I am not perfect. I have flaws like we all do but this did not stop me from suffering from perfectionism. Well, I will tell you a little story about that. I think the world just needs more love and everything’s gonna be alright.
My parents retired when I was 13 and that kinda messed with me a bit. It could be because they are the only ones, aside from God, who have no option but to love me just as I am or that I still felt like I needed them. Whatever the reason, it left me feeling very less than. It made me feel not enough. Why else would they just leave me? I am their child. Mark you, we are seven and I am number five. I took it very personally. I decided to interpret their leaving as they did not love me enough like my other siblings and I carried that with me. I was like if my parents can leave, why should I ever expect anyone else to stay. And because I found a way to make it about me; because I was so myopic in my thinking, I decided it was because I was probably not a very good child and this is when my obsession with being perfect started. I thought unless I was perfect, no one would love me, except God, because He is love so He can’t really help Himself? 🙂 At least I had someone in my corner.
Perfectionism is not something to be proud of. It robs you of your humanity and causes you to hold yourself up to standards that are unattainable. You are never really happy as a perfectionist because as flawed humans, we are very good at picking at things and so we always notice what we missed or what we should not have added. We notice the negative first and so you are always self-criticizing more than anything else. I used to say that I am my worst critic so nothing anyone else says can hurt me more than my own words and this is not a good thing.
I believed love had to be earned and anyone who just came around me wanting to love me without my doing anything significant was looked upon with very suspicious eyes and then I would proceed to be cold just so as to drive them away. I did not want to feel what I felt when my parents left and I figured when you let people in and allow love to grow, that’s how you end up with that deep hurt.
Perfectionism is a jail that you lock yourself up in. It is a mirage; an illusion, something you can never achieve. It keeps you in bondage and from truly living, and it always has a root cause. There is always something that happened somewhere that makes us think that unless we are perfect, then we are not worthy to even be noticed. And it is almost like a self-punishing act for whatever reasons we think we deserve not to be happy.
It took me years to get to where I am today. Where I know that it is ok for the dress to have a wrinkle. It is ok that the poem does not rhyme. It is ok that they don’t like me. Even the Son of God was hated. It is ok to let my weaknesses show because they prove my humanity. It all started with my looking at myself through the loving eyes of God. And then taking that love and casting it on myself. Love does drive out fear, and perfectionism is a fear.
Once I understood my root cause, I went back to my 13 year old self and showered her with love. I spoke tenderly and gently to her and let her know that she was all that and a bag of chips. (What do chips have to do with anything though?) And I let her know she was enough and then the healing began. And I continued to love on me. I accepted God’s unconditional love and it made a world of difference.
You are enough, just as you are. We don’t need you perfect. We need you just as you are, cos that’s where all the sauce is.