You are Already Perfect: Here’s Why

Photo by Bryan Apen on Unsplash

Photo by Bryan Apen on Unsplash


You are whole and perfect. As you are right. Now.

Depression, laziness, self-sabotage, fatty thighs, bored at work, lack of drive, procrastination, whatever you may think of as your “flaws” have nothing to do with your inherent worth. No merit is required to become your true self. No matter what “issues” or “weaknesses” you may have you are still flawless deep down.

There is a common narrative when it comes to personal growth and spirituality: You start out a horribly flawed human being, distractible and reactive. You work with various teachers and gurus, do thousands of hours of meditation, yoga, or whatever spiritual practice to buff out those flaws. As more and more flaws are buffed out and more good habits fill their place (created through structure and willpower), eventually you become closer and closer to perfection, like the teachers and gurus that inspired you on this path in the first place.

But the truth I have experienced in myself and witnessed in others more times than I can count is quite the opposite. People are born whole and perfect. That perfection is obscured because of the shit that gets piled on over the course of a life. Then, once they are on a growth path, spiritual practice becomes an archaeological shovel that slowly and carefully removes what’s been piled on until the true self is shown.

Even in situations with no abuse, a loving community, and conscious parenting, each of us receives a massive amount of conditioning from parents, siblings, peers, teachers, school, and society at large. “Don’t do that…” “You should…” “Nice children don’t…” really make an impact on a person over time. Throw in a few (or more than a few) heartbreaks and traumas and you get the “flawed” human being you know so well. 

It makes all the sense in the world that painful experiences may cause you to develop some patterns of self-protection, such as criticizing others or anger issues, that are labeled as flaws. The good news is all of that conditioning (or karma) can be healed. You can transcend and release your patterns and the pain that caused them, revealing your innate wholeness. 

However, this path to wholeness requires dedication and courage. Only by really feeling your feelings, setting down your familiar old patterns of pain (which is terrifying), and letting your guard down can you heal. It takes a special kind of bravery to really experience your fear, your pain, your past as you do with spiritual practices. But session after session, meditation after meditation, each time you turn inward with compassion you come a little closer to your true self. 

There is a beautiful story that describes this process.

Because of the mishaps of her parents, a young princess named Aris must be betrothed to a fearful dragon. When the king and queen tell her she becomes frightened for her life. But recovering her wits, she seeks a wise woman who has raised twelve children, twenty-nine grandchildren, and knows the ways of dragons and Men.

The wise woman tells Aris that she indeed must marry the dragon, but that there are proper ways to approach him. She then gives instructions for the wedding night. In particular, the princess is bidden to wear ten beautiful gowns, one on top of the other.

The wedding takes place. A feast is held in the palace, after which the dragon carries the princess to his bedchamber. When the dragon advances towards his bride, she stops him, saying, “As I take off each layer of my gown, you must also remove a layer.”  To this, he willingly agrees.

Then, taking off the first gown, the princess watches as the dragon sheds his outer layer of scaly armor. Though it is painful, the dragon has done this periodically before. But then the princess removes another gown, and then another. Each time the dragon finds he too must claw off a deeper layer of scales. By the fifth gown, the dragon begins to weep copious tears at the pain. Yet the princess continues.

With each successive layer, the dragon’s skin becomes more tender and his form softens. He becomes lighter and lighter. When the princess removes her tenth gown, the dragon releases the last vestige of dragon form and emerges as a man, a fine prince whose eyes sparkle like a child’s, released at last from the ancient spell of his dragon form.”

As you slowly remove the conditioning, removing the scales from your heart, your own wholeness and natural goodness will emit from you effortlessly. You don’t have to try to be more patient, compassionate, and loving. You don’t have to set goals to procrastinate less or eat better. As all the pain that was keeping your true self under wraps is integrated and healed it becomes increasingly easy to be the best version of yourself. 

Once you have found your true self, you can make it through anything. It makes me think Weebles, a toy from the ‘70s. They were figures with a spherical base, weighted in the bottom. You could tap, whack, or even punch it. It would flop down with the force of your blow, but no matter what you did it would always right itself again. The tag line was “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.” And once you have recognized your inherent wholeness, neither will you, no matter what knocks life brings.

Life will still happen when you’ve reached (or made significant progress toward) your true self. People will lash out and deep suffering will still come your way. You will still feel the hurt, perhaps even more so than you did before because of your increased awareness of your feelings. However, you’ll recover so much faster. The pain won’t cling to you in the form of grudges or spite. You’ll still suffer, but then you’ll move on with grace.

You were born whole. You were born perfect. Spirituality and religion aren’t there to make you “better.” They’re there to help you process the crap that is in the way of your unique wholeness and beauty. (If it doesn’t, it’s probably not a good fit for you.) No matter what flaws you may be dealing with, remember, you are perfect just as you are, right now.

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