Sunday, June 30, 2013

Letting go of perfection!

There is no "Easy Button" for life. As a therapist people are consistently looking for the "Quick Fix" to emotional distress and pain. We cannot heal a lifetime of pain overnight. Experiencing pain isn't easy. As you allow yourself to go through it.... it becomes a teacher, a motivator, it allows you to love more deeply, and eventually it allows for healing.   Whenever I’m working with people who avoid past hurt or grievances I tell them that they can either deal with it now, or it will come back and bite them in the ass.  The only reason why I give this advice is because I have been bitten so many times you would think I would eventually learn my lesson.

 In my 32 years of life I have learned that no matter how much we push unresolved issues (hurt, pain, past mistakes, unhappiness, etc) down they always seem to resurface.  I’m no expert in facing obstacles and hardships in my life, in fact, I avoid them like the plague.  If I’m forced to face something uncomfortable I try to make it go away as quick as possible. It’s like placing your hand on a hot burner.  It’s gonna hurt whether you leave it on or take it off.  Just because you remove your hand from the hot burner doesn’t mean that your hand will be instantly healed and functional.  We can try to ignore the pain, but if you’ve ever been burnt before you know it’s almost impossible to ignore it.  With any type of physical pain there is a healing process.  So, why would we expect any difference with emotional pain?   

In my experience of personally or professionally dealing with pain I have learned a lot.  First, pain can turn us in two ways it can either make us bitter or it can transform us to something better. As a young adult I suffered from an eating disorder.  I was the type of woman that did everything I could to be perfect or at least make people think I was perfect.  It’s amazing how on the quest to perfection I completely lost who I was and became the bitterest person I know.  On the outside people saw this friendly, loving, and confident woman.  On the inside, the most insecure woman who never felt good enough.  As hard as I tried I still can’t turn off the tape in my head that tells me “I’m not good enough or worthy enough to be happy”.   Why, when we know that there's no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone?  For some reason we believe that perfection will protect us from pain, blame, and hurt.  I mean if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect it’s easier to minimize or avoid the pain.   

            The second thing that I have learned about pain is it can be a saboteur.  We use our past hurt and discomfort form moving on to bigger and better things.  I can’t tell you how many times something amazing came across my path, and before I could allow  it bless my life I dismissed it.  For some reason I never felt good enough for life’s blessings and love.  If you want to know what burying pain does to a person….It blinds you… makes you feel so unworthy of the good things in life.  As a result we stay stuck.  I mean feeling something is better than feeling nothing at all right?  Seven years ago when I was consumed by my pain I took a look at my life and said I want it back.  I decided that I no longer wanted pain to consume my life, and I entered treatment for my eating disorder.  It’s been a long road, but everyday I’m feeling more worthy of love and happiness.  I’d be lying if I said that it was easy.  The longer you hold the pain in the more destructive it can be.  I still find myself wanting to sabotage the good things that come my way, and not feeling I will ever be worthy enough for love.  I’m so very grateful for the amazing people in my life who refuse to allow me to sabotage their love.  Who continue to knock down my walls, and who allow me to be the beautiful imperfect being that I am.  I look forward knowing that I deserve to be happy, guilt free, and loved.  If you find yourself struggling to let go make a step today to be better and free yourself from pain and distress. 
Love, Crystal Angel    

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