I’m sick. If I don’t get the proper care, it could be terminal.
Isn’t that scary???
Are you wondering what’s wrong with me?
I have the Plague…the Plague of Perfectionism.
It can be destructive on its own, but perfectionism doesn’t work alone. It builds an army of demons and self-destructive habits and literally tears you apart from the inside out.
Perfectionism is the ultimate addiction — and all addictions can blossom into full blown diseases. However, perfectionism is a socially acceptable addiction. You don’t get an intervention for wanting to have straight A’s and a “perfect” body…until you take it too far. By the time an intervention is needed, you may have self-destructed yourself to nothingness.
Perfectionism kills. People die from years of trying to attain “perfect.” If it doesn’t kill your body, it will kill your soul.
I wish I could say I’m a “recovering perfectionist,” but that isn’t entirely true. I still suffer at the hands of the demons of perfectionism. My self-destruction these days doesn’t necessarily appear as marks on my body, but I can feel the marks on my soul, my psyche & my heart.
As a result of persistent perfectionism and persistently failing to achieve it, I’ve realized I have trouble expressing myself. I apply all of these [spoken and] unspoken “rules” to my life. My therapist calls them “limiting beliefs.”
I actually fear personal creative expression because it may not be “universally liked.”
There’s something so wrong with that!!!
If my daughters voiced that very same fear, I’d fight that belief tooth and nail to make sure they knew that nothing will ever be “universally liked.” Ever. And it doesn’t even matter! What I want for them is what I truly want for myself…freedom.
Freedom of expression…freedom of creation…freedom to be their perfectly imperfect selves!!!
A dear friend asked me why I have trouble expressing myself creatively and why I feel judged (i.e. not “universally liked”). She also asked was it in a particular area of my life. My response?
Jewelry, life, clothes I wear, the length of my hair, how I feel about things, having an opinion, things I write… Blogging has been pretty liberating for my writing though I still find it a bit terrifying. I can’t imagine what it would be like to just create something or decorate something without all of these “rules” in my head…
Her response to all that?
No one should feel that way.
If anyone spoke of themselves the way I speak of and to myself, I’d argue against them ’til I was blue in the face. It hurts me to hear people tearing themselves down.
Why is it okay to speak to myself that way?
That’s the Plague of Perfectionism. It’s in the little ways you tear yourself down for not living up to real or imaginary standards.
I don’t want that to be my legacy when I leave this Earth.
I don’t want my daughters to suffer from the Plague.
I don’t want anyone to suffer from it!
Here’s the thing though…
My “perfect” isn’t your “perfect.”
I can’t fix you or change your “perfect” just like you can’t do the same for me.
But I have to let go of my “perfect” for my sanity and to have any quality of life.
Perfectionism is a persistent demon though it disguises itself as legitimate “concerns.”
Self-destruction is a persistent response to “failing” to be “perfect.” It also disguises itself as “reasonable” and “healthy” actions.
Today, I’m taking a pledge to battle perfectionism as I’ve applied it to myself. I’m trading in all of the stress and worry and destruction for something much more valuable…
I’m pledging to me, for me.
It won’t be easy, and I know I’ll need my support system. Fortunately, I also know that I’m strong enough and smart enough to do this.
So, if I don’t fit your “perfect” mold, get over it.
I don’t want to fit anyone’s mold — I’m an original, unique, an individual.
I want to create for the sake of creating with no rules or even guidelines!
My life is not your life.
My happiness is not your happiness.
I’m taking full responsibility here.