Written by Tamar Brosh (MSc)
“Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect – whatever your idea of perfection may be.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
When people come to my clinic and talk about their pain and suffering, about their confusion or negative perception, I usually hear something quite similar from them all: they don’t like themselves as they are.
They feel damaged and unworthy. They often fantasize about some distant future where they are better, where they are whole and perfect and so all is well in their life. Although I deeply understand their need for some reference point in the future to hold on to, a point that is better than today, it is my job to help them access and connect to the part in them which is perfect already. True inner bliss and wholeness are just one thought away.
But how can we deeply and profoundly move away from our constant inner judgment? How can we even allow one moment of surrender, one moment of letting go of that narrative, that includes our low self-esteem?
Fortunately, the Expansion Method, developed by Shai Tubali, offers a unique path to the realization of our inner wholeness. Sometimes it takes going through layers of darkness, pain and utter despair to tap into the simplicity and radiance of our being. The journey into our innermost self can be rough but it is the most rewarding and satisfying journey one can ever take.
It takes you back home.
The Darkness We Find Within
I can still remember the first time I guided Sara, a client of mine who was 35 at the time, to expand a negative emotion. She contacted me because she felt not good enough, and she had felt this way ever since she was young. This feeling was something very fundamental, she saw it as a significant part of her self-identity. This self-perception triggered many symptoms, from anger and rebellion to sadness and depression. For many people, the feeling of not being good enough is their daily, direct experience. It is like carrying a sack of rocks on your back, never able to stand up erect and present. When I asked Sara to describe how it felt to think she wasn’t good enough, she said it felt like great heaviness in the chest, as if she was the most unworthy person on earth. The burden was making her feel small and invisible. She felt totally insignificant.
The more she entered these negative emotions, the worse she felt. Asking Sara to expand the heavy negativity felt like diving deep into the dense and suffocating layers of the earth itself, a place where light and air are scarce to the point of non-existence. It was as if she was moving towards some very dark and painful hidden corners within her psyche. The basic feeling of not being good enough was replaced with total despair, and then complete emptiness and hollowness. It felt like the most hopeless state one can ever feel, as if the earth were shattered in a nuclear war and all that was left were ashes and void. I could tell Sara was facing her innermost fear, the deepest and the most repressed one.
As I guided her to do one more expansion, Sara suddenly reached a new place – a restful and neutral state. She described it like tasting the first ray of sun after a long grey storm and sensing its potential sweetness and warmth. She continued to expand, now reaching the more positive states. In some mysterious and almost magical way, Sara entered a deeply blissful and ecstatic state which she named “absolute confidence”. This state was the embodiment of the divine unyielding presence and power. For her original negative emotion, that feeling of not being good enough, this was the very antidote.
We Are Made of Perfection
When I experienced that inner state of total confidence during my training in the Expansion Method, it felt like reaching an utterly silent and still state. There was no hesitation nor the capacity to doubt. The sense of knowing, deeply and endlessly, that everything is just fine, encircled me like a sweet and penetrating perfume. When my instructor asked me: “Who are you in this state?” my immediate answer was: “I am perfection, I am the moment and it is absolutely priceless, divine and full of light.” This moment was like a magnet, drawing towards it all the other possible moments, such that only one moment remained, simple and natural, ever so close. My experience was very similar to Sara’s experience. In those moments of deep merging, she no longer remembered that the story of not being good enough was ever connected to her. She had a strong feeling in that expanded state, that even if that old story would play itself out in her system again, she will not believe it since she saw this story was not hers.
But why do we believe our thoughts like that? Why do we choose sadness over joy? If we can see with such clarity the truth of our inherent perfection and wholeness, why are we tempted again to believe our hurtful thoughts? This was Sara’s question after that amazing session. The answer is simple: it is our habit and sometimes it is our safe space. Even when we have the most intense and direct experience of the truth beyond the mind, and we see that psychological suffering is mostly made up, fabricated and imagined, we still choose the illusion over reality. Who would we be without the drama and self-pity? Who would we be if we had no story, or rather if we knew that our true story was one of wholeness and perfection?
Act as If You Were Absolutely Perfect
Through expansion or any other form of meditation, it is not so difficult to have a strong glimpse into the truth beyond the mind and realize our inherent wholeness. The trickier part is to stay true to what we see and abide to it thereafter. The habit, of believing the worst about ourselves and allowing that to shape and direct our lives, is strong. If we wish to break this habit, we need to be mindful, consistent and ready for a shift in our lives. One way to do this is through action and choice.
So, every morning when you wake up, you have a clear choice. You can either: believe the old pattern of thinking negatively about yourself (we do this through comparison and self-judgement) or you can focus your inner intention, take a moment to look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself a simple truth.
The truth is: you are already perfect as you are, there is nothing to fix and therefore, you can go about your day acting that way. When you are free from dealing with your negative story, you become available and open. You can invite the world in and be a loving mirror to others, reminding them of their inherent wholeness. This doesn’t mean we can’t polish our rough edges and become an even better version of ourselves, but we strive to improve based on wholeness rather than lacking.
So, act every day as if you were already perfect and don’t think you are pretending. The only pretending we do is when we write the story of our negativity, believe it and act as if it were true.