Feb 24 2013
“He/she who needs to be right, is in a #prison of their own creation” – the rabbi
Last week’s post, titled “The #Curse of Perfection” (http://thewalkbook.com/the-curse-of-perfection/ ), was unexpectedly validated this past week by a close friend, herself being a self-professing #perfectionist and “#control freak.” After I shared with her the title of last week’s post and without further prompting or solicitation on my part, she freely acknowledged – “It is a curse.” After all, it’s one thing to be willing to pay an enormous price and to take a stand for something that’s true and GOD-honoring. It’s quite another thing to stand resolute for something that’s a lie and destructive, both personally and to others!
So what are the causes of this curse, a prison of one’s own #creation?
Perhaps a story, a story I believe a great number will personally relate to, even you, my esteemed and deeply appreciated friend, might be helpful in setting the foundation:
I grew up in a family made up of three siblings, with me being the eldest. For whatever reason(s), the middle-brother was viewed as the brightest, the one with the label “most likely to succeed,” a persona he gladly embraced. Our father “made no bones” about it either, publicly declaring when we were all together who his favorite was. Every time he did it – my heart broke just a little bit more. Our mother on the other hand, had her own premie`re e’toile the first star – the youngest. He was the one with the “heart of gold,” the do-gooder, the selfless one. Amidst all of this and over time, with any healthy sense of self-love and personal worth nowhere to be found, I decided to become perfect! I’m sharing this, not to bring attention to myself or to open old wounds, for I’ve gotten well past the events of yesteryear, but rather to set the stage for some of the causes of perfection.
First – a lack of #self-love. We so desperately need to know love, especially a healthy love of self. The absence of it manifests itself in any number of destructive ways. As an adult, the numerous times I would ask my father to lunch, knowing that I was the only one of his children doing so, looking for any opening to share with him just how well I was doing financially – maybe now he’d consider me at least an equal with “the most favored” in his eyes. I voraciously consumed his every commendable word. Was I perfect enough yet?
Next – a lack of #self-significance. I can’t think of any greater treasure, than to possess a clear and undisputed knowing of our unique #life-purpose. I essentially flushed my entire formal education down the drain, so that my need to stand out and be recognized, to be viewed as “the headliner” in someone’s eyes, might be assuaged. From wearing gold “Beatle Boots,” to showing up for a typing test (I’m aging myself here) with my hands all covered in bandages, feigning a serious injury, to playing my own versions of military marching tunes on the slide trombone, I needed to stand out, to be recognized, even if it was only “entertaining the troops.” I was the lead act! I commanded center- stage! Was I perfect enough yet? I falsely interpreted all the adulation, the attention as self-worth. All it did was to mitigate the pain for the moment!
Finally – a lack of experiencing the joy of being a member of a team, a body, inter-dependent on one another, but instead, possessing an attendant need for control, where only perfection is the accepted norm, with the resultant loss of joy and relationship. Sadly, this is where #religion and #faith oftentimes meet at a crossroad. The one path leads to a #legalistic and #judgmental “my way or the highway” (which is of course GOD’s way), and a “Am I perfect enough yet?” mindset, where the #GOD of #GRACE is nowhere to be found, other than on the bumper sticker of an automobile, a god made in the image of its driver. The other path leads to a freedom from all bondage, to #LOVE, acceptance, growth, and family, to the GOD of a joyful noise who accepts us just as we are! Sadly, as I recount in “#The Walk” (thewalkbook.com), I was at one time the former and it almost cost me everything I most value. Gladly, He saved me from myself, revealing that it’s not about perfection – it’s about #progress!
Can you see yourself in any of the above? Are you still in a self-made prison, in bondage to the perceived need to be perfect? Were you at one time but are now free? I’d love to get your thoughts and comments.
Kindly share this with whomever you feel might benefit from its message.
Coming next Sunday: “The #Cure From Perfection.”
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