I shared a mail from someone who said she doesn’t understand what I mean by being perfect or complete as she is because “I don’t feel perfect or complete in any way. I feel lost… so lost and empty.”
And then she proceeded to share with me a detailed tale of something that happened to make her feel terrible, and to make her question her completeness, nay her validity, as a human being.
To which I completely sympathize. I used to feel that way watching so many people I trusted and connected with tell me that, and it sounded like cold comfort.
But here’s the deal. The first clue is in the statement: ‘I don’t FEEL’. Some other person would say ‘I don’t THINK’. But here’s the thing: both are valid. If you don’t feel complete, then that feeling is real. If you don’t think you’re complete, then that thought exists, and thus is valid.
However, feelings and thoughts are only a part of who you are as a human. They are not the complete story, not just because we as a civilization have not yet scratched the surface of how the mind and emotions truly work and the study of ‘consciousness’ (which some call the next frontier of human knowledge) is at its very infancy. No, it’s because from the little we know so far from science and from the plenty we have learnt from teachers of human potential – there is far more to you than your mind. There is, for instance, your intuition, you also have your instincts, there is a sense of right or wrong deep within that some have called Reason, that evolutionary biologists have traced to our survival need for human cooperation. There is an entire soup of things seen and unseen that make up who you are.
How you feel is not even nearly the complete story.
When you feel fear, fear is external to you. Fear is not you. Fear is something that lurks around and comes to you. If you let it in, it becomes something you feel (via a state of mind) and something you express (a state of being). Whenever, through training or wisdom or help, you shed that fear, the essential you remains.
Think of illness. Your fever is not you. Even calling it ‘your fever’ internalizes something that is actually external to you. A sore throat is not you. A sore throat is something that happens to you.
Pain, even if you were a baby born into pain, is external to you. That’s why the child cries, resisting and rejecting something that’s external to the essence of that child. What some call the ‘isness’ of a thing.
That thing that forms the core of you. The thing that, if you stay still long enough, you can sense observing and directing all of you. Call it consciousness, call it spirit, call it the ground of being, call it whatever. That space is pure, undefiled, beautiful. It is your essence, it is the intrinsic you, unaffected by whatever happens on the surface.
The surface of an ocean is not the character of the ocean, it’s just what most people see.
So, that person who sent me that email has done a few wrong things in her life. Maybe she has done a lot of wrong things. She needs to acknowledge that, she needs to accept that, she needs to commit to doing better. Absolutely.
But to ‘do better’, she has to understand and accept that there is some place deep within her that’s good, that’s perfect, that’s whole, that’s complete. That’s the place that she returns to when she does better and when she learns from her mistakes.
She doesn’t become someone else. She returns to who she essentially was.
And that essential self is already complete, already utterly deserving of love and attention, already capable of greatness and excellence. It’s just waiting for you to discover it, and then to achieve your highest possible potential.
It is important that you don’t become so distracted by all the external things, and confuse your situation – whatever it is – for who you really are.
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