Saturday, 14 April 2012

How perfectionism is trying to ruin my life...

When I started out on this journey of wanting to be authentic and wholehearted and blah blah blah it was much more sunshine and rainbows. In my mind I would just skip along, tell a few people some honest things which they would smile at and then skip along beside me. My fantasy potentially even involved fluffy puppies riding on the backs of unicorns.

I really like that fantasy.

But as it turns out, the journey is much more difficult. It's hard and it actually takes effort. And although I will admit that I do actually occassionally skip (only because it's impossible to feel sad after skipping), most of the journey towards authenticity is more like pulling myself along by my hair, screaming at myself about how remaining hidden and protected felt so much more safe and comfortable.

That's how I see the journey anyway. I'm hoping others see it that way too... Otherwise you probably all think I'm nuts and are attempting to now get me involuntarily committed.

So amongst this journey I ended up having a facebook chat with a wonderful friend. She started the conversation by asking how my wholehearted adventures are going. This was my reply:

"You know the whole journey towards wholeheartedness and awesomeness and being an incredible person... Well I just want to skip the journey and get there already... Unfortunately the rational side of me tells me that's impossible and the journey continues on... But currently I'm just living in hope that I can skip 20 years or so and be perfect."

And that's when I realised that perfectionism is actually trying to ruin my life.

I can't do this journey if my aim is to be perfect. Because I will fail and fail and fail until I can't keep going anymore. I'll get so discouraged that I'll probably end up curled up in the fetal position in a corner with some orange dark chocolate and some pineapple fried rice (my comfort foods).

Perfectionism actually stops me from achieving. Because the goal is impossible. And it keeps me shut off from others because all I want to show are the bits that aren't flawed. And we all know that there aren't all that many bits...

I still have my love-hate relationship with human-ness. It kills me that I fail. I hate that I can't be perfect. I hate that the world isn't perfect. And I begin to wonder how a perfect God could be surrounded by all of this imperfection.

So I'm trying to search for the beauty in imperfection, the connections within pain, and the moments of skipping within times of not knowing how to go forward. Somehow I want to embrace this journey and all it entails. I want to embrace being vulnerable. I want to be known.

And within the moment of feeling discouraged about the journey I was reminded of this: Even if I am being authentic with just one or a few people, I am progressing, I am on my way to being vulnerable and wholehearted. I'm getting there.

This isn't a microwave journey - I can't be finished in two minutes and cooked to perfection and authentic and wholehearted for all to see. It's one step at a time. One moment of vulnerability at a time. Small, yet huge, movements.


If any of you are reading this and have no idea what this wholehearted thing that I'm talking about is, you obviously have not yet been introduced to the awesomeness of Brene Brown. So watch this: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
And then see all my other blog posts with a Brene Brown tag. And then Google all of her other stuff and watch it too. And read her book. Seriously. Do it.

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