From the moment that we begin to understand our environment, to become cognitive to our surroundings and ourselves, we find that we are showered with love and attention. It comes from many different sources: our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, their friends, their colleagues, strangers on the street that stop to coo. We learn from the outset that we are loved, that we are special. As time passes, this concept is challenged. As we grow older, the attention that we receive reduces as our importance in the every day lives of those around us also reduces. It is inevitable, it has to be. Parents need to return to work; perhaps another sibling comes along who demands our parents attention; as we grow, we become more secure and more able to fend for ourselves; life's priorities change. There is just one problem in all of this, no one tells us this is going to happen.
As the attention becomes less, you try to figure out why? Did you do something wrong, something that has upset your parents? You begin to fight for attention. You make more noise, you throw tantrums, you cry, you begin to do crazy things, you act up. This only results in punishment and it becomes clear this was the wrong strategy. Then, you might try some different tactics. You begin to over eat, hoping that someone will notice that something is wrong with you, that they will turn to you and give you back the missing attention and love. Perhaps you begin to take out your frustrations on the perceived cause of your problem and you become cruel towards your younger sibling. These also prove futile, so what can you do next? If all of the external factors fail, what is left? There is you.
Logic leads you to start to believe that you must have done something that has caused this loss of love and attention. This is not a sudden epiphany moment. It takes time to fully take hold, like some evil darkness that takes root in your heart, and slowly, imperceptibly, spreads its tendrils around your heart, until it has you. You begin to perceive that you have done something wrong, that some action that you took was the cause of your downfall, that something about you is the reason. If we are born as perfect, here then is the moment when we cease to be anything but perfect. Our illusions are shattered and from this moment on, we begin to find fault with ourselves, we begin to see ourselves differently.
At the same time these thoughts are occurring to us, so too are we learning. We begin to understand the concepts of tall, short, fat, thin. We go to school, we are surrounded by many other children, none of whom wish to be seen as any different, none of whom wish to stand out from the crowd, popularity is everything. An animal instinct rears its head, it is the most primeval of all, survival. Evolutionary theory is based upon survival of the fittest, and it is no different in this situation. The strong prey on the weak. Anything that is different is ceased upon, name calling occurs, and simple teasing often leads to bullying. For both the bully and the bullied, the concept of different, of imperfection, is reinforced through the act. The perpetrator would not act, if imperfection did not already exist in their own heart. Again, we are having the idea that we are less than perfect enforced upon us.
In the New Testament, we are taught that Jesus came to the material Earth to free humanity from sin. This teaches us that we are born as sinners, that even before we are able to think for ourselves and to form any kind of conscious thoughts of our own, we have sinned. I personally reject this notion, but it is there, in the Bible, nonetheless. Once more, we are taught that we are less than perfect, that we have wronged and that is some way, we need to atone for this error -an error that we did not even commit.
We begin to look in the mirror and to see in our reflection the faults and the flaws in ourselves. This is a process that continues throughout our lives. Even now, I catch myself doing it. I look at the white that now grows on my chin if I allow my stubble to grow for a week or more; I see the grey hairs on my head, hiding amongst my blonde; I see a line of hair that slowly recedes, revealing a forehead too large; I see eyebrows that are too bushy, too black; I see frown lines; I see a ear with a squared off top; I wish I were taller; I wish my back didn't arch as much; I see an eyelid that wants to drop when I begin to get tired; I see myself as overweight. I see so many faults in myself, it is all too easy to do so.
Every day, I know that I fight against the over whelming urge to think of myself as wrong, ugly, and no good. Everything points to these things. I've written before about my adolescent years, I written before of my time being single and my struggles to find love. There is a large body of evidence that can be brought forth if needed, to prove everything that I believe about myself. This belief that I formed from a very early age and that I have reinforced, time and time again, by every negative experience and by each time I have failed. I add to the growing case file with every rejection, with each new failing of my attempts at finding love. I am the one at fault, it is some flaw in the way I look, some problem with my personality, it is me. Conclusion: I am unlovable.
But there is one huge flaw in the case against myself - I made it. In fact, there is no fact, I made it all up. It is a set of beliefs and nothing more. Beliefs can be challenged and beliefs can be changed. There was a time when people believed that the Earth was flat, that it was at the centre of the universe, that walking on the moon was impossible. These beliefs were challenged and thinking was altered. So too, can I do the same with the thoughts that I have of myself. So too can you. There is something that is very difficult for people to accept. We learn to accept so many things in life, but this one, I believe, is the hardest of them all: I am perfect.
You are perfect. That is your starting point. That is where the journey must begin. Inside of you is a heart that beats to the rhythm of life. Life is the living, breathing, material form of love. Your heart is love, pure love. You have to begin to love yourself and in so doing to accept the truth, that actually, when you strip away everything, to reveal your bare soul, there you will see perfection. You are a miracle. You are the result of evolution's greatest creation. The work of millions of years, the culmination of billions of years that stretch all the way back to the very dawning of creation itself. Your journey did not start the moment in which you were born, nor the moment in which you were conceived. It was in the moment of the Creation, when the spark of love ignited the big bang, that your journey began. Love was the beginning and love will be the end. You are love and so you need to manifest that in all that you do. Become love, become your true self, and accept the truth, that you have always been and will always be perfect. Just be you.