You know that difficult, traumatic, sad or irritating situation? The one that feels so hard when you think about it?
What would make it perfect, instead?
This seems like a normal question, maybe pretty familiar to you, when processing an interaction or situation that seems less than ideal.
Something’s not working. Got it.
The mind will start offering ideas, suggestions and plans for a better, improved situation.
We all do it.
Well….if this situation is “x” (not good enough) then how can I change it?
Nothing wrong with pure, genius problem-solving.
Someone breaks their leg, we call 9-1-1. Someone loses their job, they put their resume together ASAP and start filling out job applications and networking. Someone learns they have an illness, they change their diet or get treatment.
But the mind sometimes then goes into high-rev fix-it mode, without remembering to question if something really needs fixing.
Or if it was actually possible to fix. At all.
We might save a lot of time by giving up, relaxing, pausing or waiting without moving into Solution Now mode.
Well, it may not be what you think.
With The Work one of the best ways is to go MORE deeply into the brainstorm about how a difficult situation could be improved. Get more thorough about it.
Really contemplate and see WHAT WOULD MAKE IT PERFECT?
Instead of crap. Instead of the way I’m seeing it.
This is Question 2 on the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet.
How do you really, really, really want this situation to change? What do you want that annoying person to do, or say, or think, or feel?
What would make it PERFECT for you, instead of awful, imperfect, frightening, or sad?
Spending more time on this question can make things surprisingly efficient.
So let’s take a look at an example.
Yesterday, I had a meetup at my home for The Work.
I always love the group who assemble. They are fun, interesting, fascinating people, every single time.
There’s usually at least one new person, often more.
Everyone writes a worksheet on a difficult situation, something they’re dealing with they don’t like.
Two people who came had very critical thoughts about someone they knew really, really well.
So, without advising the usual (to NOT judge yourself) they went for it, judging themselves, watching their own disapproval of the way they behaved.
I should be relaxed. I should be grateful. I should be willing to change, or leave, or walk away. I should be more disciplined. I should be more comfortable being alone. I should be less controlling.
Whatever it is….how would you change the situation if you made it perfect?
For me….I notice I have an idea of the ideal, amazing, brilliant, astonishing version of me.
Not this shy, boring, mediocre version of me. Not this never-wealthy, unsuccessful, low-impact, dull, un-funny, un-enlightened version of me.
This perfect version of me is exciting, smart, quick, successful, grateful, thrilled, peaceful, loving, sensual, and beautiful in that situation when I was anything but that.
When you see what you think “perfect” looks like, you can take it to inquiry.
Stay with that question today.
It helps you identify your thoughts, your plans for yourself, your expectations.
I get to see my thoughts about what a good person looks like, what the right thing is, what a person does or thinks or feels that I would admire.
……I can inquire.
I can ask the amazing question: is it true?
“Heaven: This is wonderful, I could stay here forever.
Hell: This is not quite perfect.”
~ Byron Katie in I Need Your Love–Is That True?
Can you notice how you bring yourself into hell when you think you are not quite perfect?
Who would you be, could you be, if you believed you were wonderful as you are, that you could stay as you are forever?
Who would you be without the belief in perfection being somewhere other than here, or someone other than me?
Bizarre, I know.
Very odd for all of us who have hated and criticized ourselves relentlessly for so much of our lives.
Now is as good a time as any to question your thinking.
Can you imagine not thinking you need to change anything about your personality, your defects, what you said, did or felt?
“When your image of the me takes a break, you’ll find all you are doing at that moment is just being open. You feel quite relieved that you are not trying to get to another moment or a better experience. You feel yourself just being in a very relaxed, easy sense of peace. You haven’t gained anything at all–you’re not smarter, you don’t necessarily know more than anyone else, and you haven’t suddenly become holy. If you are resting as your own true nature, then you feel that there is really nowhere else to go.” ~ Adyashanti