The lie of perfectionI wanted to take a perfect picture of a flower, and ended up with a blurry mess. But the more I look at it, the more I realize how beautiful it is.
Part of why I haven’t been consistent with my blogging lately is a lot of the same reason I haven’t put my website out there yet. I have this crazy thought that until it’s perfect, until I’m perfect, I can’t put it out there. I’ve been doing a Bible study on the lies we believe, and that crazy thought of being perfect, well, that’s one of them. I’m not perfect, and I never will be. Neither will you, or anyone else. But we get caught up in that lie and it makes us crazy.
When I started knitting, and I was frustrated with my lack of progress, a friend told me a story of how Jewish women intentionally put a mistake in their work because it can’t be perfect. Only God is perfect, therefore they shouldn’t even attempt to be. As I look at my struggle with perfection, I wonder how much easier my life would be if I lived like that…
Now, I’m not talking about taking the attitude of saying, “I’m not perfect, never will be, so I’m going to go out and sin all I want to.” But what if I gave myself grace moments every day, like instead of yelling at my kids to pick up their stuff as I answer the door for an unexpected guest (because God forbid someone actually sees what an awful mess my house gets to be), I let the person in- and I let them accept me for who I really am. Because yes, I desperately dream of having a perfectly clean house. Some days, I’m really good at it. Other days, I live in fear that social services will take my kids away because it looks like really bad things happened here. Maybe, if someone sees that my house is not a perfect show home, maybe they’ll accept that theirs doesn’t have to be either.
Because if I were to sum up my mission and purpose for sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog, that’s really it. You are not alone in your struggles. I am struggling right there with you. There are two people I really admire who’ve said similar things- Lisa Samson, who says that she writes so “that people will know that they are not alone”; and Michele Cushatt, who has this great thing she says on her website, “I’m with you.” I should mention that some things Camy Tang has said to me privately also inspire me in this vein, but she hasn’t shared publicly, so I won’t. But she’s awesome, too, so she needs a shout-out.
I mention these people, not because I want to be another Lisa Samson, Michele Cushatt, or Camy Tang. They all have incredible messages, but they aren’t me, and I’m not them. I’m living my own imperfect life. In revealing those imperfections, and sharing the truths I learn along the way, maybe someone out there will find a bit of extra strength and courage to get through that next place because someone is right there with them.
Will I do it perfectly? Nope. I hereby offer you the 100% guarantee that I’m going to mess up. I apologize in advance. But I’m done living the lie that I can some how, some way, be perfect.
How about you? Are you fighting a battle against the lie of perfection? How do you deal with it?