Face It, Your Parents Are Flawed

child parent holding hands

Your parents are not superheroes. They never were.

They’re imperfect, flawed humans just like everyone else.

They have strengths, weaknesses, talents, hang-ups, blind spots and biases. Your parents are not immune to the numerous manifestations of the human plight. They slip up, they make mistakes and they’re not always right (even though they might have told you otherwise).

If you’re now an adult yourself, coming to the realization that your parents are flawed human beings is necessary for both your own personal growth and the creation of a deeper, more harmonious relationship with them.

The Silver Lining of Seeing Parents’ Flaws

Recognizing that your parents are imperfect and flawed provides you with two beautiful opportunities…

Realizing That Your Parents Are Flawed Humans Creates Space for a New Kind of Relationship

By recognizing the fact that your parents are imperfect, it allows your relationship with them to be deeper and more genuine. Why? Because it allows for vulnerability. Any relationship naturally deepens when vulnerability is shared. Seeing your parents as flawed creates this space for both parties to share their vulnerabilities with each other.

Through vulnerability, more inner truth is expressed and you’re able to more clearly see the essence of the other person. From this place, you can share your deepest fears, highest hopes and dreams, genuine desires and innermost feelings.

Seeing your parents as flawed humans allows for the relationship to be a two-way street. They’re no longer “above you” and there is no command and obey dynamic. This relationship between peers allows you to give to them as well, because they need love and compassion as much as anyone else.

There’s one catch though; both parties have to be willing to be open and vulnerable in order for the deepening of a relationship to take place. So you must first do the inner work. You must be ready, willing and able. And if your parents are ready as well, awesome. If not, remember the old idiom, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. You can provide the space, but the other person has to step into that space themselves.

Realizing that Your Parents Are Flawed Humans Puts You in a Position to Heal

As children, our parents obviously have an instrumental impact on us, for better or worse. Parents essentially set children off with momentum in a certain direction, and it’s difficult to change that momentum once you’re set in motion.

We subconsciously soak up everything we’re exposed to from the time we’re born until the age of six or seven. During this time period, we absorb everything our parents say and do to us like sponges. We also take on their belief systems and models of reality. This sponge-like phenomenon continues throughout the rest of childhood (or even further), but to a lesser extent.

Due to the state of hyper-absorption we’re in as children, we’re bound to pick up some trauma, limiting beliefs and negative habits. It’s inevitable in the world we live in.

If you want to grow into the greatest version of yourself, you must let go of the things that are holding you down. This means releasing trauma and limiting beliefs.

The perspective that comes with objectively seeing your parents as they are puts you in a highly favorable position regarding trauma, limiting beliefs and inherited pain. If you’re able to see your parents as flawed human beings, you’ll realize that they did the best they could (even if their best was extremely limited). You’ll also realize that their words (and actions) aren’t necessarily in alignment with ultimate truth. So if you picked up a negative belief based upon what your parents said to you, recognize that just because they said it doesn’t make it true. It’s merely their opinion (which may very well be skewed and limited). Seeing things in this way gives you a bigger picture perspective, and with this perspective, it’s easier to forgive, let go and not take on any more negativity.

Another perspective that helps is seeing your parents as hurt little children, particularly when they’re possessed by their ego or pain body*. Again, they did the best they could with what they were working with. If you view them as demigods, their actions become final judgments and set-in-stone truths. So if they say that you’re stupid, for example, then you will truly believe that you must be stupid. But seeing them as hurt little children allows you to put their words and actions into proper perspective. Remember, only hurt people hurt people. From here you can meet their negative actions with compassion, instead of resentment or repression.

This higher perspective will help you realize that you can choose not to carry around their pain and limiting beliefs any longer. It’s their pain, not yours. You only have it because you unknowingly inherited it. Let go. There is no need to carry such unnecessary burdens.

*Pain body is a term coined by Eckhart Tolle, which he describes as “The accumulation of old emotional pain that almost all people carry in their energy field. I see it as a semi-autonomous psychic entity. It consists of negative emotions that were not faced, accepted, and then let go in the moment they arose.”

A Quick Note On Release

There are many ways of releasing traumas and limiting beliefs, just as there are many ways of picking them up. However, this is beyond the scope of this article, as the topic of release is a rabbit hole in and of itself.

Remember this though; self-awareness/mindfulness is always the first step. You must first be aware of something in order to change it. This is why engaging in a daily meditation practice is probably the most important thing you can do.

Sometimes awareness is itself the release or solution, sometimes you might intuitively release in your own way and other times you need to use specific techniques or seek the help of an expert in order to release trauma or limiting beliefs.

Bringing it hOMe

Recognize, realize and understand that your parents are flawed humans, just like everyone else. Find the beauty and opportunity in their inherent imperfections. It made you unique, it made you who you are, it made you infinitely stronger than you would have been if you lived in a perfect little bubble.

Even though this article focuses on the transmutation of flaws, don’t forget that your parents have admirable qualities as well. Be grateful for what you do have. Be grateful for how they helped you. And, if you’re fortunate enough to still have them with you, express this gratitude with them.

Meet everyone with compassion. We’re all here to help each other out.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

 

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How to Overcome Perfectionism

kid painting

Perfectionism is a trap.

Though it may seem like perfectionism has your best interest in mind, it plays out much differently in the unfoldment of life.

Perfectionism can be stifling. Though the drive for perfection can sometimes push you towards your goals, it most often creates delusional expectations, paralyzing procrastination and harsh self-criticism (as well as external criticism).

We all know (on some level) that perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, so there is an inherent chasm of doubt whenever we chase perfection. The chasm of doubt and subtle anxieties of cognitive dissonance put us on the operating system of fear, where fear becomes the dominant motivating force. This is how perfectionism can make us hyper-critical (to both ourselves and others) as well as prevent us from even starting things (because of the fear that it won’t be perfect).

Nature is imperfect, yet the imperfection of nature is what makes it beautiful, unique and ever-changing. Perfection is stagnation. Perfection is static. Perfection is permanence, which defies the very nature of our impermanent Universe. The only constant is change (in this reality at least), so you might as well embrace the paradoxical perfection of ever-changing imperfection. Imperfection is a gift, as it allows for uniqueness and the potential for perpetual improvement. Forgo the pursuit of perfection, accept where you are in each moment and strive for continual improvement.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
~ Gerard Way

 
Overcoming Perfectionism Through Belief Transmutation

One way to overcome perfectionism is to replace limiting beliefs with new, more empowering beliefs. This is the alchemical art of transmutation.

Examples of limiting beliefs regarding perfection:

  • I have to be perfect in order to be worthy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for me to be happy.
  • Everything has to be perfect for (insert any hope or dream you want to come to fruition).
  • I’m afraid of doing this because it might not turn out perfectly.
  • I want to achieve perfection now.
  • Substitute those old, limiting beliefs for new, more empowering beliefs.

    Examples of more empowering beliefs:

  • Perfection doesn’t exist in this reality, but I achieve excellence.
  • I’m continuously improving and fueled by self-love.
  • I accept where I am in each moment, while always moving forward.
  • Imperfection allows for uniqueness and continuous improvement. I embrace my uniqueness and I’m endlessly evolving.
  • I always try my best and leave the rest up to the Universe/The Process of Life/God.
  • I’ll start now. I can always change, refine and improve things later because nothing is permanent.
  • I embrace the journey and find joy in continuous improvement.
  • Listen closely to your self-talk regarding perfection. Be particularly aware of your self-talk when the urge to procrastinate arises. What beliefs are you holding? What are more empowering beliefs to replace them with? A belief is simply a pattern of thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your beliefs.

    Overcoming Perfectionism Through Action

    If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
    ~ Margaret Atwood

     
    Perfectionism has a component of fear to it, particularly the fear of not being perfect. And since nothing in this reality is perfect, the perfectionist often chooses inaction over the possibility of trying and not achieving perfection. This creates an incapacitating state of constant procrastination, which is an insidious byproduct of perfectionism. Building a habit of taking consistent action deprograms the perfectionist mindset.

    The unachievable expectations of perfectionism can be paralyzing, preventing you from even starting things. But taking action overcomes the rigid inertia of perfectionism and starts a snowball effect of empowering momentum. By flexing your action muscles, you break through the chains of perfectionism like the incredible hulk ripping through a shirt (except you probably won’t be angry).

    When you build a habit of consistent action-taking, procrastination becomes a distant memory. You’ll learn to find fulfillment in the process. Perfectionism will be re-programmed into the mindset of embracing the journey of life.

    A strategy often discussed in entrepreneurial circles is that of releasing something, or taking action, before you’re fully ready. This idea is not about releasing an unfinished or half-assed product/service, but in accepting imperfection and building the habit of taking action. Remember, nothing is permanent and you can always tweak things later.

    Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
    ~ Napoleon Hill

     
    In the book The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard discusses defeating your personal demons. One of these demons is called “Defiance,” whose sole purpose is to delay your actions. How do you defeat this demon? You defeat Defiance by transforming delay with action. Decisive action, in the face of fear “sets off an internal tidal wave of power that subjugates our meeker impulses,” according to Burchard.

    I’ve also touched on the topic of overcoming doubt, defiance and delay in the article 8 Ways to Transmute Self-Doubt into Faith.”

    The practical how-to aspect of action is simple. Take small actions consistently, preferably every day. Break big tasks or big goals into bite-sized chunks. Create a system to bring you in the direction of a goal and stick to the system. Taking small actions on a daily basis allows you to avoid being overwhelmed and strengthens your action muscles to the point where procrastination doesn’t stand a chance.

    How I Overcame Perfectionism

    Though I still have perfectionist tendencies from time-to-time, it no longer has me in its clutches. Changing my perfectionist beliefs and taking consistent action were invaluable solutions for me.

    My journey progressed based on those two strategies. Firstly, I realized (conceptually, at least) that perfectionism is not attainable in this reality. After some time I was able to accept, feel and deeply understand that truth. Viewing life as a video game greatly aided this understanding as well. From that point, I was able to transmute my perfectionist beliefs into more empowering beliefs (meditation and mindfulness helped with being able to notice limiting beliefs I was holding onto).

    Action was the ingredient that completed the recipe. The most predominate action-based habits I built were publishing blog posts and recording videos. Since I started Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great in September 2012, I’ve written a blog post every single week (with a few exceptions). Creating that commitment to action played a pivotal role in breaking out of the paralysis of perfectionism. If I had waited for myself to write the perfect blog post, I would’ve never released anything. It was in choosing to just put myself out there that catalyzed the process of becoming an exponentially better writer. By committing to continual action, I’ve practiced writing far more than I would have if I was stuck in the paralysis of perfectionism.

    More recently, on top of the weekly blog post habit, I’ve been releasing one video every day (on YouTube and Facebook). I record the videos in one take, and they’re unscripted except for jotting down a few bullet points beforehand. Executing the videos in such an impromptu fashion has improved my speaking ability, spontaneity, self-confidence, memory and mental clarity by leaps and bounds. Additionally, recording a video every day has “greased the groove” of my action-taking ability and has allowed the bright light of unconditional self-love to scatter away the shadowy phantoms of perfectionism.

    Dear Human: You’ve Got It All Wrong

    Dear Human. You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty Love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect, you already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And rising again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn’t need any adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks you to show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
    ~ Courtney A. Walsh

     
    Embrace imperfection, and accept where you are, while enjoying the journey. Live, learn and grow.

    You are worthy, no matter what.

    You are love.

    – Stevie P!

     

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