Perfectionism is Oppression of the Soul

photo courtesy of cartoonstock.com

Are you knocking yourself out to be Little Miss or Mister Perfect?

You are constantly trying to outdo yourself, hoping someone, anyone will notice how worthy and terrific you are, aren’t you?  Be honest, this obsession to be flawless in all things is like seeping acid eating away at a starving soul. Part of you knows deep down this perpetual pursuit of perfectionism has little to do with things in your world being ‘just so’ and is mainly about an addiction to praise.

Ask yourself, Do I feel like everything I do isn’t good enough? If you answered yes, even if that feeling only dominated your childhood, or as I like to call it, your domestication, then it’s likely that you have become locked into a pattern of self-destructive doing, digging your low self-esteem hole even deeper as you strive for one little kernal of praise, an errant compliment that you will hungrily gobble down before you plunge yourself into “Do” mode all over again, repeating it until you are rewarded with the next little nugget of acknowledgment, ignoring that you were completely spent in trying to get the first morsel.

Seems like eternal damnation being lived out right here on Earth and we are each our own Devil’s, forcing the toil and leaving us without an advocate to recognize our worth.  Yes, it’s your fault that your concept of perfectionism fails every time.  So what do you do?  Spin wheels to try harder, spend more of your self, your precious few minutes on this rock trying to be perfect?  And for whom are you really trying to be perfect for, anyway?  Who requires this of you?  Only the critic, judge and jury in your head, that’s who.

If you put a gag order on that corrupt court and start assigning value to the things you do that you readily appreciate if they were done by another, then you will be on your way to be the first and only advocate you need of your own self-worth.  Accepting imperfection is a liberating way to see just how perfect you are in your imperfection.  Even God, after he created the Universe, looked around at what he made and declared it to be “very good.”  Not perfect.  So take it easy on yourself.

It certainly doesn’t help that everywhere you look, there are these glossy composites of perfection on ma-gag-zines (yes, I mean gag!), TV and spilling out of all those plastic surgery and lipo commercials on the radio.  Perfection is an illusion that feeds on the innate insecurities that are inherently human but which are able to be overpowered.

You know how if you watch a PIXAR flick, you just can’t believe how real the reef looks in Finding Nemo?  The computer age has been able to warp imagination into a believable vision of reality, tricking the senses.  No matter how good it might look, it’s NOT real, so let that be your mantra the next time you are confronted with some glittering image of an immaculately dressed and made-up figure on a magag cover, or the perfectly prepared meal made in the Food Network kitchen where nothing seems to ever be spilled or burnt makes your mouth water and makes your culinary creations look like dog food.  It’s all in your mind and only you can mind your experience.

The reality is, you are surrounded by people who see your beauty and it doesn’t require airbrushing, your cooking is delicious and has likely nourished and brought your friends and family together, and your home, even if it’s not spotlessly arranged and dusted like those starkly empty rooms in Southern Living, it’s a warm and welcoming place that is real and full of life. Your life.  And if you don’t place any value it, then I guess it really is worth nothing.  Is that what you want to believe?  Does that notion really make you feel better?

Remember, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  I believe we all need to abandon this oppressive pursuit of perfectionism. There is no better time than now to leave that hollow falsehood behind and start looking at the substance we possess rather than the superficiality of a perfect image that is a known impossibility. Instead, you should be spending your minutes reveling in your best efforts, knowing them to be very good, leaving little Miss or Mister Perfect behind in a cloud of dust,  but who cares what I think?

No comment yet

2 pings

  1. Keri says:

    I love this! This has been a topic I’ve been reflecting on quite a bit lately. I never looked at as needing praise, but I guess if I really think about it, craving love and acceptance is pretty much the same thing. The problem I’m having is that I realize all these things, but how do you stop the pattern of self loathing? What steps does one take to TRULY love oneself? I wish I knew a solution that is lasting.

  2. Debby says:

    hehe…. this is an awesome idea! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

” onclick=”return fbs_click()” target=”_blank”>”Share