Free Therapy No. 4: Aside From the Flaws, We’re Perfect


I mentioned to our mutual benefactor, the generous and lovely Doni, who brings wit, intelligence and humor to our lives, that I was an idiot.  She disagreed, but I’m still not so sure.  Anyway, I have been “away” from my cherished post here on anewscafe in the same way that someone gets a wrong thought in his head and believes it to be true.  And fails to check it out.  Or think about it further.  And gets swept away in the continuous cavalcade of constant activity that is the happy lot of a committed workaholic.

And then a friend asked me for Doni’s email, which jogged loose a thought in my distracted brain and prompted me to write her myself and after the necessary mea culpas, the merciful Doni graciously assured me that I still have a virtual desk in the smokeless newsroom in the natty niche of the cybercloud that is her sunny sidewalk entrance to

And so here I am again, grateful to be back with my virtual typewriter and my love of words and people and psychological health and our spiritual connection to what is true and real and alive.

The good news I suppose is that I am a regular example of what I preach to my clients several hours a day, several days a week, that we are all imperfect, flawed, stumbling and fumbling humans.  And that, that fundamental fact, is OK.  It is OK to make mistakes.  It is OK to fail.  It is OK to be a human being.

Many of my clients carry with them this nagging, negative thought that there is “something wrong” with them.  And I do not reassure them.  I agree with them.  Yes, there is something wrong with them.  There is something really, really wrong with them.  And with me and with you, most likely.  The one thing that is wrong with most of us is that we go around thinking there is something wrong with us.  That is it.  That thought.

Otherwise we are perfect in the sense that we are who we are supposed to be at this precise moment.  And once we quit focusing on what is wrong with us, we can focus on what is right.  And once we focus on what is right, we might feel a little love, a little warmth, and a little light.

We don’t get rid of the bad parts.  The bad memories.  The hurt feelings.  The resentments and guilt.  The anger and sadness and fear.  We just quit making our life about all that stuff.  We let it be.  Instead we look for the good in ourself and others.  We use our powers for good.  We quit judging and begin accepting.

I have come to believe that my clients are not broken people seeking wholeness, but whole people seeing awareness.  Like me they are confused.  They get a wrong thought in their head and mistake it for the truth.  As we come to understand that we are whole or “holy” right here and right now, the true healing we seek becomes possible.  We can become our own healer.

With most of my clients I try to occasionally write some helpful words for them to read after they leave a session.  This is what I recently wrote:

“In a sense, there is always ‘something wrong’ with our lives or selves in that what we have or what we get is not what we want.  Or what we want, we can’t seem to obtain.

“However, to the degree we accept our reality unconditionally, there is less despair.  Some things aren’t right or wrong.  They just are.

“Instead of right and wrong, there are things we can change and things we can’t change.

“If we can’t change it, we need to accept it.  Allow it to be.

“And we can ask, what else is here?  Rather than focus on what is bad or wrong or what we can’t change, we can focus on what is good or special or right.  And then ask, ‘What can we impact with our actions?’

“You are important to others.  When others see you -- when your loved ones see you -- they see what is wonderful about you.  They accept you as you are.  They delight in your being.  They know you aren’t perfect.  We all know that.  And yet you are.  You are.  Start from there.  And stay there as long as possible.  Nurture those seeds of self-acceptance and watch them grow.”

Doug Craig graduated from college in Ohio with a journalism degree and got married during the Carter administration. He graduated from graduate school with a doctorate in Psychology, got divorced, moved to Redding, re-married and started his private practice during the Reagan administration. He had his kids during the first Bush administration. Since then he has done nothing noteworthy besides write a little poetry, survive a motorcycle crash, buy and sell an electric car, raise his kids, manage to stay married and maintain his practice for almost 25 years. He believes in magic and is a Sacramento Kings fan.


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12 Responses »

  1. Doug,

    Great way to start the day. Thank you.


  2. I so appreciate these seeds. This is the sentence I will carry forward as my intention today: I have come to believe that my clients are not broken people seeking wholeness, but whole people seeing awareness. Thank you for your columns - glad to see your name (and your way with words - I like the image of Doni's "sunny sideway entrance"....). Jennifer

  3. Thanks for reminding me that just because I think something it's not necessarily true when I fall into my own trap of imperfection.

  4. Oh, Doug, I just love reading your writing: how you play with words and your superb advice--or sharing, if you prefer. Yes, self-acceptance, the word for the day--and year--and life. Pamela

  5. That second paragraph in is so perfect!! So, take ownership of the fact that you have done at least one perfect thing this week!!


  6. I love this man! Thank you, Dr. Craig, for all you do.

  7. Welcome back, Doug, to your "virtual desk in the smokeless newsroom in the natty niche of the cybercloud" at the "sunny sidewalk entrance to"

    We've missed you and look forward to your future "Free Therapy" sessions!

  8. Great article, thank you! The thoughts we think about ourselves deeply affect our body physiology and physical make-up that's why it's so important for self-love, self forgiveness and self those thoughts create powerful healing and peace in the body.

    Peace and Blessings,


  9. Such great words of wisdom. I've noticed it's a lot easier to recall negative comments about ourselves, as opposed to all the wonderful things people say about us. I also appreciate the reminder to accept things we can't change, and seek things we can impact with our actions. Thank you, Doug!

  10. Bravo Doug. You are a very wise man. I am always impressed but your direct, pithy, yet poetic manner of posing timeless truths. Thanks for reminding us that the great "secret" is really no secret at all, though we all forget, even if we know it: that the only problem most of us have is lack of self-acceptance. A venerable elder recently observed to me that our problem [meaning ALL of us humans] is that "we don't know who we are." If we did, we'd be dazzled beyond all our judgements...


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