The goal of inner work is wholeness, not perfection.
In pursuing perfection we are destined to come up short. Yes, it’s noble to aim for excellence. Yet in striving for perfection we seek only part of the whole, for things to be one way only.
Wholeness, on the other hand, includes it all. The ways we are both strong and vulnerable. Solitary and interconnected. Despairing and hopeful. Wholeness includes our endeavors towards greatness, as well as our failures.
I’ve often fallen in the trap of perfection. Holding myself to severe expectations. Soldiering on, instead of resting. Pushing through, instead of asking for help. Suppressing my creativity, instead of risking vulnerability.
I’ve been guided back to the truth again and again. Wise women’s counsel. Nature’s silence. Children’s laughter. In moments when I cannot, these remind me of wholeness’ wider, more compassionate view.
Every obstacle, pain or imperfection provides an opportunity to invite in more love, more gratitude, more wholeness.
Contemplate the wholeness of a tree. It goes through various stages of growth and maturation. In each manifestation it is whole. It becomes more full, more itself with every passing year. It is more of what it is destined to become. Redwood. Ceiba. Oak.
Wholeness includes the process of coming into full bloom. A tree was once a small seed. Buried under the soil. Hidden. Both darkness and light needed for growth.
Our inherent wholeness calls us to take in more of life. Rather than cut off. Deaden. Obscure. We are more present, more full. Holding both sorrow and joy. Grief and elation. Death and birth. May this awareness help us unfold more of our humanity. More of our creativity. More of our goodness.
Pause and notice your breath. Tune into your body. Contemplate wholeness.
How am I already whole?
What is calling my attention?
What would it mean to more fully step into my life?
Additional Ritual Suggestions:
What honors your wholeness and is pleasing to your senses?
- Light a candle
- Make art
- Cook a hearty meal
- Prepare yourself a bath
- Adorn your body
Additional Journal Prompts:
- Who have I been? Who am I becoming?
- What new phase am I entering? What needs to get left behind?
- What opportunities are available for me to be more wholly in this life, at this present moment?
- What parts of me are exiled? What is begging to be found again? Longing for a home.
- What goodness is at the core of my life? What feels juicy, tender, full? How can I cultivate more of it?
2 thoughts on “Facing Into Wholeness: a New Year’s Reflection”
Elo This is such a gentle and great reminder to love ourselves totally… flaws and all. Thank you for sharing this because being a “type A” personality I too can be very hard on myself. Thanks for this beautiful reminder. 💕💕
Luv ya Paula
You’re welcome Paula! It was a reminder for me too. Thank you for being such a shining light, my sister. Love you