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Family Matters - We are all “Imperfectly Perfect”

September 1, 2015

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Mark 12:30-31

As a Pastoral Psychotherapist, a familiar theme clients bring to session is the deep belief that they are not enough; “I am not smart enough, good looking enough, brave enough, creative enough, worthy enough.” These false beliefs cause fear, anxiety and low self-esteem. They prevent you from being the true self that God calls you to be.

How do these beliefs begin? Were they modeled for you by your parents who also felt that they were not enough? Were you abused by a loved one who told you were not enough? Is that abuse still going on today? Maybe you were shy as a child, or were labeled the “geek” or a “loner.” Maybe you struggled with your weight, or social anxiety, bullying, depression or abandonment. Whatever the reason, if this belief is one you are still holding onto today, I am here to tell you that God made you “Imperfectly Perfect” and in God’s eyes, you are a masterpiece!

What does it mean to be “Imperfectly Perfect”? For me, it means that we are all the creation of God. “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” 1 Timothy 4:4. But how can we be thankful for the flaws that we see in ourselves? We need to begin by changing our distorted thinking. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. All of us have strengths and growing edges. Isn’t it interesting how easy it can be to overlook others’ flaws and focus on their gifts, beauty, talent, but yet so difficult for us to see our own gifts? We are what we focus on. What are your gifts and talents? Are you compassionate, slow to anger, rich in kindness, always willing to lend a hand?

There is a wonderful quote by a Cherokee Indian that really says it all:

“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Which wolf are you feeding? Psychotherapy and spiritual direction are both ways that can help you begin to see yourself through the lens of love and self-compassion, instead of through the lens of fear and self-comparison. Both can help you to unpack where these beliefs began and can help you to embrace your imperfections and begin to see your giftedness!

Author-therapist Brené Brown states, “Loving ourselves through the process of ‘Owning Our Story’ is the bravest thing we’ll ever do!” The Center for Pastoral Counseling is a safe place for you to share your story. We are here because we care and we want to help you to embrace your imperfections and begin to see the beauty of God’s creation of YOU.

Donna Liu, LPC, Center for Pastoral Counseling

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