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A Real Time Story of Tending the Inner Perfectionist

I want to share a personal story today about how I tend to myself when things feel difficult or I get activated.

As a recovering perfectionist, I tend to fall into thinking that I need to do everything just right in order to be seen, validated, and loved. I’m guessing this is true for a lot of you, also. Or that you have some version of needing to be or act a certain way in order to belong, feel enough, or that you’re ok.

This sweet little perfectionist part of me was stirred up a couple weekends ago as I prepared to hold the ceremony for my brother’s wedding, officiating this very important moment for him and his wife.

What would happen if I messed up? What if everything wasn’t absolutely perfect? Would I still be loved or would it deem me unlovable? Would my family and the people attending the wedding think less of me if I didn't do a good job? And if so, would I be ok?

This was some of what was operating under the surface in the days prior to the wedding.

I knew a part of me was activated because of the sensations I was experiencing in my body. And when I tuned in to listen to them, I could hear the stories they were sharing with me about what we needed to do, and who needed to be, in order to be loved.

I've gotten to know this part of myself intimately over the past 10 years, so I'm familiar with these stories. Sometimes it takes a while to get to know your inner stories and inner parts. But because I've already built this relationship, once I felt her activated I immediately started to tend to this young, fearful one inside me.

How I tended to myself:

  • I let my inner one’s voice and concerns be heard and felt

  • I moved my body and vocalized to not allow the energy to become stuck

  • I cleared my energy and grounded it in connection with the earth and the sky

  • I talked to that young part of me lovingly and held her in my heart, letting her know I was there

  • I assured her I’d always love her no matter what happened (even though she didn’t believe me)

  • I ingested some plant medicine allies, and called on others in energy form to help support me

  • I walked barefoot on the land, and asked the Earth and my guides for support

  • I called in the elements and directions to help hold me as I held the container of the ceremony so I knew I wasn’t doing it alone

  • I asked a few friends for energetic support during the ceremony

As you can note from my list above, I tended to my body and my energy, and always talked to myself with compassion and unconditional love.

I also asked for a lot of support outside of myself from the land, elements, plants, and dear human friends because a lot was activated.

I’m telling you this because we often think that we have to get to some perfect state in order to feel like we belong. We have to get to a place where we always feel confident, calm, easeful and in our power.

But in truth, no matter what is happening, this too can belong.

My little anxious perfectionist can belong right alongside the part of me that was anchored in my power, connected with the wider forces of nature, and confident I could hold a beautiful ceremony.

This is what cultivating the experience of belonging looks like in real time.

Belonging is not a state to achieve where everything is perfect, and where you’re never feeling insecure or triggered.

It is a consistent tending and cultivation of a nourishing network, both within yourself and outside of yourself from the Earth beings and any close human community as well.

Every part of you belongs, right now, just as you are.

*You don’t have to eradicate your shadow.* *You don’t have to attain a state where you never get activated* (this is actually impossible and is most likely stemming from a belief that the little perfectionist in you has) *You don’t have do heal more in order to be enough.* *Your sense of worth has nothing to do with where you are on your healing journey, what you've learned or haven’t learned, what you've done in your life or haven’t done.*

It’s not contingent on anything else, other than your own ability to accept who you are.

Can you turn towards yourself with love and compassion? Can you meet your shadow with curiosity instead of judgement?

This is juice of what we explore in the Golden Stone Wisdom School.

We explore how to meet ourselves with grace, and ally ourselves with the living world around us for support.

All of the tools I shared above, we explore in the 6 month program (body awareness, nervous system support, energy tending techniques, uncovering inner stories and beliefs, growing self-compassion, developing relationships with plants, connecting with the land, befriending the elements, learning how to create a sacred container with the elements and the directions.)

And through this exploration, day by day, we slowly find that the stories that once controlled our lives have less power over us. We step more fully into honest and loving relationship with ourselves, the Earth, and the spiritual layers of Life that are always here to remind us of our worth.


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