Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Perfectionism has been a thread in my life for a long time. It resides mostly under the surface, but can put an immediate halt to almost any project I want to complete. You may recognize the voice of perfectionism, saying things like: "I am not qualified enough to do X" "I don't have the right venue for this class" "This project/class has already been done a million times" "I don't really have anything special to offer", etc.

Perfectionism in my life has been a way to keep some parts of myself hidden. Especially those that I find to be scary, paradigm-shifting, or rebellious. I can't dress these parts of myself up neatly, nicely to be presented and maintain the "status quo". I am finding some of my most deep, meaningful parts actually want to be a bit messy. They come out in full force like a pile of unfolded laundry on the bed. My job is then to sort through, begin to fold, and take care of each thing that comes up. 

I was meditating the other day and the theme of perfectionism came to mind. My first thought was, "Oh no! Not perfectionism. I know it's there, but I don't  want to look at it right now." I began to feel the sensations in my belly. Perfectionism has a deep hold on the core of my belly. There is a bit of a sickness that comes with it for me. A sense of never being enough. As I sat with perfectionism, I began to see some of the antidotes to perfectionism. Here is what came up, in no particular order of importance:

1. Unconditional Friendliness (seems obvious, but is a lifetime of practice)

2. Deep Vulnerability & Courage (being willing to see all of myself, even the parts I don't like)

3. A willingness to consciously Show Up 

**I started this blog post about a year and a half ago and am noticing it is still relevant for me. I am reminded on a daily basis that healing is not a straight line, it is not a one-and-done type of thing. Reading this post has made me chuckle, which I am happy about. There is still work to be done, but my heart and mind are a bit more gracious and spacious to the process.