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Perfection is The Enemy

January 14, 2011
© 2010 Edmond Nsheuko

 

 Hi, my name is Kristina and I am a perfectionist. Let me rephrase -I am a frustrated perfectionist. Frustrated to the point of exhaustion.

 Perfectionist (defined) – a person who is displeased by anything that does not meet very high standards. 

This describes me very well. I have high standards (always have) , mainly for myself and not about everything. I am not the stereotypical idea of a perfectionist. My penmanship is not neat by any means. My home is not uber-organized. I am not dressed to a “T” without a hair out-of-place. What I am compelled to perfection with are (were) my studies and school work, writing and papers, the cleanliness of my home (we are talking dirt not clutter), sticking to a meal plan, having a routine, getting out of work on time, and I am sure many other things my husband, Guy can point out.

Now as I think  more about “perfectionism”, perhaps I am just an easily frustrated person when things don’t go my way, or the way I planned. I proceed with my internal “tantrum” when I don’t achieve my own personal set of standards, whatever they may be that year, month, day, heck that hour.

Most recently my frustration lies in the tasks of motherhood and working part-time. There is NEVER enough time to get it all done, never. I would love to be one of those mothers who appears to “have-all-together” to be the “Alpha-Mom” I always envisioned being. The key words is “appears”. I have decided it’s all a lie. The “Alpha-Mom”. The “Got-It-All-Together-Mom”. All lies. And something has to give, something  sacrificed. for these women to get so much done, to be so “together”, to be so “Alpha”. Time with their children, maybe. For me to keep up the “smoke and mirrors” the sacrifice is usually me. Not to sound like a martyr, but most moms can relate to the fact they usually come in last and  choose to come in last. It’s ok, I wouldn’t be a good mother if I chose myself over my children, most of the time.

I get lost in the tasks, in the chores, in striving for perfection. Frustrated to the point of exhaustion when “it” doesn’t  happen. Perfection. Best laid plans, a routine, a well cooked meal, getting somewhere on time, whatever it is that day.

And when it doesn’t the mind whispers,

 
“I am not going to have people over until my home is clean/organized/bigger/I can make an elaborate meal/ etc…”

“I am not going to go to school until the kids are in school so I can devote enough time to get straight A’s.”

“I can’t work outside the home because I can’t be an all together mother when I am exhausted”

“I am a terrible mother when I lose my patience”

“If I can’t finish what I start completely I am not going to start at all.”

“My home needs to be cleaned and organized, otherwise I am a failure.” 

“My toddler will have good manners otherwise I am a failure.”

“When you are late, you are a failure.”

Theses are all thoughts which have  whispered through my mind at one time or another. I have started to realize the devil finds a foot hold where ever he can and picks and picks and picks away at us. Perfection is the enemy. The devil (or whatever you believe in)  wants me to perfect because I will NEVER be perfect. Never, ever, ever. No matter how much I try, and try, and try.

Reminds me of this song

Free To Be Me – Francesca Battistelli

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

When I was just a girl I thought I had it figured out
My life would turn out right, and I’d make it here somehow
But things don’t always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt

And you’re free to be you

Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think I’ve got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me
That I’ve got all You seek

Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think I’ve got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me
That I’ve got all You seek

 I need to remember I was perfectly made in the eyes of the Lord.  I need to remember grace, for myself.  This is not a ticket for laziness or apathy, but to embrace my personal imperfections. I need to give myself a break. Somedays I will swim the channel, but most days I will just be treading water and that is ok. Keeping my head above water. I need a reminder to breathe, when things don’t work out the way I planned. I need a reminder it really isn’t MY plan anyway, the big picture anyway.

::::

Amelia received for Christmas a “Veggietales” video –  Sweet Pea Beauty (Sleeping Beauty- ha). If you aren’t familiar with VeggieTales , the are very entertaining animated videos for children that have a biblical story or moral lesson. I really enjoy them, very cute and funny. This message of this  particular episode really spoke to me, and how deficient I have felt as of late. No matter if we are  young girls, teens, young mothers, or elderly women the message is one we can’t hear enough. We are beautifully made. We are captivating to our Creator. When we are just trying to fix what he made “perfectly”, what does this communicate to him? What does this communicate to my children, especially my daughter. I need to cultivate my strengths and not dwell on my weaknesses as personal failures, as personal deficiencies.


Every girl young and old has to face her own reflection
Twirl around, stare it down
What’s the mirror gonna say
With some luck, you’ll measure up
But you might not hold a candle to the rest
“Is that your best?” says the mirror to the mess
But there’s a whisper in the noise
Can you hear a little voice
and He says –

“Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see
Oh
Because everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me”

::::

If true beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder is Christ,  a captivating heart for Him is beauty.  I struggle everyday with keeping my heart and mind focused on Him and through Him my husband and family. I have succumb to the  devils lies of perfection. Succumb in anger, supreme ANGER toward my husband, to the devils delight I am sure. Again this is not a ticket for laziness, or apathy but to embrace my strengths and weaknesses. I also don’t think I should throw in the towel on self-improvement, but I need to redefine “improvement”.  What defines “improvement”? Who defines, “improvement”? How do I measure my “improvement”?  I think I will try to focus on captivating my heart towards Christ, recognizing all my wonderful gifts with a dash of grace for myself discovering my personal weaknesses. 

In addition, the “Alpha-Mom”, the “All-Togehter-Mom” are lies to divide and isolate. Let us mothers and all women come together and share all our wonderful gifts with each other, and support one another through our personal struggles. Wouldn’t the Lord rejoice in this, because if we were all the “same” we wouldn’t have anything unique to share or to learn.

This reminds me of a previous post  I wrote a couple years ago – Grace

Anyone else ever felt this way? What helps you? What are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 18, 2011 1:49 pm

    I keep rereading this post and see every error, every awkward sentence, and misplaced period. And it’s driving me nuts. Please accept this imperfect post, with all the poor sentence structure and redundant phrasing. Thank you.

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