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Drop Idealized Notions of Perfection

‘You may be tempted to postpone compassion, feeling that you have to first complete a self-improvement project. You have to fix your anger, your selfishness, your greed, and then perhaps you can open your heart and listen to the cries of the world. But self-improvement can be an endless project; it is an expression of a judgmental belief system in which you deny compassion to yourself. You feel ashamed of your negativity, fear, and the avalanche of pettiness and criticism, and believe you have somehow to erase them from your heart. Heroically, you try to banish your anger, only to find it replaced by jealousy. You may strive to overcome that and then feel proud of yourself. Pride becomes the new focus of your endeavors to perfect yourself, and then you are horrified to find it replaced by greed. At some point, it may dawn upon you that the entire project is motivated by nonacceptance and idealized notions of perfection.’

– Christina Feldman, Compassion: Listening to the Cries of the World

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