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Perfectionism & The Way It Should Be

Perfectionism & The Way It Should Be

I can’t put my finger on the source. Something so rooted in me that I barely notice it’s presence. From the beginning, gathering bulky mass as I celebrate another birthday. 

The way it should be. The way my life “should” look. (According to me)

It’s not until disarray that I begin fighting for it. For what life should look like. The word I have struggled with forever and probably will until the end. Perfection. Why do I feel this void in the mess? I go searching. What I have is not good enough. Gulp. 

Something is “not right.” It wasn’t supposed to be this way. My need to control it, to fulfill, to perfect; the what it should be demons haunt me. They taunt me. They show me others who are “doing it right.” 

On the edge of my seat, I listened. She beelined her words to my heart, harvesting her wisdom from the Holy Spirit himself, no doubt. 

She confronted “the way it’s supposed to look.” She whispered sweetly, the freedom to be in process. She said we can find God there, in the way it’s not “supposed” to be. She said, “He is here.”

The dancing in the field with no weight because there isn't a certain path that equals happiness. That we are okay, delighted in actually, to be right where we are. There is not a one way, a guarantee, a “right way” for a lot of things. There is an enough. There is a ton of mess and expectations and wanting. There is so much beauty in the journey, and we will be on it until our last day. There is no goal that we will reach that will satisfy us completely. Simply Him, He is the everlasting joy. Even if my life was the “perfect” I run after, I would continue reaching still. Only He can satisfy. 

If we hold on to what it should be, we may just miss what it is. The five years I wanted to wait before having kids. I focused on those lost years for a long while. I grieved them and wanted to sit in them for just a bit longer. I believe I missed a bit of my daughter’s life because I was stuck in the way it was supposed to be and that breaks my heart. 

Oh, the truth is, the standard I set for myself is unattainably high. The “perfect” mark is beyond unreachable. The longing for satisfaction from a perfect life will leave you dry over and over. 

I don’t have an answer, really. I just know that perfectionism is a lie and I just have to sit with that. I have to cuddle up in my imperfect body and love my kids without expecting perfectionism from them. How silly does that even sound? I don’t know if this haunts you like it does me, I don’t know if you have an expectation of what something is supposed to look like or be, but I pray we can set it free. That we can release our tight grip and live. That we can realize God is here in the thick of it and He is the only perfection. 

A Perfectionism Prayer

Lord, set me free of the desire to have more and be more. Create in me a satisfied in you heart. Show me what it looks like to live a life of putting others first. A life where people are more important than things. A life that hands out kindness and love to myself, strangers and my people. May I recognize that grace you have given and lavish it on like homemade jam and keep it coming. May there be a peace in my heart when life takes crazy turns. Show me how to hold on tightly to you alone. I know that I am safe when I am in your arms, you sustain me. Teach me that I am good enough, right where I’m at, that I don’t have to do another thing to earn your love. Teach me that the right people will love me as I am, flaws and all. Help me teach my kids that we are all human, in need of a savior. That He is strong and we are weak. That weakness is not a curse, but a truth that we need a savior.