I have made a pact with myself, a pact that is bringing such peace and freedom into my life, that I wonder why it took me so long to accept its importance. My pact is very simple; I release my need to control life and allow life to flow.
I have been a “control freak” perfectionist most of my life. Everything had to be done according to my notions of “perfect,” and the one that I was hardest on in this elusive quest for perfection was me. I felt that I needed to take care of every detail so that things were done “right.” That pursuit had a high cost because I demanded 110% of myself for every single thing that I did. I wasn’t content with 90% or even 100%. I had to push myself to give more than was possible or expected so that I could live up to… what??? What I believed I needed to show the world in order to be worthy?
I had to plan everything to the nth degree — my teaching, my contract work, my time with my children, even my own personal time. I had to be “on” all the time because I couldn’t deal with the guilt I imposed on myself if I didn’t. I couldn’t allow myself to relax and just be. I had set this impossible standard within my own mind that I felt compelled to live up to. I had to give more, do more, be more… and when I felt depleted, I just pushed myself to do and be even more.
I was also a compulsive worrier. What if all my planning didn’t work? What if I hadn’t thought of everything? What if something unforeseen happened? What if? What if? What if? I tried so hard to ensure that I had looked after what I imagined to be all the details required for a successful life. I tried to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect teacher, the perfect person. After I left my marriage, I added another monster worry to my extensive list of worries — the emotional cost of a broken family to my children. I was sick inside about the emotional pain they were experiencing and the long list of addictions and mental health problems the experts professed that they were bound to experience in the future. I remember a family friend telling me that even God doesn’t worry about what hasn’t happened yet. In his own way, he was telling me to relax and release my worries. I could understand his message, but I didn’t embrace it… not for many years. Not until recently.
I realized that all my planning and worrying and fretting had not prevented painful events from happening in my life or my children’s lives. Pushing myself beyond anyone’s expectations was the result of my own misguided sense of what I needed to do to have worth in the eyes of the world. In spite of their experience of a broken family and the hurting and grieving that it took to move on from that, my children matured into caring, happy, perceptive, wise-beyond-their-years individuals.
I realized that my need to control, to “make better,” and to strive for perfection stemmed from my own lack of self-worth. As I progressed on my inner journey of healing and spiritual growth, I also began to realize that I don’t need to do anything to be worthy. I am worthy because I am. I am worthy because I am a child of God. You are worthy because you are a child of God. We all are worthy, and we don’t need to prove anything to our Creator. We were created as expressions of His Divine Love, and we are loved always. There is nothing that we can do that will diminish that Love.
I finally “get” that I have intrinsic worth. All my striving to meet impossible standards of perfection resulted from forgetting who I am. I spent years trying to live up to expectations that were my own projections. I had no sense of self-worth, and every little bit of recognition I received from others fed my desire to gain more. I was looking to find my worth in what I felt reflected back from the world. When recognition came, I felt elated; when it didn’t, which was so often the case, my inner deflation caused me to think of myself as “less than.”
I realize now that I was looking in all the wrong places for reflections of my worth. I needed to look within, and when I did, I found a welcoming inner space of peace and love. I found my worth and my identity within me, where it had been all along, waiting for me. As I have opened into my relationship with God and the knowledge of who I am, I have also opened into the welcome freedom of release from control and worry.
As I allow myself to just be — to rest easy knowing that I am loved always — I am releasing my need to control and to try to attain perfection. Perfection was within me all along — it is in the Love that God has for me… and for you. You and I are worthy because God created us. We are expressions of His Divine Love and creative power. We can relax and open into the ultimate acceptance and freedom — God’s Love.
And you know what? As I relax into being, I am experiencing such a sense of openness to all that is and to the love and insights that flow through me. I am filled with gratitude for the amazing gifts of beauty that surround me and the expressions of love that flow into my life. I don’t have to prove anything; I just need to open into the Love that I am and be an expression of that Love. As I do, Life flows and I am at peace.
My prayer for you is that you remember who you are as God’s Son or Daughter and that you open into the Love that is within you. You are loved always and unconditionally. You have intrinsic worth because you are. Blessed Child of God, I pray that you realize that the recognition and worth that you seek from the external world is already within you, waiting for you to remember. The real you is worthy and loved eternally.
I see who you are… at the core of you… beneath all the trappings we don to exist in this world. I pray that you will recognize who you are and step into the freedom of releasing the need to control and allow yourself to be… whole, worthy, an expression of Divine Love. Namaste, my spiritual sisters and brothers.