I am a self inflicted perfectionist, I have such high expectations for myself that I can rarely achieve the high standards I set for myself! It drives me bonkers and sometimes drives me to tears. But, I am not a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning or organizing my house. I am a perfectionist when it comes to the care and concern I have for others. Oddly, it has gotten worse since finding the love for me that Jesus has for me. Finding freedom in Jesus’s love has set me free from needing love and acceptance from those around me, but at the same time it has given me an even greater love for those around me. It is a pure form of love, it is a love that wants to give, because it’s in me to give, not because I need something in return. I desire greatly to never hurt those around me and while I need to strive to use my actions and words in love, I am still human and I need to give myself room to make human mistakes.
Before I attempt anything, with anyone, I need to make sure that I am first lined up with what Jesus expects of me in a situation. I need to make sure that I am not stepping in, trying to fix, and play God. I need to approach relationships and situations carefully, prayerfully, and watchfully. I need to wait until I get the go light from God before I step in and take action. God may have a completely different plan and I never want to get in the way of God working. I need to also make sure that it works with where my family is going and what we are doing at the moment. I need to ask myself and Mark if we can add one more thing to our lives. Mark and I together need to decide will it cause our schedule to be more hectic or is it something that I can and need to say no to. Guarding our families time and energy is important, making sure it is something every one in our family can be on board with is important, and making sure Mark is supportive is another huge factor. I have learned if he is putting the brakes on or is cautiously approaching it, then I need to calm down, yield, and wait until he is peaceful with the idea or situation. It is simply too much strain on our relationship and family to go forth into something without Mark’s blessing, because regardless of what it is I am looking to do, it will involve him in some element. Whether it’s watching kids so I can go ride horses or something that requires our whole family because we are having company over for supper. God has given Mark and I to each other and listening to each other’s concerns and opinions is just plain ole wise.
What does aligning myself with God and Mark have to do with being a perfectionist? Well, a lot actually, because when I align myself with what God expects of me and when I align myself with what works with my family and when I become ok with the part God has for me in a circumstance and weed through a circumstance with my families needs in mind, I can much more easily relax and rest in that I don’t have to fix the world. I can be me, I love others all the while being me, and allow simply being me to love and encourage others. I have a tendency to think that what I have to offer isn’t enough and I have a tendency to think I don’t have anything to give. Which I believe is nothing but Satan distracting me from that which I really do have to give out to others. I am, who I am, and I need to be ok with me God made. I need to trust that the gifts, desires, dreams, and talents God gave me is exactly what he will use to encourage someone else. God loves me and I need to remain within that love, I need to abide in that love so that I can align myself and give the perfectionist in me the ability to breathe, smile, and love. I can stand up straight with a smile and say, “I have done the best I can, I have run the race, and God has been glorified”.
I need to accept my emotional, mental, and physical limitations as a wife, mommy, home school mom, sister, daughter, friend, and other relationship hats I wear. I have to accept that God has not gifted me with every earthly talent and desire. It is also very important to remember to not compare my gifts and talents with some one else’s. God didn’t make me someone else, he made me well…me. I often find I am trying to shove myself into someone else’s box, a box God didn’t make for me. I am quite certain God threw out the box and gave me a wide open mountain meadow (like the one in the opening scene of The Sound of Music). God knew I couldn’t handle a box, he knew I needed to frolic, explore, dabble, attempt, fail, succeed, and he knew I couldn’t do any of that in a box. I need to not frown upon myself for failure, nor stomp my feet when I discover I do not have a heart for pinning and sewing amazing creations. Although, I do wish he had, I need to accept my limitations. When I let go I can find amazing freedom to be who I am and to thrive being that person!
I need to tell my perfectionist self to calm down, to enjoy who I am today, to look forward to who I will grow into being, and to let go of that which I cannot control. I need to run in the mountainous meadows of life God has given me! I need to live in peace with who God has made me to be.
I pray that you too can live in peace with the person God has made you to be. Shalom!
Note: A big thank you to my hubby for letting me use his amazing photographs in my post today. If you like his work you can find more at httpsss://www.behance.net/mrussphotography.