Attempts at living the “Perfect” Life

Looking for the perfect place to rest in
Photo by Hal Ozart on Unsplash

There’s a loop that I often relive.

On its surface it comes out of a desire to excel. To shine. To live life at this imagined level of intensity and accomplishment that would make my life feel meaningful, feel successful.

But this loop has barely delivered on it’s elusive promises.

Instead, it has become an excuse to keep putting off living fully for this ‘perfect day’. Instead of fully engaging with the ups and downs that each day inevitably brings, it’s become an escapist imagination where the mind retreats into every time the ongoing day goes out of it’s idea of perfection. What simply happens is that whenever the day doesn’t go as I would have wanted it to go, I retract my energies, my involvement, imagine instead how I would deal with this setback in the most perfect way possible….tomorrow. And today gets written off mentally. Unacceptable in my insatiable desire to knock off perfect responses to life and it’s challenges, day after day.

Why do we do this?

Why do I do this?

I feel it’s because it’s far easier to emotionally withdraw from a game that isn’t going your way, and to play it again when you’re feeling better(always tomorrow), than to take whatever mood and energy one is in, and accept doing whatever needs to be done, at 50% capacity. Because 50% effectiveness feels like a loss. A defeat. Only 100% is what the ego craves as a victory.

Whatever be the excuse, the end result is perpetual procrastination and training the mind to give up, instead of digging in.

So what’s the solution?

To give up this conceptualisation of some imaginary perfection. To take all of the mental energy getting dissipated in comparing each passing moment against some conceptualised excellence, and divert all that energy into the Now. To take away the escape hatch that the mind runs into at the slightest sign of discomfort or the situation not playing out as the way it wants it to. To disconnect from joy of imaginary ‘perfect’ situations, ‘perfect’ behaviour, ‘perfect’ day….into the here and now. To take the focus from an ‘excellent’ outcome that gets me some stars from the audience, to the ‘excellence’ of input…putting my 100% into everything that I’m doing. Into every moment. The moment that is right here. Always is. Not the one in the future. But doing the best Now. In this very instant. The next moment will then take care of itself as I will reach it with a mind more focused on delivery 100%. Maybe I’ll only be able to actually deliver 10% right now. But by focusing on it, it could go to at least 11%. And then by regular practice, it can only improve, not degrade.

So the question is then not of how to deliver ‘perfect’ days, the perfection of which can be marred by the mistake of one unaware moment….but, how to deliver this moment 100%. If I missed, then here’s another one. And another. And another. No more waiting. No more procrastination. But living in the present moment. Not to enjoy some imaginary perfection…but to enjoy 100% living. Now. Here. What else is there?

Conflict

mandy-beerley-154517What is conflict?

A battle of two thoughts.
One uncomfortable, but right. And you know it’s right.
The other comfortable, but you’ve started to become aware that you need to drop it.

It’s like standing at the edge of your circle of comfort somewhere…and knowing that your next step is going to take you outside it. And yet also knowing that it is the step that one must take or risk being stuck.

It is the mush of feelings inside as you delay the inevitable. As you deliberately close your eyes towards it and hope that it will just vanish away.

…..but it never does.

It stays there. Waiting.

Then either one day life just forces you to confront it. Or you pay in some way or the other for not facing up to it.

Our energies have an amazing way of growing whatever we put our attention to. When we’re living our lives grateful for whatever is happening, the abundance grows in our life. Live it focused on everything that’s not exactly how you’d like it to be, and misery and lack grows.

When we stay in conflict, we end up putting a lot of energies into the feeling of being stuck in life. Being incapable of deciding. And guess what? The more time we remain there, the better we get at getting stuck in our lives. At feeling confused and unsure. At being always tentative about the obvious steps that need to be taken. Slowly even the simplest of the obvious steps become a chore. And this confused state becomes the most comfortable and easy state to get into. We become capable of getting into it at the blink of an eye. Even though it still remains an uncomfortable feeling, there develops an odd comfort in staying in it. It starts feeling much more comfortable than the apparent discomfort of the next step that we have to take and are avoiding.

But every once in a while, life manages to nudge us over.
We find ourself suddenly standing at the spot that we’d been so effortfully and painfully avoiding for sooooo long. And then it hits us.

That the spot doesn’t feel so bad.
That it doesn’t feel even twice as bad as we’d imagined it to be.
In fact…..
It feels the very opposite.
It feels good…
Hmm…..
“This is nice.”
“This is not so difficult as I thought it’d be”
“This did not completely destroy me from inside”
“Hey I feel so free”
“Hey I can’t believe I did it”
…..and so on and so forth are the kind of thoughts that rush into our heads then.

But this moment is precious.
It shows us the errors of our previous mindset. Gives us a chance to latch on to it, and learn from it.
But it gives a very narrow window indeed.
For the old mindset is so deeply ingrained, so well conditioned, and we’ve become so so good at getting stuck with all the excess practice we’ve got, that it doesn’t take us long to get stuck again.

And so the loop repeats.
Endlessly,
Till we finally learn 🙂