A Martyr at Work: perfection serves no purpose 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been in competition with myself: do more, be more, do better, be better.  

Be the best you can be.  

What’s wrong with that one might ask? 

While it felt good for a while and I got a lot of recognition for it – being the reliable one who could always do anything I was asked to do and to a high quality, I’ve come to realise that it’s just not it. It is like a beast that is always hungry for more, no matter how many times a day I feed it, it keeps coming to the feeding station. It has got to a point where it is becoming not worth the trade-off of sacrificing my body and my connection to something I know is much bigger and far grander than the physical me and something that is in truth my greatest ‘craving’. For what? Just to get something done, tick things off a list and feel safe.  

What is this ‘safety’ that does anything but keep us ‘safe’? I have a PhD in learning that perfection is a hefty wall of protection that is very easy to hide behind. When we make everything that we do ‘perfect’ (whatever that looks like) and get attached to the picture perfect, we leave no gaps for anyone to offer their observations and even to criticise or disagree with us. And by doing that we build artificial borders around us with “no entry” signs and we cut ourselves off even more from people: people whose reflections we need and who also need our reflection to evolve and grow.  We simply cannot be or do without others. 

Yet, this is how most of the world lives. So many of us are lost in work, shopping, netflix, gossip, other people’s lives, complaining… it’s a long list. Waiting for the high of the next fleeting holiday to get us through to the next 6 months, or cup of tea and piece of cake, or task to tick off a list to get us through the day.. all are the same drug of reward, just different flavours.  

I might convince myself that I am reflecting some kind of superwoman to my team and the office with my can-do work ethic, but if I am driven and my body is hard, for being in drive is not our body’s natural modus operandi and it puts the body in a state of hardness much like when we are standing out in the freezing cold with inadequate clothing, and if I’m exhausted and silently resentful, they can still feel it. There is nothing that cannot be felt by another, there is only a choice to feel what’s going on under the physicality or not. And no matter how long I might believe I am staying under the radar – which includes my thoughts and the inner state of my body – no one is inspired by a lie, no matter how artfully and beautifully I might dress it up.  

I reached a crunch point the other day where I got to feel the drive and hardness of how I’d been working and pushing my body. When I overload myself with work and tasks and leave no space for these things let alone anything else, my body feels compressed and I feel joyless and disconnected. I feel out of sync and rhythm with myself, and irritated. There is a feeling of far greater density in my body with no space left for God to work alongside me while I’m doing what I’m doing, and no matter how hard I might try I can’t feel the depth of the magnificence of what we are all intrinsically connected to. Life feels very one dimensional and there is nothing to write about, or say. Rather than stop and allow myself to feel all of that, so that I can offer myself an opportunity to change the unpleasant state, often I will want to bury myself further into the numbness by working more, eating more … finding anything I can to distract myself.  No wonder the saying: we are our own worst enemy. 

But yesterday was different.  

I just allowed myself to accept where I was at and how I felt in my body, to feel how this cuts me off from that deeper knowing of myself and connecting with others, and to move differently. To pay attention to every single movement and bring focus to making it gentle. This super simple process instantly made me feel lighter and more inspired by what’s possible, and mostly that I wasn’t a bad person for having lost myself in overdrive. 

What I also got to feel was that as we refine our choices for how we are and how we move, the choices that aren’t aligned to that same gentle, tender and delicate quality really stand out and feel so much worse than what we  might have previously considered to be abusive.  

And there again is another choice: to react and judge the choice as ‘bad’, or to see it as an opportunity to learn and come out the other end much wiser and to treasure ourselves more. This is precisely how we continuously raise our standards in relationships with others across the board for what is and what is not allowed so that ultimately one day we all treat ourselves and our bodies as the sacred temples that they truly are. 

“Women must rekindle their own rhythms within society and not let society demand of them what is not natural to their body.”

Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations,  p526 

By B, UK  

For further inspiration.. 

Choosing function or true focus: how does this support us as we go about our day? The profoundness of self-care at all times.

What happens when we connect to our qualities and commit to making them our foundation for how we live in every moment of our day?

26 thoughts on “A Martyr at Work: perfection serves no purpose 

  1. Thank you B, I had a conversation about this very thing today with a friend, how easy it is to still get caught in doing, drive, outer achievements, and how in this we lose our connection to ourselves and the wonderful quality of our inner essence. I agree, it’s like a hungry beast that keeps coming back to the feeding station when we allow ourselves to feel incomplete and buy into the idea something outside is needed, we are far from from the amazing and complete being we already are on the inside. Loved the practical way you came back to every movement and the gentleness. Thank you, inspiring and very relatable read.

  2. I guess we need to accept that there will never be any perfection, anywhere, ever, and that all we need to do is just accept ourselves with all its flaws before we become thoroughly exhausted with living up to not only our own ideals and beliefs, but those of others.

  3. Something significant happened in my body whilst reading this blog. When you were talking about the way you worked in the first place (looking for recognition, reward, etc.), my body felt contracted and somehow frozen… but the moment you said: ‘I just allowed myself to accept where I was at and how I felt in my body’, a deep sigh emerged from it and suddently I felt much lighter and spacious within. It feels clear that the body receives all the information we drop in it, but only expands when that really supports and confirms its nature and rhythms.

  4. The ‘push’ to always do more or just simply do has been such a force that when we are not ‘doing’ we feel lost and useless. Breaking down these habitual patterns can be quite difficult and so sharings like this great blog are so important. This blog helps to challenge these habitual, ingrain patterns and offer another way of challenging them and then offering the invite to re-connect to what is true. We are already enough and the ‘over-doing’ will never change that.

    1. You have a great point about ‘over-doing’ Christine. Why is that many women, myself included, always had feelings of guilt when I wasn’t ‘doing’ something. Perhaps we have been indoctrinated into thinking that we need to be useful or perhaps it’s a case of not wanting to stop just in case we begin to feel what we don’t want to feel, or see what we don’t want to see.

  5. We have traded evolution for a life of incremental improvement. Yes we are designed to develop and learn – to let go of the junk that tells us we are not enough to start with. No improvement is needed.

    1. There’s an entire blog in these three sentences Joseph! I love how you share that ‘we have traded evolution for a life of incremental improvement’. That’s it. We spend every waking moment trying to better ourselves, to have more, do more, and convince ourselves that there will come a time when we will be satisfied, content… we will have everything we want, life will be complete. Although, sadly for some, that is not the case. So yes you are right, there is no improvement needed, we are already everything we need to be and all we have to do is let go of trying and accept who we are in full.

  6. While pushing through and doing more, ticking all the boxes to prove our worth as superwomen we harden and separate from our delicate nature till an illness or disease makes us stop on our tracks. Yet this is what is applauded in this society. To me, seeing and feeling a woman who honors her vulnerability is very inspiring because is the reflection of how we can live from our transparency, allowing ourselves to be seen with no trying or pretending to be something that we are not. There’s nothing more beautiful than someone who is not afraid to show the truth of what she is actually feeling because she is setting new standards and saying, ‘it’s ok to just be, there is a greater strength in honouring you’.

  7. Living in this world might feel intense at times but the offering of this blog is a precious invitation to surrender and embrace the beauty of our sensitivity, which allows us to see how to lovingly support ourselves in every given moment. It feels the true empowerment that we all need.

    1. Is it not true that we can only empower ourselves? But how do we come to that realisation… I guess when we have had enough of the imposed slavery to ideals and beliefs that have had us buying into what the world has told us to be. Could it all be a grand form of manipulation and control to keep us from realising how powerful we are?

  8. ‘I just allowed myself to accept where I was at and how I felt in my body…’ This is just what I needed to read today, thank you

  9. It is a gift to ourselves and everyone around us when we let go of perfection and drive and instead tune into the natural qualities that our body can deliver – such as gentleness.

    1. That sounds so beautifully simple Henrietta. Just allow ourselves to tune into our innate and natural qualities. I have toughed it out and been in protection for so long I had almost forgotten that inside me there is a sweet, delicate, yet powerful being with vulnerabilities and flaws that make me perfectly imperfect.

  10. Picture perfect does not mean that the quality of gentleness is there – If we focus too much on the visual aspects of how something gets done, then we miss out on the deeper picture of control and lack of true loving quality in what has been done. Then the final picture sits empty and we feel depleted and hence seek another task to do so as not to feel the sadness of the emptiness that we neglected to fill with the gentleness and love as qualities in the doing. I am so familiar with this and am still learning to let go of the perfection and feel instead the quality that is there.

  11. Beautiful sharing B, and thank you so much for highlighting these points about perfection and how this can become like a drug or an addiction with a constant thirst to keep improving. I too can relate to this – when we can do many things with ease and get them done well, then we can get to a point where we are doing everything, and holding onto this picture of perfection, which can then deplete and exhaust us completely, making us shut off from the reflections around us.

    1. I guess this constant strive or thirst for perfection just masks the lack of connection to our essence, which leaves us with a feeling of tension and emptiness, when we stop long enough to feel it of course!

  12. There is a natural cycle in observing every hurdle as an offering for us to learn and deepen our awareness.

  13. I loved this article – it could have been specifically written for me. I’ve also found it’s very freeing to let go of the drive and work from within the space offered when I stay connected with my body, rather than letting my head dictate.

    1. Well said Helen – B has written this on behalf of and for many of us – it is configured to support us to let go and be more free to express our true qualities from deep within and enjoy the feel of the process as well as the outcome, rather than staying too focused on the visuals and the look of the outcome.

    2. Letting our heads rule the show can certainly lead us on a merry dance, and I dare say, has done so for lifetimes. I agree Helen, it is very freeing to let go of the drive and allow ourselves to just be, without all the doing. It’s ok to do, just not at the dictates of our head.

  14. Thank you B, it’s great to acknowledge how we can be our own enemy if we don’t feel what’s going on and continually push the body hard. Our body give us so much information that we can listen to and feel our rhythm when we connect to it, and we can bring so much more when we do anything with the rhythm from the inside out, instead of the outside in.

    1. Love it Gill – we can certainly be our own enemy in this process if we allow it. Self sabotage in this case would be choosing perfection and the picture over and above how we feel and what our body is communicating with us.

    2. I guess Gill, that when we push the body hard we are keeping ourselves disconnected from what we are feeling thinking that we are more comfortable that way. The reality is that until we begin to feel our discomfort we will continue to dig ourselves further into the hole.

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