As long as we try to transcend ourselves,
reach for the sky,
pull away from ground and into spirit,
we are heroes carved in stone.
We stand atop the pillar alone
blind to the pigeon’s droppings.
Do not try to transform yourself.
Move into yourself.
Move into your human unsuccess.
Perfection rapes the soul.
Wow, Woodman doesn’t mince words here does she? The final line lands exactly where it must— right between the eyes.
The are many invitations for exploration and discovery in this reflection. Here are a few:
- Are there ways in which I try to escape the messiness of mundane human existence with all its imperfections?”
- Do I try to construct or present myself according to an image that is not truly my own?
- Do I reach, strive, hustle to BE some-thing or some-one that I am not?
These are a few of the many ways we try to transcend ourselves.
Through these efforts of transcendence, we create a false self which becomes carved in stone.
What we are invited to do instead is to move into ourselves — with all our imperfections, gifts, warts, talents, and unsuccesses.
Why? Because that is who we really are.
What does it mean to move into yourself?
Moving into yourself means to go inside and discover your authentic truth — your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, values, desires, likes and dislikes.
Moving into yourself means to tune into your body and notice what it is speaking to you.
Moving into yourself means acknowledging who you already know yourself to be, including your inconsistencies, your super-powers, your self-betrayals, and your sacredness.
It’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. But it’s the most important information of all.
When we try to transcend ourselves we are outer focused rather than inner focused. We miss the valuable self-discovery that is continuously being streamed to us from our felt experience and our intuition.
If you miss this it will cost you dearly.
Have you ever made a decision based on the strong urge for transcendence or perfection?
For example maybe your body, your personality, your relationships, your children, or your home (as a perceived reflection on your worth and value) didn’t measure up in your eyes of perfection so you avoided situations where these “imperfections” might be revealed. We’ve all done this.
When we turn ourselves into a Thing to be remodeled we become rigid.
We lack animation (life) and we become stuck in place — like stone.
So many of us are waiting for perfection before we will consider dating again, going to a yoga class, applying for that new position, building a new wardrobe, or inviting someone to lunch.
Moving into you — as a revolt against perfectionism — is the beginning of the deepest and truest of all transformations.
Notice what happens in your body when you read the words,”Move into your human unsuccess.”
Your first thought may be, “Such a doable task!” It may feel like deep permission, or it may feel like chaos and a complete loss of control.
And that’s where perfection will want to step in and stop the chaos.
But for what purpose? Perfection bends to the will of the mind, trying to satisfy the demands of delusion, false assumptions, and superficial soulless agendas.
Perfection is a defilement, a denigration, a domination, and a debasement of the soul.
If we are to slay perfectionism and move into our human unsuccess, mind must be seen and mastered so that she can peacefully co-exist with soul.
Moving into ourselves requires dropping into the body, sensing, feeling, and seeing.
Moving into ourselves requires rigorous self-honesty.
Invitations for reflection, exploration, and action:
- What does it mean to you to move into yourself, or to move into your human unsuccess?
- Because attaining near-perfection can often feel (temporarily) satisfying, what happened next? In other words, what happened after you became the heroine carved in stone, standing alone?
- If you’ve ever struggled with perfectionism, how did your perfectionism impact your soul?
© Vicki Tidwell Palmer (2021)
Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman’s Body and Soul (©1998)
By Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick
(Reprinted with permission)
*This post is from the Coming Home to You Series. Visit this page for the backstory of the CHTY Series.