Life is fucking messy! It just is. No matter what your beliefs, intentions, control measures, or income level, life will find a way to kick you in the ass or throw you for a loop! There’s nothing anyone can do to prevent things from happening, they simply do. What matters is how we react or respond (there is a difference) and how that creates an impact on our lives there after.
I have known many perfectionists in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever been one myself, more of a control freak I guess. I’m workin’ on that. Perfectionists are just in a constant struggle with themselves, it seems. I don’t think it’s any sort of personal failing on their part, I’m sure it’s more to do with societal pressures or how one is raised. It is often painful, at least for me, to watch or try to work on something with a perfectionist, though. It’s as if you can see the anguish they are dealing with manifest itself physically as they begin any new project. I feel for them.
I think we all fall into the perfectionism trap from time to time, though. For me it’s always gift wrapping! Grrr! My nemesis! Seriously, though, it feels as if the credibility of my woman-ness and existence is tied up in how “perfect” a gift looks after wrapping and adorning it. I do not know where this came from. Nothing in my childhood lead to this that I can see. But I’ll be damned if every time I am tasked with wrapping a gift that my heart doesn’t cease up at the very idea of it all! I now stick with gift bags! Ha-ha! (Though fussing with the tissue paper gives me a mild version of the usual anxiety around gifts).
This is where the self-image/self-esteem stuff gets tangled with the whole perfectionism thing. If you believe nothing you do is right, why keep upsetting yourself with the idea of perfection? I believe that perfection is a myth. It doesn’t actually exist. It is merely a concept or ideas that is ever-changing and a constantly moving target: impossible! By striving for this idea that it has to be perfect, when that in and of itself is unreachable and cannot be nailed down, you’re literally just making yourself stressed out. This is when the fear and guilt and shame come into play.
To live in fear of not measuring up is a very relatable human thing. To live in fear of not being perfect is the most absurd thing, but also very relatable. We’ve all been there, that dread and that anxiousness. Ugh! It’s exhausting! The thing is though, there is no perfect person. Not one personal of 8+Billion the world over is completely and entirely perfect. Go ahead and take a deep breath! It’s all going to be okay. Nobody’s perfect! Ha-ha! It’s kind of awesome if you think about it. Really takes the pressure off.
I love Brene Brown, though I’ve only read one of her books, she really has a way of writing that leaves me saying, “YES!” or “Ah-Ha!” with the turn of every other page. And she understands how these things happen and swirl around in our brains giving us all of the emotions at once leaving us tired and feeling crazed. You do not have to keep this up. Know that you are not alone. Perfection is a myth. You can let it go. When you feel it rising up in you again, take a pause. Take a deep breath. Do some power poses. Center/ground yourself in your human-ness. You are of the Earth, and that is a lovely thing!
I hope that we can all let go of any shame, guilt, or stresses that get tied up in feeling the need to be or attain perfection. Even those we hold up in the world as perfect people would laugh at the notion. Your flaws are beautiful. Your uniqueness is valuable! You are amazing and worthy of all of the goodness this world and this life has to offer you! I promise!
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