I donít know why we all get so hung up on trying to hide or eradicate our flaws. We all have imperfections. Yet, we are often so intent on covering them up. Doing this is so self-eradicating. And itís exhausting too.
What about just letting yourself be, flaws and all? Not in a weak, "Iím no good" kind of way, but in a strong, self-compassionate, "This is me" orientation─loving yourself, accepting yourself
as good enough, as you are, right now.
So, hereís the challenge:
For the next 2 weeks, stop trying to cover up your flaws. No defending, arguing or hiding them. Just let them be there. Admit to them in a compassionate, self-curious way.
The first thing youíll discover is how powerful this feels. The second thing youíll notice is how the lack of resistance creates a flow for new things to happen. IĎll give you a personal example.
A few years ago, a friend accused me of being jealous. She was developing a friendship with another person and I was reacting. At first I denied what I was feelings, then I simply fessed up. Yes, I WAS jealous. I remember the internal freedom that came from that admission. Once I had crossed this threshold, the conversation became real and caring and after that, we were able to be much more considerate of each other. The friendship became stronger than ever.
So, whatever flaw youíre trying to cover up, see if you can just let it be there. If you feel vulnerable, let that vulnerability be there too. The Course in Miracles says that vulnerability is our greatest strength. I agree. Itís a strength because itís real. And being real is powerful.
When I first start to work with someone, one of the things I look for at the beginning is the personís relationship to their flaws. If they own up to their imperfections, I know my work with them will probably go well but if the person spends a lot of time trying to look good or showing how they have it all together. I know Iím in for a LOT of work. Sometimes I wonít even take a person like this on, but will let the great master called LIFE work on them a little more. Sooner or later, people get very weary of defending themselves and blaming others. I know I did. : )
Byron Katie, one of the greatest living teachers for showing how to accept "What is", suggests that we truly consider all criticisms others have of us. After all, others know us well and see things that we might not. The next time, someone criticizes you, try saying to them, "Tell me more. What do you see?"
Recently, my partnerís daughter had a weekend party at our house. It was very busy and noisy (to me) and I spent most of the time sequestered in the bedroom doing my own thing. My partner said I wasnít very participatory. I wanted to argue. Big time. But from his point of view, I wasnít very participatory.
Why wouldnít I be willing to look at that? Why wouldnít I try and find ways of being more participatory if that matters to him?
I find when I own up to my imperfections, I feel more relaxed and less on guard. Thereís a freedom to having people know my particular mixture of assets and liabilities. And it boosts my self esteem to know I have value anyway. But perhaps the best part is that if our imperfections are teachers for us, trying to evolve us into greater maturity, which I believe they are, then I want to bring them into my awareness.
Perhaps you might want to as well.