Being perfect. A no-win situation.
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
It seems a big part of my process over the last year is giving myself grace. In particular, grace to make mistakes. To admit when I am wrong. To say “I’m sorry” and to genuinely mean it. To humbly acknowledge my humanly-flawed-self.
For the most part, I have walked away feeling lighter. Feeling freedom. But sometimes, sometimes – i still feel the shame. I still feel like I’m so broken. And not in a free way, in a hopeless way.
Enter perfect: Lately, the word “perfect” has been bubbling to the surface. It’s in what I read, it’s in conversation. I recognize that a part of my eating disorder had to do with perfectionism. I thought (and I will stress thought) that by having the perfect body, the perfect grades, being the perfect friend….I thought these were the reasons I was accepted, loved and chosen.
I’ve never allowed this concept I have of perfectionism and this journey toward giving myself grace – I’ve never allowed the two to meet eye-to-eye.
And so it seems, the next step in my process is to be able to name the part that perfection has played. To allow myself to dissect perfection out of my heart and out of my soul. So that there is even more room for grace.
Because the truth is, I don’t have to be perfect. And the truth is, I don’t even want to be perfect anymore. It’s pretty boring. It’s overrated. And for myself, it’s a gateway to shame.
And here’s why: when I do feel shame after making a mistake, it’s almost always connected to the lie that I have to be perfect to be okay. To be chosen. To be loveable.
Nobody wins when I expect myself to be perfect.
I will never win because I can’t ever be perfect.
Nobody else will ever win when I expect myself to be perfect. Because when I put pressure on myself to be perfect, I also put pressure on those around me to be perfect. So unfair.
So where do I go from here? I’m not sure. But I can tell you, something has shifted. Being able to name my shame and its roots wrapped up in this false belief that I have to be perfect…well, there is freedom in that. I feel lighter. I feel like I can breathe.
Goodbye perfectionism. Hello more freedom, more healing, more wholeness.
What about for you…do you hold onto this false belief that you have to be perfect? Perfect in some way in order to be loveable? In order to be accepted? In order to be chosen? I’d love to hear from you. xoxo