“the key is knowing a person’s suchness. we do not expect a person always to be a flower. we have to understand his or her garbage as well.”- thich nhat hanh
some of us were raised to only feel worthy if we’re good. if i did anything wrong, or less than perfect, i felt shame, and disappointment from my parents. i didn’t want to let them down, so i was always competing with others, trying to be the best, so i could receive the praise and attention from my parents – what i confused as love.
i guess you could say that i was afraid that my parents wouldn’t love me if i wasn’t perfect. i internalized these feelings, and came to believe that i couldn’t love myself unless i was perfect.
there are a ton of problems living this way. striving for perfection will always leave you feeling unfulfilled and unloved, because perfection is simply not attainable. god made humans to be imperfect. living this way also leaves you thinking that everyone else must be perfect and that you’re the only one who isn’t, which leaves you less inclined to share with anyone your deficiencies, or problems. which can be a lonely place.
the truth is that we all have problems. we all have character defects. we all have sinned. we all have garbage and have had to deal with life’s unpredictability.
when someone in my life is struggling, instead of judging him, and trying to control or change him, i pause and try and understand him. i try and see his flower and his garbage. i try to see deeper into his soul and get in touch with the nature of his wrongs. and in listening with my heart, i connect and find compassion, and our relationship improves.