Breaking: There is nothing wrong with you after all
Updated: Apr 15, 2021
I once led a group meditation in which I invited the participants to contemplate the notion that because they were expressions of the Divine, nothing about them required fixing.
I got some blank stares and possibly looks of deep suspicion … after all, who was I to suggest that there was absolutely nothing wrong with them? Doesn't everyone keep a mental list of flaws, all of which represent legitimate reasons for self-loathing?
The ego is much more comfortable thinking of us as “projects” that are in constant need of upkeep and repair. It operates with the understanding that we are always approaching but never quite attaining some standard of perfection. It thinks it must impress someone, most of all itself. But the minute we decide to become content and comfortable with ourselves as we already are — inherently perfect expressions of the Tao — the ego has little to do. It is no longer able to compare, rank, judge, elevate or reject us, which is a subtle act of violence against the self.
This can't be over-emphasized: The ego, you see, is not our friend; it is only interested in preserving the illusion of itself, and as a result causes endless suffering — even in the name of “self-improvement.” Take away its projects, and it begins to wither.
Conversely, developing an awareness of ourselves as already perfect expressions of the Divine should not confer some idea of our being “better” than others, but it does enable us to begin to see the inherent perfection of all of Creation, and of our absolutely necessary place in it. As a practice, notice whenever negative self-talk creeps into your awareness, and remind your ego it can stand down for awhile. Eventually, it will learn that it can’t bully you into suffering without your cooperation.