My need, want and expectation for perfection almost led me to abandon starting this blog.
If things aren’t perfect, or if I don’t know for sure that they’ll be “right” or successful, then I won’t do it, or I’ll procrastinate until the very last minute, when I have no choice but to do it.
I can get away with this for a freelance assignment because I have a deadline, but with a blog, no one is telling me that my posts are due by a certain date or time; either I write and post or I don’t. It’s all up to me.
To get over perfection, I had to make the decision to live the mantra “Get comfortable being uncomfortable”. I had to let go of the ideal of perfection and hold on to the ideal of progress, of working towards creating and becoming my best.
Growing up, I was the oldest child of four, so that meant that I was the “example”. Pure pressure, constant pressure, sometimes overwhelming pressure to not mess up or be a “bad” example for my siblings.
My parents expected us to attend (and volunteer at) church faithfully, get good grades (for me that meant all A’s), excel in extracurricular activities and do well in hobbies like dance and piano lessons.
Getting all of this right was scary for me, so I played it safe. I stayed away from making mistakes, from failing, from falling. I took the road traveled and trampled.
I always wanted to do my best at all times, to not want to do things differently because I always did them “right”.
When I began to see that my need for perfection was keeping me from pursuing or bringing to life the things I dreamed of (starting this blog, for example), I decided that it was time for me to change.
I was reading my daily devotional and the Bible last June when the scripture notes for Philippians 4:13 caught my attention. It spoke to me and read “Focus on what you’re supposed to do and not what you should have done.”
For me, this was a charge for me to let go of the past, what I wish I would have done or the ways I wish I would have done them. It opened my eyes to the fact that I was allowing my need to be perfect to make me feel like I wasn’t and would never be “good enough”.
I was holding on to my past, which kept me from being free to live in the present and look forward to the future.
If you and I want to live a life where growth is the goal, where over time and through challenges and struggles we become who we were created and meant, purposed to be, then there is no such thing as perfect.
Not in you, not in me, not in anything.
We must be willing to let go of perfection and embrace transformation, constant change, constant revelation, truth, new decisions, paths, choices, routes and paths – the new!
I’ve asked God to help me do away with and forsake the old; meaning – who I was yesterday, the decisions I made 10 years ago – to help me to leave and abandon all of my regrets and the box I have put myself in so I can become who I am meant to be, so I can blossom and bloom, so I can develop wings and fly like a butterfly or a bird, soaring in grace.
I’ve accepted the fact that mistakes are a part of life; that mistakes inform who you are and want to be, they make you who you are and teach you where you should go next, what you should do next. Mistakes are storms that create rainbows.
Beauty is born from trials, pain and difficult moments. To get to the beautiful, the colorful, the lovely, to see the wonderful in life, we have to get through and overcome the pain.
But just like rain, pain produces growth. Rain nourishes grass, flowers and trees, and pours on them what they need to live and grow larger, taller and stronger.
My mistakes, shortcomings, failures and past don’t matter as much because I know where I am going!
Pain – if we deal with it and work through it, and try not to get over it – produces strength, a stronger connection to self and others, and an unbreakable bond with God.
A lesson learned, my prayer is this:
Lord, I ask you to fill me with the courage I need to take leaps of faith into the unknown, into creation, into a life worth living. This will require me to make mistakes, so remind me that you love me unconditionally, more than I could ever imagine. Remind me that you love me enough to not leave me where I am; you love me enough to walk beside me on my journey to becoming the best that I can be. Remind me that I am enough.
Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? How can choosing progress over perfection change your life?
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: Pixabay