I was proud of being a perfectionist. I thought it made me into a good person. I was good at it. Throughout my life people told me I was perfect. I thought it was easy to be perfect.
Now I know it’s not. It takes a lot of effort. For all that calm exterior, there is strain going on underneath. A strain that eventually breaks.
Perfection looks good on the outside but on the inside there is destruction. It wasn’t until I felt the destruction that I started seeing the downside of perfection.
Perfection looks great but when I learnt that the price to pay for it is stress, exhaustion, and self-destruction, I don’t want it anymore.
On the outside, perfection looks like peace. It looks like I’ve got everything together. It looks like I know who I am. No wonder I wanted perfection.
But on the inside, perfection looks like war. It looks like a broken mess. It looks like I have no idea who I am.
I think perfectionists don’t know who they are. Either that or they’re afraid of who they are. Or they don’t like who they are. Or all of the above. They don’t accept who they are. They think they’re not good enough with their imperfections and weaknesses.
So they can never be real. They are afraid to be real.
I never would have guessed this about perfection or myself. But now I see perfection for what it really is: fear. Perfection isn’t noble; it’s cowardice. Be brave, be real, be you.
I’d always say I was a perfectionist. But I’m learning to look at it differently. I am not a perfectionist. I am me. I turned to perfection and used it cover myself. I thought it was a beautiful cloak. Now I know it’s a straightjacket. I’m going on a journey to throw the jacket off and find the beauty in imperfection. The beauty in me.
I used to expect perfection of myself. But I’ve learnt that God never expects that of me. He saw the beauty in me all along. I’ve also learnt that God doesn’t walk behind me with a whip; he walks beside me cheering me on.