Ever since I was little, I’ve felt like I was missing “something.”
I felt as though there was something keeping me from being whole, as if I had been made with a piece missing. As I grew older, this feeling persisted until the day I realized that… we all feel this way.
And worse, the outside world encourages this feeling by constantly trying to tell us ‘what’ exactly is missing. Beer companies tell me they’ll give me confidence if I buy a six-pack, car commercials tell me I’ll realize peace of mind if I buy their car, and makeup ads… well, I don’t wear makeup. But if I did, they’d be telling me I’ll be beautiful and accepted if I wear their makeup. And don’t forget, you can’t ever be whole until you find ‘the one’ to complete you. Everyone knows that.
The truth is, we’re ‘imperfect’. There’s really no other way to put that. But here’s another truth for you: you’re being lied to, but not in the way you might think. Let’s talk about it.
Why You’re Perfect Just As You Are
I think every single imperfection adds to your beauty. I’d rather be imperfect than perfect.
– Sonam Kapoor
First, let’s talk about something important: perfection is a reference point. What I mean by that is, to decide something is perfect we need to look at all possible qualities of a thing and compare it to all other things like it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s perfect, just that it appears perfect based on everything that we know. Without anything else to compare it to, we can’t know that it’s perfect.
Why is this important? Because when we judge ourselves it’s based on this reference point we’ve created without ourselves. The problem is, we’re often judging ourselves based on a skewed reference point.
Especially in the age of social media, most of what we see are people’s good sides. Everything else is kept hidden behind the screen and only shared at the user’s discretion. This hurts the situation because our reference point becomes even more skewed as a result. That is why it’s more important than ever that people stand up and tell their story when they’ve experienced abuse, trauma, or challenges like clinical depression that leave us feeling broken.
After everything’s said and done, the result is that when we look at ourselves we see something that isn’t nearly as beautiful, interesting, fun, happy, or worthwhile as everyone and everything we see around us. Of course, it’s all a skewed image of reality, but our mind automatically passes judgment on ourselves based on this skewed image whether we like it or not.
This is the movie of our mind and it’s playing twenty-four-seven, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year. This is the lie I was talking about and it’s our subconscious which is lying to us. The reality is, you’re perfect just as you are and you always have been. We’re supposed to have these challenges and so-called ‘flaws’. They’re a part of each of us and it’s both the existence and overcoming of these things that gives life both meaning and beauty.
But I know, as nice as that might sound it doesn’t exactly solve the issue of how we see ourselves.
So, what are we supposed to do about it? You need to find a way to separate the movie from reality. At first, they seem inseparable. Afterall, it was just yesterday that you thought it was reality. But now that you know better, you see that might not actually be the case. You need to start challenging this notion and look for the truth.
It’s all about how we see things vs. how things really are. You need to break the misconception. This will help you gain clarity about yourself and the world around you and realize true freedom in your own skin.
How to realize true freedom in your own skin (because you’re already perfect as you are)
The truth is, the movie that exists now within our mind has been created as a result of years of conditioning, so there’s no overnight fix. You’ll need to be vigilant if you hope to unearth this false view and find your own true self. Having said that, there are two real efforts involved in doing so:
Internally, you need to practice seeing with greater clarity until the point in which you can actually differentiate when you’re viewing the movie of your mind and when you’re viewing reality.
A regular meditation practice can help here because it allows you to gradually uncover the inner dialogue, which is really our greatest marker for identifying the movie. Think of your inner dialogue as the dialogue of the movie itself. It’s your negative self-talk and it plays on repeat and affects how you think and act, so it’s really how this movie influences us. If you can begin to uncover your inner dialogue with greater clarity you’ll begin to be able to differentiate when you’re watching the movie and when you’re seeing clearly.
Externally, start exploring the stories of notable figures you look up to. If you don’t have many people you can think of, search out stories of the struggles and challenges of successful people. Realize that depression, anxiety, the death of a loved one, disease, negative self-talk, and setbacks are a part of all of us and see that you’re not all that different from others as you might think.
In addition, if you want to take it a step further, get out and talk to others. Depending on what you’re going through, there might be a group you can find to open up to. In general, though, just talking openly with others about their challenges and your own can be really valuable because it will change your perspective and show you that others see themselves just as you see yourself.
Discovering your passions and realizing happiness is important to living a fulfilling life, but if you can’t realize the truth of your own wholeness and find peace within yourself you’ll never be fulfilled.
You’re perfect just as you are and you’ve always been. It’s time to realize that you’re worthy and discover the strength that’s always existed within you. Search out the movie of your life and work to separate your perception of it from reality and you’ll gain the freedom to live true to yourself.