Life has been busy lately. I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in a while, and tonight’s will be brief as well.
If there’s anything that has continually been on my mind these last few days, it is the idea of perfection. I, in my codependence, have a tendency to attempt perfection. If I fail to achieve the impossible, I give up. I’ve had a lot of giving up in my life. These past few days, though, as I begin to let go of the need to please, I am seeing just how stressed out I was.
Never in life will something be perfect. It can be close, but there will always be a flaw. Whether it is the mess in my car or the crumbs on the floor or the 86 on a test, something will always be just so far from perfect. Whatever it is does not define who I am, though. Those crumbs are not screaming out my laziness (although their presence might be a motivator for me not to be lazy). They might be there even if I swept every 30 minutes because I have a preschooler. The mess in my car might be there regardless because I’m full-time, going to school, and driving all over the place. The mess can be cleaned with simple habits, but the mess itself does not make me a horrible person. A bad grade on a test is just that: a bad grade. Not getting a 100 doesn’t make me a failure. It just means I didn’t fully understand the material. All of these don’t define me, but I’ve been living like they do.
Most of these perceptions come from my childhood. Regardless offhand truth or not, I believed that I had to reach certain standards in order to be loved. I had to get 90s and above on all my grades. (If I didn’t, it was that I wasn’t living Up to my full potential. This equalled failure.) I had to be involved in multiple sports and at least two extracurricular activities, and I had to be good at them. I had to get along well with others. I had to be a good Christian. I had to have a bible study and go on mission trips and be pious and gentle and quiet. I was none of those things. It ate me up.
I am still incredibly insecure about those areas. My favorite phrase, tithe annoyance of my friends and coworkers, is “I’m sorry.” however, I am learning to rely on the love of God rather than the love of those around me. There is something calming about the thought that He knows everything about me and was still willing to die for me. On top of that, how can imperfect people perfectly love anyone? They can’t.
Tomorrow, I’ll go to school and probably get answers wrong. I’ll go to the doctor with my son to see why he’s sick. I’ll go to work and ring some things in wrong, forget to bring refills, and drop a cup or two. At least five times tomorrow, I’ll say something embarrassing or dumb and wish I could take it back. Tomorrow, though, those things won’t weigh me down all day long. They will happen and I will move on. Perfection is something to strive for, not to die for. I want to be like Christ; I know I can’t BE Christ. Imperfection is the twist that reminds me just how much I need him. I can’t do anything on my own, and I’m finally ok with that.