Falling in Love With Yourself
When you see that there's nothing wrong with you and that you're perfect in your imperfections, you can't help but fall in love with the divinely human expression of life that you are.
How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:
Put aside everything you think you already know.
Open your mind and heart to receive something new.
Take your time going through each point.
Return to any points that particularly touch you.
In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.
* All quotes are by Jeff Foster, from the video: There's Nothing Wrong With You
1. An Exhausting Search for a Better You
"Here’s some good news: there’s nothing wrong with you. There’s never been anything fundamentally wrong with you. There was never anything fundamentally missing from your life. There was never anything fundamentally lacking in you.
You believed that there was because that’s what you were taught growing up. We were taught that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re not good enough, we’re not clever enough, we’re not fast enough, we’re not good-looking enough.
Then we become spiritual seekers, and then we feel that we’re not peaceful enough, or that we’re not enlightened enough, we’re not awakened enough, we don’t see clearly enough, we’re not conscious enough.
In our innocence, this is what we believe because as we’re growing up this is what we’re told. With no evidence to the contrary we take these beliefs on and we feel there’s something fundamentally wrong with us.
So then our lives become this search for some kind of solution to the problem of ‘me.’ How do we get rid of this brokenness inside of us? We spend our lives trying to fix ourselves, trying to purify ourselves, trying to make ourselves perfect and whole.
We seek power and fame, we seek success and money, and we seek popularity. And then we become spiritual seekers and we seek some future completion, some goal - we seek enlightenment, we seek awakening, we seek the future wholeness, the future perfection.
And it all becomes so exhausting, the whole thing - trying to reach those seemingly unreachable goals, trying to get 'there,' wherever 'there' is, always trying to live up to some image, an image of perfection, an image that we don’t even fully believe in anyway. The whole search becomes so exhausting.
So many people that I meet around the world are just so exhausted with this whole thing, this constant striving for money, for success, for fame, for wealth, even for enlightenment and never quite being able to get there, feeling far away from there, or feeling very close to there but not quite being able to get there. And even when you get there, you can’t stay there permanently. You get there and you lose there and you want to get back there.
So the whole thing can become so exhausting and what we long for is just this deep rest. We long for home. That’s really the question underneath all this - where is home?
Where is home?"
Has your life become the search for the solution to the problem of 'you'?
Be still for a moment and be honest with yourself. If the answer is yes, can you recognize the exhaustion behind the constant striving? No judgment is needed here. Simply notice.
2. You Were Always a Perfect Expression
"The good news that goes right to the core of this universal teaching, and this is what I would say true spirituality is all about, is this realization that actually you were never broken. You were always whole from the very beginning. There was never anything fundamentally wrong with you.
You were always perfect but this is not the perfection of the mind. The mind’s idea of perfection is to get rid of imperfection and become perfect.
The mind’s version of purity is to get rid of impurity, destroy impurity, escape impurity, transcend impurity and become pure. So it’s always a movement and it’s time - the mind is time.
But, you see, the perfection that we’re talking about is your inherent perfection, it’s the perfection of life itself, it’s the true perfection, the perfection of who you really are. It’s the perfection that actually embraces imperfection.
You were always perfect in your total imperfection. It was your human imperfections, your quirks, your flaws, your strangeness, your weirdness, that unique, irreplaceable flavour, never to be repeated. That’s what always made you so loveable, so human, so real, so relatable, even in your imperfection.
You were always that perfect expression of life itself. You were always a beloved child of the universe, you were always this unique work of art. That’s what you always were from the very beginning. You were this unique, irreplaceable, unrepeatable work of art. There was never anything else like you.
From the very beginning, this is what you were. You don’t have to become this. You were always this."
Here, Jeff points out that there are two types of perfection. We tend to only be familiar with the mind's idea of perfection, which includes an unattainable purity and flawlessness. However, the truth of the matter is that there is an inherent perfection in all of us because we are all perfect manifestations of life itself.
It's very important to realize that the mind is not the genuine authority regarding our perception of the world. We need to move beyond it and trust the deeper knowing of our intuition.
The wisdom within is always speaking to us, but we can't hear it when our thoughts are like a brass band, drowning it out. Be still and let the words on the image quote speak to you.
3. A Radical and Unexpected Embrace
"It’s like every wave in the ocean - the wave might feel separate from the ocean but it never was separate. From the very beginning, it was always a perfect expression of that vast ocean.
The wave wasn’t inherently, fundamentally separate from the ocean, even if it felt that way. It was always a complete expression of the ocean. So although it was, in essence, the ocean, it was also a unique, irreplaceable expression of that ocean.
That’s what you’ve always been, a unique work of art in all the world and deserving of all the riches of life.
I would say true spirituality has nothing to do with becoming a perfectly fixed me, devoid of all imperfection. Life was never about that, it was never about becoming the perfect, spiritual, enlightened me.
It was always about being perfectly what you are, perfectly yourself, in all your divine strangeness.
There’s no need to become some kind of spiritual zombie, devoid of your imperfect humanity. What we start to see is that your imperfections are expressions of this underlying perfection. It’s there in your imperfections. There’s no need to erase, delete or destroy your imperfections.
So spirituality becomes an embrace, just this complete, radical, unexpected embrace of you as you are in all your imperfections, your flaws, your strangeness."
"That’s what you’ve always been, a unique work of art in all the world and deserving of all the riches of life." Notice your initial reaction to this statement. Is there resistance there? If there is, allow it.
This isn't about being persuaded to believe something when you don't feel it or trying to push away negative thoughts and purposefully create positive ones. Not at all.
4. The Celebration of Your Unique Expression
"What I would say is let your spirituality become a celebration - not a rejection - a celebration of your complete uniqueness as a wave in the ocean, knowing yourself as the ocean.
That’s what we all are: consciousness, awareness. Every tree, every flower, every volcano, every dinosaur, every star, every planet, it’s all the expression of consciousness, so it’s all the ocean. But at the same time, you’re this unique expression of the ocean.
Don’t try or pretend to be some other wave. Don’t try and copy some other wave. "I have to be a more spiritual wave, I have to be more like that wave." Don’t be a second-hand wave.
You’re already this unique expression, so don’t try to pretend or be no-one or nothing or some transcendent, impersonal non-entity. That’s another fixed, conceptual position. There’s no need to try to be a non-dual wave or a vital wave or a spiritual wave.
The wave, as it already is, is a perfect expression of the ocean and you are already that, so this becomes a celebration of what you already are.
So be that. Be that celebration. Be the celebration that you are. Be the celebration of your unique expression and stop apologizing for being that. You are that. There’s no need to apologize for being that."
We have gone from seeing that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with us, to recognizing our inherent perfection as an expression of life, to embracing every quirk and so-called imperfection in this expression.
Now we are called to let our spirituality become a celebration. What a beautiful calling! When our eyes are opened to see that, just as the wave and the ocean are one, we are not separate from our formless essence, so much unnecessary stress and striving fall away.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with you. You are perfect in your imperfection. "Let your spirituality become a celebration of your complete uniqueness as a wave in the ocean, knowing yourself as the ocean."
5. An Invitation to Fall in Love
"So the invitation is to fall in love with this perfectly divine, perfectly human mess that you are. And I say that with love. You are a mess but you are a divine mess.
As a human being, as a wave, you’re totally unique, totally flawed, full of imperfections and quirks, and that’s what makes you so unique and loveable.
This is a falling in love with what the mind calls a mess. You may be a mess but you’re a divine mess, so it’s beautiful.
In this kind of spirituality, there is no authority because it’s no longer about copying someone else, being like the guru - "I want to be like them" - it’s about celebrating the uniqueness that you are and recognizing our underlying shared essence. Being the ocean and being the wave, without contradiction.
On the deepest level, I am what you are as the ocean, as consciousness. At the same time, we’re both unique expressions. So what I would say is that true spirituality actually embraces that paradox, embraces our sameness, our shared essence, but it also embraces our uniqueness.
So there’s no authority on your uniqueness. You are that uniqueness.
This is where life becomes an adventure because there’s no way to get it wrong. You can’t get your uniqueness wrong."
There really is no way to get it wrong. "You can't get your uniqueness wrong." Whatever you do, however you are, you will always be a divine mess. Divinity is your nature and humanity is your expression. What a wonderful realization!
When the truth is unveiled, all that remains is to embrace our divine humanity and the perfect mess that we are in this expression of life. How will you respond to the invitation "to fall in love with this perfectly divine, perfectly human mess that you are"?
6. A Deep Trust in This Moment
"You are the light. This is the true meaning of enlightenment, you are the light that’s lighting up the path. You are the light, the light of consciousness itself. It’s what we all are.
And in that light, thoughts appear and sensations appear, feelings and pain can appear, and doubt, fear, anger and confusion can appear and excitement and bliss, and all of it can appear, but the deeper question is to who does all of it appear? That’s the fundamental question, who am I?
So we come to know ourselves as consciousness itself, as the light. What you are is illuminating this moment, so whatever appears in this moment is not a block to the light. Whatever appears in this moment is illuminated by the light that you are.
When you really begin to see that, you see that nothing can possibly block the light. Nothing can get in the way, nothing can block the path because whatever appears is the path.
So the whole thing really points to a deep trust in whatever is arising in this moment, knowing that life can’t go wrong in that sense.
Even if it seems as though life is going wrong right now, that is life - that’s not life going wrong. That is life and what you are is the light that’s shining on that, and that light is constant. That light can’t switch off. It’s that constant, ever-present light of consciousness that you are and that you’ve always been.
It’s not a state. States come and go, experiences come and go, thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, conclusions, and certainties come and go, but what doesn’t come and go is the illumination of all that - that which is aware of all of that.
That’s the enlightenment. It’s not a state. It doesn’t happen in time. What we’re really pointing to is the ever-present light that you are.
So even your apparent imperfections are illuminated and we could call this love. This is the embrace, what we’re really talking about is the embrace. That’s what the world enlightenment, I would say, was always pointing to - the total embrace of this moment, including everything that appears: every thought, every sensation, every feeling, the doubt, the sadness, the pain - all of it is held in the embrace that you are.
From that perspective, even your imperfections are totally perfect - they’re just illuminated. What you are is illuminating them. There’s no need to get rid of them. There’s no shame, there’s no guilt, there’s no punishment - there’s just this illumination.
"Forget your perfect offering," Leonard Cohen sings, "forget your perfect offering, there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in."
"You are the light." Let these words sink in. "You are the light that's lighting up the path."
All these years we believed the path was supposed to be clear so we could walk along it to our perfectly enlightened future self. Everything we didn't like or agree with that came across our path was rejected, complained about, and seen as a block on our way to happiness and fulfillment.
Now we discover that we, the path, and the light are inseparable and that our very existence is what lights up this moment to be experienced. Whatever appears in this moment IS the path.
Each moment is the perfect path in the embrace of love. You are one with the path, one with the light, and one with this moment.