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Melli O'Brien



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Perfectionism Is the Destroyer of Love

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today we're going to talk about how

perfectionism is the destroyer of love.

Now you might be thinking, Hey, Melli,

that's a pretty strong statement, right?

Perfectionism is the destroyer of love.

But hey, hear me out a little.

Let's just explore this

idea a little here.

So when we're in pursuit of perfection,

whatever our particular idea of

that is, what we're usually doing is

that we're looking at something or

perhaps someone, perhaps ourselves

through a lens of a comparing mind, a

critical mind, or a judgmental mind.

In other words, we do not accept them

as they are, and that inhibits our

ability to love them just as they are.

So we might look at someone for

instance, but then we have this idea of

how we think they should be different.

So instead of accepting them, just

as they are, we compare them to our

idea of how they should be better.

And in the moment we do that,

you might notice this in your own

life, there's a little bit of inner

tension created between you two.


A little bit of a closing

down or a walling off.

We don't accept them just as they are.

We want to change them, fix them, or

maybe we have a secret agenda to get

them to do more of what we would like

them to do, more of what we want.

So we do this kind of thing

to ourselves too, right?

We have this kind of mental measuring

stick or mental yardstick in where

we compare ourselves and judge

where we are on that yard stick.

You know, we kind of measure where

we are in that yard stick in terms

of looks money, success, and we

try to often edge our way closer to

perfection, whatever our idea of that is.

When we're overlaying the comparing

and critical mind onto our view of

ourselves and each other in life, we

always see things as less than, or

not good enough or in need of fixing.

And then we never see the perfection

that's right there in front of our eyes.

And what do I mean by the perfection

right there in front of our eyes?

Well, there's another way of looking

at things, a mindset that's free

of comparison or judgment that

might see things, and everything

is perfect just as it is.

Even with all the cracks and

floors and apparent imperfections.

In that case, we would just

accept wholeheartedly whatever, or

whoever's there in front of our eyes.

And what follows that

kind of unconditional

acceptance of course is love.

In fact, the Dalai Lama, when he was

once asked, what is love, he simply

replied love is the absence of judgment.

So the truth is we're not really seeing

things clearly when we're looking

through the eyes of perfectionism.

We're not really seeing the other person

or ourselves as we are in that moment.

And then we always feel tension,

resentment, and stress when

we're living in that way.

So I invite you to try out

being an imperfectionist.

See if you can practice unconditional

acceptance and the softening

of comparison and judgment.

If we can let go of the idea of

perfection, then we can make more space

in our lives for authentic wholehearted

connection and love in our lives.

So enjoy your practice of

being an imperfectionist.

I hope it serves you well.

And I just invite you now to

settle in for today's practice.

And as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

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