Healing from the Disease of Perfectionism

Yellow in BloomA good friend shared what she was reading about perfectionism. What she explained rang so true to me. It made me realize the core of my issues, the deepest root of evil in the tree that is my life, is perfectionism. I’ve always strived for it, believed it was what I needed in order to be accepted, applauded, celebrated, successful, etc. It has grown in me like a root breaking through and creating its own space inside every part of my life. As a child I had to be the perfect daughter. As an adult I have had to be the perfect mother, wife, friend, teacher, leader, Christian, airman, medic, but for who rather than me? Nobody required perfection of me, it is I that required it of myself. At this moment I’m forgiving myself for placing this burden on my soul. It has weighted me down with disappointment, shame, regret, and sorrow.

Perfectionism is an easy thing to get caught up in. We celebrate it all the time; the perfect 10 in gymnastics, the perfect wedding, the perfect baby, the perfect job, or the perfect vacation spot. We look for perfection in everything. Just google the word perfect and you’ll find millions of perfect things, people, places, or so you think. Nothing is absolutely perfect, at least nothing I can think of. Even if one person or a group of people deem something “perfect,” you could surely find one or more flaws if you were to look close enough. Perfection is subjective for the most part. It depends on how you look and feel about something. For instance, The Healing House.

As I’ve mentioned in my bio and my blogs, I’m remodeling a home built in the 1900s. As I’m nearing completion of this project, I’ve become very aware of the fact that this home will never be “perfect.” The walls are not true, the floors are not level, there’s paint that is peeling and cracking, yet I love this house. It doesn’t have to be perfect for me to love it. In my eyes it’s absolutely beautiful. The really cool thing is that through this process I’m learning that I don’t have to be perfect either. I don’t have to be the perfect anything in order to be loved. I know that God loves me no matter what. I know that He knows my heart and understands my good intentions. I also know that just as I accept others with their imperfections, some will accept me with my imperfections as well. For those that don’t, well, they probably wouldn’t be good to keep around anyway.

Thanks to my friend and what she shared today, I’m aware of the place perfection has occupied in my life, and today I’m letting go of it. It will take a while to be freed from its hold entirely, but I’m starting now. I’m going to go forward with awareness, and when I see perfection trying to breakthrough parts of my life, I’ll pray for release. I encourage others with this disease to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer. You don’t have to get on your knees every morning and ask God to protect you from it. Together, let’s simply be aware, and when we feel it creeping in say, “God you have released me from perfection.” Let’s claim our victory over it. Let’s claim freedom from perfection RIGHT NOW!

Thank you JG!


Waking Up: The Worst Part of My Day

Evening SunWhy is waking up the worst part of my day? I’m startled by even the slightest of noise. Even the sweetest tune for an alarm–alarms me. My heart starts racing. I can literally feel my pulse gain speed until it’s in full gallop, pounding out of my chest. Then there’s a rush, but not a good one. It feels like intense heat radiating from my core and moving outward to the tips of my fingers and my toes. When it hits my head I get a little dizzy, and I feel pressure, like my skull isn’t big enough to hold whatever it is that’s inside me obviously trying to get out. I feel like I’m being hit by a bus, like I woke up to a head-on collision. I’m not moving. I’m just standing there letting it happen, laying still so I can feel it come and then pass. Endless lists of all I have to accomplish in this day swells my brain. My mind is flooded with questions of how I’ll get it all done. Then every few minutes my mind goes on a pinball trip of “what ifs.”  I’m exhausted by these intrusive thoughts of all the bad that could happen, not to me, but to all the people I love, and there’s many I love. I thank God for that. He’s blessed me with a wonderful family and remarkable friends.

I thank God for a heart of love, forgiveness, tolerance, strength, endurance. Somehow He still resides in me, in this heart of mine, but why? Why would God want to live in a vessel so broken right now, so lost, so much in pain, and so misunderstood? I ask these questions over and over again, and I don’t know the answer, but I do know this. In the end, I will heal. God will restore my happiness, my joy. I pray that God will use this time, and use me to express something that will heal not only me but those around me with similar feelings.

Finally the worst part of my day is over. Now I can proceed, carrying these fears, but I’ll smile through them for I’m not ready to let the world know, at least face to face. It’s only through writing that I can be honest, but in time it will come. Eventually I’ll be able to share my experience with those closest to me. I pray that they’ll understand and not just call me crazy.