Thursday, January 30, 2014

Perfectionism and other dream killers...

Those who know me would not think I am a perfectionist.
And I would agree...mostly...
I don't keep my house perfectly polished and's clean (several days a week), but not sterile.
My laundry isn't perfectly folded and pressed - at. all.
I don't do my nails...ever. (snip, snip)
My hair...well...let's just say...I have a halo and it isn't made of gold, floating above my head.
And, honestly, by what ruler am I measuring myself...what our culture dictates?  What HGTV or Martha Stewart say my house should look like - HGTV has virtually unlimited resources and Martha, oh Martha...that kind of perfectionism is a therapists dream! Do I compare my hair with how straight and glossy Hollywood says my hair should be?  I refuse to spend 2 hours straightening my mop...besides, it makes my face look thinner...maybe...
I'm okay with all of those imperfect parts.  Unfortunately, sometimes others have commented on my imperfections...negatively...but...well...after spending years feeling hurt by the criticism of others, I've retired.  It turns out that no one and I mean NO ONE has a perfect life.  The ones pretending to be perfect and annoyed by your imperfections are the most unhappy of all.  I gained compassion for them and indifference for their criticism.  It is good.
Now the big confession.  I am, in fact, a perfectionist.
In the creative part of my life.
In my art.
In my writing.
You may have noticed that my writing isn't perfect.
I notice that too.
I published it to this public blog anyway.
It's something I'm working on.
There is no such thing as perfect and if I wait for perfect to happen, nothing will happen.
If I'm truly honest with myself, when I worry about how perfect something is, it's people I'm trying to please, not God.  God does not expect perfection.  He expects obedience.  Perfection can only occur when God looks upon our imperfect efforts, adds His grace and mercy and uses them for His glory.  Perfect!
God has placed dreams in our hearts and has generously gifted us with unique talents. He waits for us to use these gifts to fulfill the dreams He's inspired in us.  Will we expect perfection and become discouraged or will we dive in and do our imperfect best?
I challenge you to do what God has called you to write, to make art, to be a mother, to work, to go to it with passionate abandon...imperfectly...and while you're at it, celebrate the imperfect efforts of someone else!  The encouragement we give to others will come back to us multiplied!

Colossians 3:23, 24
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.…


Shelly said...

Ahhhh... Perfectionism is an illness that I also suffer from. The therapist that I saw briefly told me that I have to learn to accept that excellent is good enough because perfect is not a realistic goal. And yet, I still struggle. Wishing you all the best in the quest to defeat perfectionism! :)

HA! Designs said...

Your excellent imperfect best is GLORIOUS, Shelly!