you were never gonna get it right, what then? What would be possible then? What would you do instead? So take the pressure off. You aren’t failing. Imagine a world where it was ok to feel how you feel and experience what you’re experiencing. A world where you felt like everything about you and your life, including the stuff that isn’t necessarily preferred was lovable and valuable the way it is.