"God Made You Perfect". We hear these words all the time. But do we believe them? I mean, REALLY believe them? I would suggest we do not. If we did, the advertising industry would have a tough time selling billions of dollars of goods and services to make us somehow look and feel even more perfect.
They can only do this by being complicit in keeping us feeling less than perfect. “But we help people improve their self-esteem,” they may protest. Of course they do, but who helped take it away in the first instance?
Who Is Correct—God Or The Advertising Industry?
Perhaps others have also caused us to feel less than perfect? Apparently, God forgot to tell those who claim to be his spokespersons that making us feel guilty or inferior is the opposite to ensuring we continue to celebrate in the perfection that we already are. Or perhaps it is these spokespersons, often self-proclaimed, that feel they have a better grip on all-there-is than God him (or her, or both) self? These people are not limited to our institutionalized places of worship. They are all around us—their sense of self-importance gives them away.
But somehow, I do not think God forgot to tell anyone anything. Instead, we have learnt to master the art of not listening, of not paying attention, of believing we are not as good as the person next to us. For some reason we instead crave affirmation and acknowledgment from others (instead of from God directly), in the false belief they have the authority to make us feel better about ourselves.
I Need To Be Needed!
The more adoring “fans” we have, the more Facebook likes we can attract, the more Twitter followers we can seduce, the better this makes us feel, or so we tell ourselves. And this is not limited to uneducated or simple folk—quite the contrary, the more influential we become, the more we seem to crave this adoration. Some people at the highest rungs of power have the greatest need to be adored. Their appetite for affirmation is insatiable.
Where did this appetite for adoration come from? How did we devolve into a species craving so much acknowledgment from others? And what can we do, at a personal level, about it?
The Journey Started Here
In my previous blog, Part (1), we explored the choices we made at a soul level to be incarnated on this dense earth-plane. We also considered how the gift of being born into such a dense realm rapidly accelerates our personal evolution, should we so chose. Having made those choices at the soul level, once conception takes place, we are now firmly on the path of doing the best we can at the human level. Some do better than others. But we all return back to spirit one day, and it is there we shall have the chance to review the soul’s progress while in this physical incarnation, without judgement.
Prior to conception we are free. We are unbounded by human rules and regulations. This changes once conception occurs, and certainly after we are born. Just remaining alive in the first year or two of life demands of us that we surrender our soul liberation and instead begin to conform and comply to the demands of the world around us. Feeding schedules, sleep cycles, obeying basic commands, and learning to fit in and please our caretakers becomes critically important for our survival. And so it is by the time we reach the age of four or five, we have essentially learnt to forego the independence we enjoyed at the soul level in preference for the necessity of compliance to ensure our physical survival.
The BIG Loss
And then something BIG happens. Philosophers and mystics over the ages have written about this. But no one quite knows how this happens. Around four to five years of age, it is as though a part of us splits away leaving us feeling vulnerable and fearful of what the world has suddenly become. Our so-called imaginary friends fade away, or we are told by our caregivers they are not real. We begin to doubt who we are, and what we are. The mysterious world around us dims. We lose the sense we are one with all. The “I AM” gives way in favor of our caregivers’ definition of the world. Quickly we take on their prejudices, judgments and limitations. And we learn to obey.
We learn to fit into a world as defined by our society. A lucky few may have enlightened parents who recognize the God-perfection in their children and support their growth without fear and limitations. The rest find ourselves dropping into a place of increasing meaninglessness, without knowing it. In time, we replace our identities of being connected with the all-there-is in favor of being told we are separate from everything. “Life is a struggle,” we are told. “Only the strongest will survive!” The bully is born.
We learn to attract the attention of others hoping they will make us feel better about ourselves, not for once considering that they are on the same quest to find that which they too lost at a young age. Just as we begin to rebel against the world (for manipulating us into a meaningless place of conformance and compliance), the dating game starts and we look outside of ourselves for that which we lost at a young age to make us feel whole again. Struggles ensue for power and control. He, or she, who can command most attention wins. Or so we believe. But we are never truly satisfied. Others cannot replace the very thing we are searching for, the aspect of ourselves we became separated from at the age four or five--the true essence of who we are--and have since forgotten how to reconnect with.
Advertisers exploit this gnawing need to reconnect with who we really are, exploiting this feeling of loss and inner emptiness. Their goal is to make us believe we will feel better about ourselves once we buy the product or service they are paid to promote. Sure, a nice new shiny object will distract us for a short time, just as it did when we were the five-year-old, but then it’s promise of fulfillment wears off. We look around for something else to distract us. In the absence of understanding what it is we are actually searching for, we willingly spend more on short-term gratification. We are drowning in material objects, feeling increasingly lonely in our sea of cheap plastics.
Stop The World, I Want To Get Off
Then one day we wake up—some sooner than others. More often than not, the wakeup call comes at a price. This could be a family crisis, a job loss, a major health issue, an accident, or any other emergency which forces us to cease the manic quest for external attention, adoration, adulation, acceptance, or admiration. We stop, or are forced to stop.
As you look around you no longer recognize the world. Not much makes sense. Like an external observer looking in, you witness the madness of your previous manic life, knowing this is not who you are. Instead you become aware of that little voice deep inside needing to be heard, inviting you to rediscover it and begin the long and rewarding journey to reclaiming the true beauty that you are. No longer are you seduced into believing you are less than perfect. You are now free to choose what works for you and what does not, on your terms. You have the courage to find your purpose, despite the obstacles which will invariably be thrown up by those close and not-so-close to you.
The inner voice replaces the meaningless words being mouthed by others who would exploit you to their selfish ends. Stillness overcomes fear and anxiety. In time, you begin to remember who you are, a perfect expression of God. And as you do, the very thing you went in search of, your soul-aspect that you became separated from at a young age shows itself. You are finally coming home.
Some reach this place of inner peace before others. Some never get there at all, except at death. A few lucky ones never left it. However, it is available to all of us, without exception. Just believing God made you perfect is a significant step towards freedom. It is yours to claim—go for it!!
Parts 1 and 2 of this blog are broad themes supporting the Path to Freedom as described in Your RETURN to FREEDOM: A Practical Guide to Finding Lasting Inner Peace. Resources are included to support the reader through a process of returning to a place of inner stillness.
Meet the Author
Nigel B. Patterson was born in Tanzania, Africa and has lived in four countries across three continents. A significant life-crisis at the age of thirty-five shattered his carefully constructed ego-based self, and propelled him onto the path of the spiritual warrior. Today he is an author, coach and spiritual teacher living in Hawaii. He supports clients around the globe in their quest for freedom.