The greatest challenge is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Balance external expectations with Reality:

Jennifer Howard, Ph.D.: Are We Addicted to the Idea of Perfection?:

.. we cultivate in our culture: the pursuit of perfection..  reinforced in the media, in TV ads, magazines and newspapers. Everyone is at risk ...cultural messages feed the deepest insecurity in ourselves and encourage us to hold ourselves to an impossible standard: perfection.

 Balance those external expectations with reality.

...psychological maturity includes awareness, self-regulation, responsibility, interdependence, honesty and integrity.

Psychological maturity requires the ability to willingly shift our perspective and to have an adaptive healthy self-esteem. These qualities can only be cultivated through our inner quest for self-knowledge.

Some people are obsessed with the continuous pursuit of addicted to the pursuit of perfection similar to being addicted to a drug or any other destructive behavior. As Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst and author of "Addiction to Perfection," wrote,

"Perfection is defeat ... Perfection belongs to the gods; completeness or wholeness is the most a human being can hope for ... It is in seeking perfection by isolating and exaggerating parts of ourselves that we become neurotic. The chief sign of the pursuit of perfection is obsession. Obsession occurs when all the psychic energy, which ought to be distributed among the various parts of the personality in an attempt to harmonize them, is focused on one area of the personality to the exclusion of everything else. Obsession is always a fixation -- a freezing-over of the personality so that it becomes not a living being but something fixed, like a piece of sculpture, locked into a complex. Addiction to perfection is at root a suicidal addiction. The addict is simulating not life, but death.

... To move toward perfection is to move out of life, or what is worse, never to enter it. A problem arises when our external focus inhibits our ability to focus within, to develop our spiritual, mental and psychological selves."

...spend more time, energy and money learning new skills, gaining insights and strengthening your inner landscape to deepen and broaden your experience of life... cultivate a profound sense of understanding and acceptance for yourselves and others just the way you are.   Don't  worry quite as much about the effects of aging, see your lives as an opportunity to develop wisdom... focus more upon your inner connection... and celebrate aging. ...embrace the passage of time that produces mature wisdom

Mature wisdom doesn't necessarily make us richer, thinner or land us a fabulous looking mate. However, it's exactly what we need to weather life's inevitable changes.
It may feel confusing from the quick-fix perspective but focusing inwardly, we develop the strength and compassion that makes life easier, more peaceful and happier.

Matthew 5:48 says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." The Greek origin of the word "perfect" means "to be whole." so read this passage as, 

"Be whole, therefore, as your heavenly father is whole?"

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