Wednesday, 16 March, 2011
Thank God(dess) I Don't Have to be Perfect
Perfection (doing it right) is not required to be a Spiritual Teacher. Actually, imperfection is required. Imperfection opens the way for connection and safety, which are absolutely required for a Teacher (more on this later).
- If I had to be perfect, I probably wouldn't be writing this and you wouldn't be reading this article.
- If I had to be perfect I would never be doing the work that I love so much.
- If I had to be perfect, my children would (probably) not be the happy, successful and wonderfully amazing people who they are (at least not yet).
- If I had to be perfect, I would not be enjoying my life regardless of the challenges and imperfections.
One of the things that I love about the work that I do is helping others to move into their spiritual work, to start being the Spiritual Teachers that they came here to be, to doing the "work" that they have always dreamed of. This doesn't mean that everyone is going to be doing counseling, healing or teaching in a structured way. But we all want to participate in the Earth Game and express our gifts.
If you are just "doing a job" and you don't do it really well or successfully, or you don't get recognition for your work, then it's not that big of a deal. That's not to say it doesn't feel bad to be unrecognized or unrewarded for your efforts, but if it's "just a job" then it doesn't cut to the core. However, if you are doing your "spiritual work", if you are courageous enough to expose your heart and share your authentic gifts with the world and then you are unrecognized and unappreciated, if you fail… Oh God, that would be devastating!
It takes great courage to be willing to share your gifts and take that chance that (again) no one will get it, no one will appreciate it and/or you will be horribly judged and fail. If that happened, it would be really bad. I know you've had experiences in the past (this life and others) just like this. Most likely you didn't fit in with your family or at school, not to mention any religious situation. They just didn't get you. They just didn't see you. It brings up the core wound of separation and shame.
I know a lot about shame. I lived the first twenty-five years of my life in shame and it took me many, many years of deep emotional work to get clear of it. Shame still raises its ugly head in my life. And that brings us to the confessions and imperfections.
Seven years ago, I was unhappily married to a psychologist, doing my best to be a "good mom" (which was my Sacred Word) despite the miserable marriage that I desperately wanted to get out of. One of our problems was money. I had none and having spent thirteen years being mom and homemaker, my prospects of getting a good paying job that would support my kids and myself was slim. At the time my children were still young; twelve, ten and five years old and I didn't want to stop raising them to work a nine-to-five job. And I just couldn't do that again. It would be torture! I knew that it was time to start doing my spiritual work, to be the intuitive facilitator and teacher that I'd dreamed of for so many years.
Eventually, the timing was right, I got the courage up and filed for divorce. I convinced myself that since I was following the correct spiritual path, then things would flow easily. How wrong I was! Before the flow could begin, I had to face my fears, rather brutally and right in my face. You guessed it… shame!
My husband and I had spent all my inheritance; remodeling the house (I do soooo miss that kitchen!) and my husband just had to buy (another) expensive new bike and (another) new guitar, and, of course having to get his Ferrari (yes Ferrari!) repainted. Oh, and he spent about $1000 a month on five different veterinarians and other healers trying to keep his fourteen year-old German Shepard alive. Meanwhile, I was doing everything I could to cut corners while he went out to lunch every day. Yes, I'm wallowing in victim here a bit, but I did tell you that I'm not perfect.
Anyway, I was out of money and he didn't make enough income working for the school district to support us. Then he got his inheritance, about a half a million dollars and immediately let me know that he wasn't going to let me have any of it and "blow through it like you did with your inheritance."
The divorce was long and ugly. My husband made it his mission to try to destroy me. He told everybody at the schools (and he is a school psychologist in our district) that I was crazy and to not let there kids come over to my house. I couldn't figure out why the moms were avoiding me until one woman said, "Now that I've met you and gotten to know you a bit, you need to know what's been going on every day after school when your husband picks up your daughter." I still remember that rush of shame that went through my body when she told me about what he had been telling them. All our dirty laundry had been repeatedly aired out, with his unique version showing me as the wacky, looser who couldn't make a decision without calling a psychic to tell me what to do (which was not true, btw).
We ended up in a court ordered psychological evaluation in which I had to defend myself about all kinds of stuff, including my interest in spiritual things like people who channel dis-embodied Beings. The custody of my daughter was at stake. More shame.
And he was happy to spend a whole lot of his inheritance to make sure that I got as little money as possible. Finally, I gave up a lot of money; over $100,000 to just end the battle. By this time my credit cards were maxed out and I owed my lawyer a lot of money too.
This was when I started my Spiritual Work. I convinced myself that now I was in the flow and happen quickly and easily like I'd read about for other Spiritual Teachers. The clients and money would just flow it. Silly me! This was when I had to face and clear more fear and shame. I was finally ready to share my special gift! What if nobody wanted it? What if I'd been fooling myself all these years? What if I failed? I had three kids to support and not that much savings left. My sister, a successful diplomat in the Foreign Service and my only family, repeated told me that I needed to get a job, work my way up and start saving for retirement. She didn't want me to turn out like our father who sort of followed his dream, at least being an entrepreneur with his own business, but went bankrupt repeatedly, ending up living on social security and dying broke. Finally, I told her that I wouldn't talk to her about that subject. Our relationship was strained for quite a while after that.
For the first two years of doing my Intuitive Counseling work I felt like a fraud. I was scared to death (Feel the fear and do it anyway!) when I worked with my first actual paying clients. It's a good thing they were phone sessions because I was a in a flop-sweat mess! At the end of every session I would feel like I'd totally messed up, convinced that they would be asking for their money back. Thankfully, the feedback I got was all positive. Eventually, I began to believe that I really could do this, that I really was a Spiritual Teacher!
My business didn't grow fast enough though. I got to (ha, ha) experience my worst fear. The credit cards got maxed out again and my savings was gone. I ended up like my dad after all, going through bankruptcy. It was a terrifying and humiliating (shameful) experience. I had to borrow money from a friend to pay for my lawyer and other friends helped me cover the rent and pay for food. It was very hard for me to ask for help and I certainly couldn't ask my sister, not after what had happened before.
But I learned something important. You don't have to be perfect to be a Spiritual Teacher! You don't have to have the perfect, healthy body, perfect relationships, perfect finances or an immaculate home with a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and high-end stainless steel appliances (I do miss that kitchen!) As a matter of fact, having all that stuff, being successful within the system can keep you locked into the system. After all, if you were successful within the system, why would you want to break free?
And you don't have to be perfect in your Spiritual Work. You don't have to say or write the perfect words make sure that you are helping others in the right way. Healing and transformation happen spontaneously in a space of safety and connection. Safety is created when there is no judgment, no need to be perfect. Connection, or rapport is created when you are willing to show your imperfections, to be a regular guy, just like them.
If you are not sure what your gift(s) are, here’s a hint. It’s something that is so natural and inherent in your nature that you aren’t even aware that it’s special. You might think that everyone is like you and could be surprised and hurt when you discover that they aren’t.
My desire and intention in writing this is to encourage you to share your gifts and become (more of) the Spiritual Teacher that you already are, in whatever way that expression works for you. People are waking up in droves right now (Kuthumi said that over 100 million people will be waking up in the next few years) and they need teachers and way-showers like you.
My hope is that you won't have to do this alone or to go quite so deeply into the shadow energy as I did. The key is being willing to feel the emotions to release the limiting patterns. I encourage you to find someone (or more than one) who can hold that safe space for you. Someone who understands how much courage you need to take this step. The world needs you, warts and all!
This message was originally posted here