>> Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This question was asked of me by "T" during our session yesterday morning. It's a question that has been looming on the horizon ever since I started seeing her in January -- and one that I finally had to confront.
I'm a perfectionist. It's all or nothing with me -- there's no in between. If it doesn't meet my standard of perfection, then it's a failure. (Now please keep in mind that this mind-set is just for me -- and it does not apply to my family or my kids. This is my own personal warped standard of thinking.....)
I also know -- that in my logical brain - that there is no such thing as perfection. Doing a good job? For sure. Perfection? Not so much. The only perfect thing in this world is God.
My head knows that. But it hasn't quite communicated that to my heart.
My heart tells me -- if my husband has to help me fold laundry and unload the dishwasher, then I'm a failure as a wife.
My heart tells me -- if I don't read to my kids at bedtime or have homemade cookies baked throughout the day or get down on the floor and play with them, or I lose my temper then I'm a failure as a mother.
My heart tells me -- if I don't drop everything to accomodate a friend's need or send that birthday card or give that birthday gift, then I'm a failure as a friend.
My heart tells me -- you're a failure.
So what does PERFECT look like -- according to my standards?
The Perfect Wife: Has a clean house for her husband. Has a meal waiting for him. Packs lunches for him. Is financially responsible. Gives in. Keeps him happy. Is organized and doesn't let anything fall through the cracks. Doesn't lose her temper or fight. Doesn't allow him to help around the house. Attends church regularly, prays every day, and does a regular bible study.
The Perfect Mother: Has activities planned for her kids. Has a schedule for schooling. Reads to her kids every single day. Bakes cookies. Makes lunches. Makes her home open and inviting for her children's friends. Doesn't discipline in anger. Doesn't park her kids in front of Sesame Street or Sprouts. Drops everything to play with her child when asked. Volunteers for everything.
The Perfect Friend: Drops everything to accomodate a friend's need -- especially if she has already done a favor for you. Sends birthday cards, gives a gift. Meets regularly to catch up. Encourages, loves, and prays for her friends. Is always there, no matter what.
Pretty warped sense of thinking, isn't it? But this is my reality. My vision of perfection. Again -- the head tells me that to be all those things all the time is unrealistic. My heart tells me that even if I do achieve that standart, it's still not enough. It still won't be perfect. I'll still find something wrong.
How many times have I heard:
"You are really a good person, with a good heart." - and I don't believe it.
"You did a great job on that craft, article, dinner." - and I will still find something wrong with it.
And if I get any criticism about anything?? Oh my word -- watch out. Because then I will do anything and everything to fix that problem and make sure that it IS right.
Needless to say -- I have a lot of work to do. I have to find a way to live in the Happy Medium....somewhere in between. Somewhere were it's ok to make mistakes and accept it. Somewhere where I can accept a compliment without having to say, "Yeah, but....." Somewhere where I can just accept myself for who I am......