Having lived most of my life raveled up in the world of a perfectionist (in my mind), I have come to know the anguish and anxiety that comes from this perspective. In this space, the words “I should have” are playing in an automatic replay mode that is too common for comfort. Sure, being a perfectionist has driven me in many areas of my life and this “push” has contributed to my growth and development. But the toll of this mindset is also noticeable; having gone unchecked, the perfectionist begins to ignore a crucial aspect of the yogic path – ‘Ahimsa’, the self observation of non-violence and compassion towards others and ourselves. When I drive myself so much and beat myself down when perfection is not reached than I am not living ‘ahimsa’ towards myself. Likely, the result is the same when we expect so high from others around us.
Realizing that not being perfect is true perfection and being mindful that self acceptance is the path to joy, I have began to integrate these qualities into my life. When I notice the patterns, I step back and remind myself of who I am: a spiritual being having a human experience. At that moment the weight lessens, self compassion sets in, and I feel alive.