A friend of mine told this story recently: “I was living in San Francisco which has a large population of homeless and poor. Each day it was painful to notice the contrast between the beautifully dressed, seemingly self-confident people, and the poor who shared the streets with them.”
“One day I realized I could empathize with how those homeless people felt. I’d lived my whole life feeling I didn’t belong, with no family I could turn to, and not knowing if I would survive another day in my misery. The compassion I felt was a reminder to me not to form my opinions about people by how they look. It doesn’t matter what people think they see in me, or anyone else. Each one of us is wounded. It’s just that some wounds are on the inside instead of the outside.”
We are all in this world together and for a purpose, no matter what the circumstances of our life.
Many of us along our paths of personal growth are perfectionists who have been brought up to believe in nothing other than the ideal. When we fall away from perfection, we plunge from the heights of idealism to the depths of misery and self-abuse.
We can do better by being less “perfectionistic”. When we can show and accept our real strengths and defects we get a whole new perspective on ourselves and a true sense of balance. We learn to be flexible and to appreciate the diversity of life (even the humble cabbage).
Even if I don’t especially like cabbage soup, I can recognize that all things may be good to those who love life and keep their eyes wide open.
“We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment” — Margaret Mead
Our environment is composed of everything around us as well as that to which we are related. We do not exist separate from our environment, but are part of it – a mutually supportive, living universe. I need to know this relationship and to experience myself deeply as part of a healthy world. I believe that many in this world, like myself; have at some point become isolated from the world, leading us into self-absorption and misery, where we just don’t care.
My attempt toward personal growth includes building new relationships, making new connections, getting in touch with my Self and with the beauty that surrounds all of us. I choose to move out and explore and cherish the world in which we live. We all belong there and need to nurture it as well as ourselves.
Through personal growth, I gain the energy to reach out and care. Let’s work together for healthy relationships in a healthy environment where we all feel “at home”.