Friday, 28 September 2012


Borrowed from a TRUE friend!
Driven by being the perfect mom, wife, girlfriend, employee? Black and white with little grey - and definitely not fifty shades?! All or nothing attitude - if I can't do it all I won't do it at all? Welcome to my club! Only perfectionists are allowed. Only one rule - do it right or don't do it. Show of hands please. Well, that lasted two seconds.

One of the hardest things I have had to work on when cleaning out the dark closet of my life was this streak of perfectionism. It resided along with people pleasing and false pride but had hidden itself well as I took on the big task of spring cleaning in the autumn of my life! I danced a little as I took that shiny box, false pride, off the shelf, admired the gems and little halo engraved in the upper right corner. Such a nice little box but, oh my, when you opened the lid - well, it was empty. That's right, empty. All those great things I thought about myself were made of air - hot air. I tossed it out of the closet on to the junk heap and kept digging. Over the next few months I tripped over it now and again but for the most part, I was able to live my life with a humble spirit and genuine pride and reap the benefits of closer, healthier relationships.

The people pleasing shrine had its own, dedicated spot behind the closet door right across from the floor length mirror. I found I could look in my mirror and see the reflection of its homey, raffia trimmed edges - all sweet and soft and smelling of apple pie and Comet - afterall, this little box had seen a lot of food and cleaning and shopping and gifting - of course it would carry the hint of all that "pleasing" business I had stuffed into its deep pockets.  Even though the gingham fabric and cute pink and blue ribbons contrasted with the later addition of business suit jacket and conservative but classy pumps it had certainly propped me up, encouraging me to say yes when I felt no.  Really?! That old thing - I pushed it through the closet door and took the hose to it one fine summer day and all the finery disolved into the fertile soil I was cultivating - my authentic self.  Choosing to live authentically was truly the beginning of my journey to health.  Examining all those beliefs and values I had hidden in various nooks and crannies and comparing them to the ones that sat out in full view for the world to see - wow!  They clashed with each other, some even drove me to tears as I wrestled with them but, one day I was able to pack away my well constructed image and start to reveal the real me.  My yes became a true yes; my no was kind but assertive. 

But, my closet wasn't empty. Perfectionism is a tough little critter because it is always masquerading as something else. It is a weakness that can be viewed as a strength if you happen to be my employer or partner or friend.  But, that crafty devil doesn't fool me as much as it used to. I can smell the odour of deception when I start to stay too late too often at work or try on 10 different outfits and 20 different accessories before going to the staff Christmas party.  Or how about that time I couldn't hand in my latest quarterly forecast because I just needed to find one more value that might change that particular estimate by ten cents!  Huh!  Perfectionism - the true monster - needed to be sent packing. However was I going to be perfect - perfectly on my journey to health, perfect weight, perfect exercise program - when I also needed room to breathe, to live.  There were no roses worth sniffing in that dark, dusty corner of the closet!  So, I gathered up my courage and my online cheering squad - and you know who you are in this "we" - and with a joint effort - we pushed and shoved the critter out into the light.  It wasn't really a bright light but a combined light shed from blog to blog, challenge to challenge, reaching across miles but not so intense it blinded.  Just enough to say, you are enough right now - not perfect but then, who would want to be!

No comments:

Post a Comment