What’s wrong with you?
Make a list.
Go for it, hold nothing back, no one will see this list but you. Think about you at home, at work, with others, with partners and wish-they-were partners, in traffic, at the dentist, in bed.
Notice there IS a list.
Notice the feelings that come up as you write the list, how they seem to validate or prove that there is something – many things! look at that list!- wrong with you.
It’s kind of long isn’t it? Kind of never ending.
The basic you is clearly in need of some repair.
And if some wise expert came along and intoned, “You are already perfect just as you are; there’s nothing wrong with you,” you might be delighted and wish fervently to believe them. You might even agree in theory. You might feel great for a little while.
But that feeling good doesn’t last, because deep down, whether others think you are all together or not, you know you are flawed, imperfect, messed up.
You might cover it up.
But you know.
There seems to be a right way to be, a right way to feel, a right way to live. And this- you- is not it.
Now take a moment to imagine life with you totally perfect in every way. Some magic wand has come along and made you sociable, kind, thin, not addicted to anything, never riled, successful, hardworking, in a long-term relationship.
Is it enough? Or is there a sense that the problems just move on to something else, that a new sense of dissatisfaction pops up?
Notice the sense of ‘Now what’?
Could it be that the Self-story-we-call-“Me” needs, WANTS, to believe it’s messed up?
It needs a problem. It needs many problems.
So even if all the inquiry somehow worked, or all that meditation or therapy suddenly transformed us, or if someone tried to take away the story of “me" as a problem, we might still find ourselves hanging on anyway, saying, “No, this is true, this flawed mess is me. Don’t tell me I’m good as is, because I’m clearly not.”
We don’t want to be fixed. We don’t want to be “perfect.” Not when it really comes down to it.
Because dissatisfaction with our lack of perfection, and unhappiness with ‘Me’, is one of the main ways the sense of self perpetuates and feels so real.
That story is not going to fall away so easily.
So what do we DO about it?
Even though the mind goes right to fixing again, right to DOing something to solve a problem…
Maybe there is no fixing.
Maybe instead of fixing, we might be permitted to be broken, imperfect, messed up.
Maybe there’s actually beauty and value and purpose in imperfection.
Even when you’re angry, or sad, or misbehaving, or being unlovable or uncaring, maybe you’re good and interesting and beautiful, exactly as is?
Could it be?
Now there’s a concept.
“to be human is to be broken and broken is its own kind of beautiful." —r.m.drake