Compassion and intention.

While thinking about intention, I’ve begun to recognise a certain impatience in my mood. I’m eager to appreciate life more, set great goals to work toward with firm intention. I want to live in a state of constant gratitude. In short, I want change and I want it now.

the expectation trap

In her comment on my last post, the wonderful T.O. Weller mentioned lists as a sign of potential overwhelm. As I read her words a little voice inside said, “Oh. Oh dear.”

See, the thing is, I’m up to my eyeballs in lists.

Lists for work, lists for home, lists for personal projects, lists for future hopes and dreams, lists of how to improve; how to be “better”.

Any accomplishments become engulfed by the endless expectations I place on myself.

Instead of something to be proud of, an achievement becomes proof of what I’m capable of if I would simply stop making excuses and do it all. No matter how much I do, it’s never quite enough to get where I feel I “should” be.

This is bad enough in itself, but sadly it’s not the worst part of this trap.

impossible standards

Comparing myself against impossible standards bleeds into the rest of my life. I feel as though other people also have these same expectations for me. As I repeatedly fail to meet up to these invented standards I feel guilt and shame for letting everyone down.

When I’m hard on myself I become hard on those around me, taking out my frustration and agitation on those who care about me the most, snapping at them for no reason other than that they’re within easiest reach.

When I catch myself making hurtful remarks, instead of stopping immediately; apologising; telling them I love them and could never mean to say such things – I chalk it up to yet another way I’m not yet good enough, another thing to improve.

Afraid of being found out I cover for myself and pretend that they’re the ones in the wrong; anything to avoid exposing my deepest darkest secret:

I’m not perfect.

And now it’s out there.

I’ve begun to realise that my impatience comes from an inability to grasp the fact that my imperfection is okay.

It’s okay because, quite frankly, no one is perfect.

You and I, and everyone we know, are made of beautifully, wildly, crazily intricate interlacements of unique facets and flaws that reflect limitless flashes of light and rainbows into the world around us.

It’s what makes us who we are.

Human.

starting with compassion

I have realised I need compassion at the foundation of everything I do.

Learning to be gentle with myself; accepting myself with compassion, flaws and all. Seeing my value, not in the potential to be “more”, but in who I am right now, this minute.

Practicing compassion will help me be gentler with those around me. Without ridiculous invented standards for them to hold me to, I can learn to relax and be more open; to ask for help instead of trying desperately to cover up my flaws.

To practice intention I need to also practice compassion.

To successfully implement the change I so crave, I need to learn to be content without change.

5 replies
    • Eva
      Eva says:

      Yes! When we stop expecting perfection from ourselves we can stop expecting it from everyone else. When we’re able to see and love ourselves and everyone else as we are, everyone gains!

      Reply
  1. Grace
    Grace says:

    Oh, wow. After a ridiculous argument last night doing exactly what you said about blaming others and trying to cover up how much I’m failing instead of just apologizing and letting the person know I love them, this hits home. Compassion for ourselves and for others is vital. This reminds me of a post I wrote recently on improving your life by assuming the best. Of course there’s always room for growth and improvement, but right now we’re all doing the best we can.

    Reply

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