Support and (im)Perfect Life



Last week, one of my spiritual direction clients was talking about resisting practice because of feeling so angry about life and the world.

I suggested taking the anger to the practice mat and then said, “Don’t deny yourself that which supports you because you don’t feel perfect.” 

We can give ourselves permission to call upon the very things that help us whether we feel at our best or at our worst. We can give ourselves permission to call upon the very things that help us whether the world feels like it is falling apart around us or as though everything is sunshine and strawberries.

I’ve said it before, and will continue to repeat it: Practice Makes Possible.

When we practice, we have a little more centeredness with which to face the world. When we practice, we connect enough to make better decisions. When we practice, we can better find the strength with which to serve. When we practice, we can remember that the world is varied and so are we. We can breathe it all in. We can exhale. We cannot carry the world, but we can shoulder one small part of it. Practice helps.

We may never feel perfect. The world may never feel perfect. The reality is, imperfection is part of what makes us whole. Wholeness is perfect, even in all of its flaws. Things are as they are. We change them by changing our relationship to them, and this starts inside ourselves. If I make a subtle shift within, that adjusts all of my relationships on out: to family, friends, to world events, to the kid on the street, to the person in line, to bombings and war, and injustice, and explosions, and music wafting toward me on Spring air.

Take it to the mat. The altar. The bench. The studio. Take it to the walk. The bike ride. The conversation.

Find the support you need. Please. We need you well supported. 

8 Responses to “Support and (im)Perfect Life”

  1. Karen

    i worked with Pride on my aggravation and it came to me in a dream that I finally figured out why I have a hard time finding friends who put as much into the friendship as I do. If not for taking it to the mat and working with it [not trying to name it but just letting it come on its own] I would never have come up with the real answer to a long time frustration of mine.

    • Thorn

      Karen, thank you for this example. It feels really helpful. Just sitting with things and letting them be has been a great teacher for me.

  2. Luis A. Valadez

    To contemplate change in our thoughts, and formulate that thought into a cohesive Will to engage in our imperfections sends reverberations throughout our Selves. I know that in the past I would dis-engage, because in some way I was taught that you do not bring “negativity” into the Sacred.

    But what I have learned the difficult way is that the “negative” is just as sacred as the “positive.” Our false dichotomy splits our souls into a schizophrenia that makes it difficult to reconcile and recognize our inherent Wholeness. At least, that’s the way I see it. Thank you for the reminder: practice makes possible!

    • Thorn

      “Negative” or “positive” it is all part of the flow! I appreciate that in electricity these words are not good or bad. They are simply descriptive.

  3. David Salisbury

    One of the reasons I wanted to study Feri was because I’ve been told by “lightworker” friends to “stop being an angry activist…that anger will destroy you some day.” I never felt satisfied by this well-intentioned approach. Though while I acknowledge that anger fuels my work in a lot of ways, I also know that there is a need for softening and listening and stillness, if for anything, to become more effective. This is hard and it takes time. To not immediately respond feels like like my warrior-self is being cowardly sometimes. The deeper lesson I’m learning is that the warrior who sits and listens first isn’t a coward, but a master of his art. Mastering that art becomes more of a reality each day, however slow it feels.

    • Karen

      You said it well and I feel the same way many times. I truly thought it was patience I needed to learn only to find it was more like sitting in Silence with it that gives me the insight I need for breakthroughs to happen. Just by Not trying to attach a label to things from the get go has helped a lot with letting me keep an open mind on the matter. It has been easier to get to the root of the real reasons for me to feel about something and own the feeling.

      • Thorn

        Anger can be helpful. Hatred is poison. Too much anger not balanced by anything else can indeed destroy us. But so can avoiding looking at anything the world names “negative”. We need it all, but yes, sometimes we need to not move so quickly all the time.

        what is interesting is that by allowing ourselves space to integrate in stillness, when we *do* need to act right away, we are far more accurate than before.

  4. Fourge

    I think I’ve been so intrigued with working with those nasty parts of mine (because in our society we’re taught to ignore the bit that isn’t helpful), and growing or recapturing my compassion for working with the little devils that I forget about calling in on those allies, or even acknowledging them in the first place. I’ve been neglecting that which can help. I’ll tell you, doing the hard work with no support is definitely one hard pickle. I received a lesson some days ago of the same stuff, that I’ve been doing all my work all alone. And even though help wasn’t been offered, it didn’t mean I couldn’t ask. In a more religious and spiritual point, there is help, both in tools and of myself that I should be using for mine craft. I learned something valuable of myself, and something I can, should, and will be changing, so I humbly thank you for that :^)


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