Perfectionist: “a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection”
I gave myself a big challenge this Lent. We all have individual crosses to bear in life, and battles to overcome daily. To me, it is trying to be perfect. I have come to realize that I am very hard on myself. A lot of it is appearance- how do I look to others. My looks, my house, my job, my life. Whatever aspect- I am hard on myself if I don’t reach “perfection”. I don’t know how my mind cannot just realize that this is simply unattainable! No, that it does not exist.
A lot of this struggle is because of my anxiety disorder. I take mental disorders very seriously as I struggle with one every day of my life. (That’s another blog for another day) However, part of what makes me anxious is the need for everything to be in order and for it to be perfect.
Acceptance. I need to learn to accept myself. Trying to have everything “perfect” and not reaching that goal can make one not ever feel good enough. This is not how I should live my life!
To change this- I must learn to let go. Let go of all expectations- because my expectations are not real. I THINK people care, but in reality, they don’t! I think there is perfection, but in reality there isn’t!
One exercise my counsellor had me do was to go home and not do the dishes for a day. Just leave them in the sink. To some, this would be a simple task, but to me- it was really hard. I didn’t even have to be in the same room without constantly thinking about those dirty dishes. My mind would horribly exaggerate. A plate and two mugs in the sink would look like this in my mind:
This was a few years ago, and it was an important lesson on letting things go. That the world will not end if I didn’t do these dishes. That I will not be judged if someone came over and the dishes were in the sink, piled high. Again, may sound silly to some, but it was honestly a giant mental battle. When I accomplished that little milestone, I was one step closer to happiness.
Having my daughter in my life has really opened my eyes. As her role model, I do not want to teach her how to worry and wonder what others think. I want her to live! She has deeply changed my perspective and I thank God every day.
Today, as only one of the many examples of how she has opened my eyes and heart, I have a cold and I am exhausted. I haven’t showered and my hair is a mess. My house is covered in doghair and there are dishes in the sink. Rather than cleaning immediately, I decide to sit in the rocking chair and hold my daughter. The poor little girl is tired and in pain from her teething. The only way she will nap is if I hold her in my arms.
After I wrote this blog, my mom came for a visit and gave me this sign:
One of my favourite and most visited Bible verses!
God Bless xx