Guilty Feelings, Mistakes and the Wish for Perfection – 21 Dec 09


I was talking with our friends about one problem which I see in the west often but which people are not always aware of. People have the wish to be perfect. No, not only the wish, they demand it of themselves. It sometimes seems as if they believe that this is the requirement for surviving in this world. And this is how, when a mistake happens, the world seems to break down.

It is not the mistake that happened, it is more the fact that they did this mistake. Many people come to me with a feeling of guilt and a friend said that it is deeply rooted in the western culture. For me the guilt is the result of the wish for perfection. It goes very deep, I agree. You want to be perfect and this mistake proves that you failed, so you carry it around, defending your mistake, blaming others, hiding so that nobody finds out that you are not perfect or telling about it with a feeling of shame and an enourmous feeling of guilt.

Please don’t do this! Nobody is or can be perfect or better, everybody is perfect with all the mistakes that we make. It happens, a mistake is something that you learn from. Life is not a big exam, you don’t have to perform! Just accept that every person, really everybody, makes mistakes and it doesn’t make sense to walk through life with this guilt until you leave the earth. No, it is okay, you can do your best to say sorry, to repair what is broken or to change the way if you made a wrong decision. However don’t carry it around any longer after that otherwise you will be a prisoner of this guilt. Be free.

Today Ramona told the children of the school about Germany, about the world, about the weather differences from here to there and how long it would take to go from India to Germany by car. Everybody, the teachers, the children and Ramona had much fun and enjoyed sharing this.

7 Replies to “Guilty Feelings, Mistakes and the Wish for Perfection – 21 Dec 09”

  1. People have to accept that the past is past. If you can’t fix the mistakes then leave them there and make the future from scratch. Don’t drag bags of ‘garbage’ with you everywhere you go. It just ‘smells up the room’.

  2. Watch the difference batween when an Indian child trips and falls, and when and American child does. An American child will scream and cry for a very long time. I am beginning to think that this is because of early on-set of pride in our culture. Indian children just laugh.

  3. Ah yes. There is something deeply ingrained in me that always strives to be perfect. It causes great pain and fear! It makes me afraid to try new things because if I don’t succeed, then I am not perfect. It makes me work hard, but it’s not even worth it. I am working every day on letting go of perfect. I am accepting what I already am, mistakes, flaws, and all. It’s hard sometimes, but so worth it!!

  4. The more a person tries to be perfect, the more she loses herself, because being perfect automatically means to live an illusion. In reality there is no human being which could say: “I’m perfect”. Nature is full of “mistakes” and this is great!