Sunday, 29 December 2013

Accepting Your Flaws - Gateway To Change

Mirror Man Showing Human Flaws
Flaws Can Be Beautiful If We See The Jewels In The Mire

How do you feel about your flaws? 

Those aspects of your personality that you are probably not too fond of? 

What if I told you that the changes you desire and the peace that you want, depend on those flaws getting your full acceptance and attention?

Sometimes in life we are just going through the motions. Our lives are full; we are busy, working, raising a family, distracting ourselves with comfort foods and alcohol, and we are slightly aware that we have characteristics we are not too fond of. We often feel too powerless to change and when we try, we fall flat on our faces. It is so easy to go back to distractions; so easy to fill our time so that we don't have to face ourselves.

Our Flaws Feel Socially Unacceptable


Boy On Earth Gazing Moon Pema Chodron
Life Always Mirrors What We Need To
Know Until We Have Learnt It All.
The reason it often feels we are powerless to accept our flaws is that they often feel very instantaneous. We react instantly when someone pushes a button that has been pushed many times in our past, so that now it's bright red and flashing, waiting for the next experience to trigger the same reaction. And more so the flaws that feel closest to our chests, the ones we try to deny and hide, those that feel socially unacceptable. Even though many people have the same character traits, we think we are the only ones and beat ourselves up over this.

I realised just this week that my own weak spots need my attention and love. And for a short while I was beating myself up for not being able to change these feelings and characteristics. Mindfulness has gone out of the window for a little while, but I now understand that the very fact that I'm starting to acknowledge some painful personality quirks is the beginning of acceptance and change.

If we have personality flaws that affect our way of life, the way we relate to people and the world around us, and we are in denial of these flaws, perhaps projecting them onto others, not seeing the mirrors all around us highlighting what is going on, it can be impossible to allow change in this area. And the acknowledgement is the beginning of genuine inner peace.

Those Same Flaws Protected You For A Long Time - Go Easy On Them


It isn't easy acknowledging character flaws. It isn't easy to see that those things we do and the ways we behave have been causing a lot our suffering when relating to the world around us, but we must begin to look at these sore spots with more tender eyes. 

If we have traits of needing to be right, or viewing others as wrong, or we blame others for our problems, this could have been very worthwhile at one point in our lives. If we were brought up in an environment where we were bullied, or put down, or we were told by adults as children we were wrong or bad children, these flaws that may be causing problems now were not always causing us problems. They were protecting us from an often frightening world. So that we didn't shrivel up and fall apart in life we needed to project blame, we needed to make others wrong for their views and opinions because it helped us to cope with the painful suffering we felt deep inside, that of not feeling good enough.

WELCOME your shadow self - bring it into the light!



But here we are, it is time. Time to face and embrace all of who we are, and this begins with our flaws. The dark side, our shadow self, whatever name you want to give it, needs to be deeply understood. It cannot be some surface acknowledgement and acceptance, just writing down our flaws and saying lightly that we accept them. It needs to be felt inside, to be breathed in.

I have begun to feel the feelings that come up when relating with others and I take a deep breath and say WELCOME... and I follow this with MAY I BE FREE OF SUFFERING.

At first it just feels like words, but to feel the feelings is so necessary. Once we can acknowledge our traits, we can look at those people who pushed our buttons with new eyes. Perhaps they were right, or we were wrong; perhaps we were both right, perhaps we are just on different paths. And we can begin to take responsibility for our inner world and in turn for the projections we place out there. And 'out there' is really 'in here'. 

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ―John Muir


We can also begin to be more tender; begin to practice loving kindness towards those raw, sore parts of ourselves that have been screaming for our attention for so long. 

Woman Holding Face Inspirational Quote
To Always Think Bad Of Others Shows That Something Isn't Quite Right
With Ourselves. We Tend To See The World Not as 'It' Is But As "We" Are. - Quote

How do we do this? 

If you are new to this there are many ways to discover your flaws. Byron Katie has a method that allows us to see the projections we may not be seeing ourselves when relating to those who push our buttons.


You can also read Debbie Ford's 'The Dark Side Of The Lightchasers', a book I read many moons ago, which I think I am going to revisit soon.

Another way is simply to be aware when you react to someone or something. If it's a regular feeling, you have ask yourself what is it that you're feeling? Do you feel that the other person is bossy, manipulative, aggressive or not listening? Take these traits and see if you can own them yourself. You will often find that those traits in others that push your buttons the most are the very traits in you that are asking for your attention and acceptance.

And remember to polish your mirror regularly. Questions are a gift.

Be tender with yourself. You are not a bad person, you are not wrong, you are simply going to address and acknowledge a part of you that is no longer working for you. And it's time to let it go and allow change to happen.


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