I was talking to Meghan the other day about how crazy my life has been, and she mentioned something about our "perfectionist tendencies."
I immediately thought, Me a perfectionist? Definitely not.
When I think of a perfectionist, I think of someone who must have everything labeled and organized. I think of a person who keeps everything in their planner and the calendar on their phone. I think of neat rooms, homes, lives. . . Traits that I do not have.
I'm not even close to having the organized, type-A personality. My life is a disorganized mess and I prefer to just go-with-the flow. Then I read through what I was telling her about what has been going on in my life and my shoulders dropped and it hit me.
I may not be an outward perfectionist, but I am an inward perfectionist.
I had told her I was upset that I had to call in sick to work because I woke up with a migraine and that I was stressed out about my second job because I was making minor mistakes. . . because I wasn't perfect. Since then, I've been analyzing my perfectionist tendencies to see how much it controls my life. I put so much on my plate to prove myself to those around me, to show that I'm capable and can succeed. I noticed that I reprimand myself for anything short of perfection—for being late or early to an engagement, for not saying the right things, for stumbling over my words, for not offering to help immediately. . . the list goes on, my friends.
I didn't write this blog post to proclaim that I have released myself from this self-destruction and have a cure for all of you, but rather to let you know that there are others who understand your struggle and it is tough.
I have to keep reminding myself over and over again that I am human and was made to be imperfect. For what reason would we be alive if we were perfect and didn't need God's grace?
"Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable. Grace says that, though I am flawed, I am cherished."
Friends, I just want to encourage you to hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection. You're human. You're never going to perfect just as those around you aren't either. Take a moment to forgive yourself for the reprimands that you push on yourself and pray that God will help you give yourself the grace that He passed down to you. You are truly worthy of forgiveness and grace.
I know this is all easier said than done and I don't have all the answers for you in this post, but I want you to know that you are loved. You are beautiful. You are resilient. You are capable. You are deserving of the blessings you have been given. You have been rescued by Grace. You are so much more than you perceive yourself to be.
I was only able to touch the surface of inward perfectionism in this blog post, but I've heard of a book that goes in-depth about it. I don't usually recommend a book I haven't read yet, but Meghan recommended this to me and I'm eager to start it. Only from reading the contents page and sample chapter on Amazon, I have an inkling that this book is going to be a life changer.
Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Meghan and I will be taking turns every Friday, talking about Love Life & Literature! Keep an eye out for her blog post at www.northernbellemeg.com next Friday! Until then, read my post (I took over for Meghan this week) from last week: Dear Future Husband
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