Thursday, January 20, 2011

Let's Not Diagnose Each Other Unnecessarily


The rose is without why,
it blooms because it blooms,
It pays no attention to itself,
asks not whether it is seen.
Angelus Silesius


Attempting to improve oneself is not always harmful, although it can become a form of greed.  It can leave one wanting, leave one desiring, leave one without fulfillment.  Being a perfectionist and constantly trying to improve oneself is like a person studying her reflection in the mirror each morning and criticizing her features: "my eyes are too small or too big.  My face is just the wrong shape.  My skin is not soft enough, or my nose is too big, or too round."

But what if each morning she smiled at her reflection instead, and said, "You are lovely."

The same is true for our souls and deeper selves.  I believe that we are wonderfully made, that we are fashioned in God's image.  This does not mean that we are without fault or sin.  Consistently admitting our wrongs or "confessing our sins" can bring us into a more honest relationship with ourselves and God.  But dwelling on our failures will only cause us to be irritable to others and angry with them.  I've been there.  Constantly criticizing myself and feeling like I am different only caused me to snap at the people closest to me because of my failed attempts to be perfect and to "be like everyone else" (whatever that means).

The way I am learning to accept myself is twofold: one part is to give up my stereotypes and generalizations of other people.  I try to listen to their entire story and not make judgments.  I keep a "beginner's mind" by stripping away (as best as I can) what I've assumed about them.  This allows me to see them as freshly as possible.  I don't try to diagnose myself or others like I've done in the past.  Consequently, seeing other people more fully allows me to see myself as a whole, complex person, too.  The second part is to be forgiving of myself without being blind to what I might have done wrong.  I try to be content with my quirks and not rid myself of them.  I trust my intuition and deep thoughts, but I don't let myself run away with my own perceptions of reality that may be very far from the truth. 

We don't need to search for a defining purpose, for constant recognition from other people, for awards of personal accomplishments from our egos because we are already deeply loved.  Now we can remove the spotlight from our mistakes and beautifully unfurl and unfold as our true selves.

12 comments:

  1. Jade, this post is fabricated from the finest silk. You have both opulence and honesty within your writing and is something many writers lack. That little poem at the start is untainted and so very beautiful; like a lost pearl. Did you write it? As for the rest of your post, wow. You are too right. We put ourselves on the pedestal and into the spotlight, sometimes.. we just try too hard to be someone we aren't, and my, do we judge. Humans are flawed this way and you have such a beautiful soul to try your hardest to fight against the judgement implanted in our brain. Magnificent post indeed, darling. xx

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  2. Joanna, I am very grateful for your very warm & thoughtful comment! :-) To answer your question, I forgot to include the author of the above poem. It is written by Angelus Silesius. I will edit the post to include it now. Thank you for visiting my blog. It feels good when another person can relate to my deepest thoughts, which can feel fragile.

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  3. Quirks, mistakes, they're all individual parts of the whole. They give us color and personality and interest and definition. And I think accepting that frees us to really be who we are.

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  4. Great post Jade. You bring up some great points. I think we all have a tendancy to get caught up in the "story" of our lives -- "I'm pretty", "I'm intellgent", "I'm a mother", "I'm not good enough" etc... We relate to the story so thoroughly that we forget that it is just a story not a representation of our true, higher Selves. Fixating on the "outside" -- our personality, appearence, preferences -- is ultimately futile and vain.

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  5. What a beautiful post. And I love the poem under the picture of the rose. Yes, accepting ourselves faults and all is the trick, isn't it?

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  6. Wise words Jade and so beautifully written too.

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  7. These words could not have come at a better time! Thank you for sharing these wise thoughts, Jade. :)

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  8. Thanks everyone, as always... you are amazing. :-)

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  9. I have a sign up in my house that reads: Why try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out. Also, I wrote on my mirror, You are beautifully and wonderfully made. God. When we look at ourselves, our bodies and what's not perfect, our tasks and what's not done, our failures, we are giving ourselves self-abuse, and no, it is impossible to love and accept others if we can't even do it for ourselves. These are words of wisdom, Jade. Excellent reflection.

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  10. Letting you know that I'm giving you the Sunshine Award today, not quite yet posted.

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  11. You have a gorgeous blog here. I love these thoughts. I am a new follower. xx

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  12. Beautiful, poignant and so incredible enlightening. You are incredible - so incredible. xxxx

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