By insisting on identifying as a perfectionist, I have created a fantasy that might one day attain an elusive, ideal state of being. A place from which I can operate with pure ease, and without risk of being criticized or judged. For me, this meant was that I often preferred to see nothing through to completion, then do something/anything which might require risking failure or receiving criticism. Blaming my inability to try or finish on perfectionism is the same as saying I are too scared of making a mistake or a mess.
Perfectionism is my inner mean girls, frozen form of idealism, while my messes are my true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when I was a child was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.
That’s just it: We don’t want to make a mess. And yet, without getting dirty, nothing can really happen.
I have feared emotional discomfort like it was something that could physically climb on top of my shoulders and crush me (it can’t). And when it came to creating, compulsive use of fear and perfectionism throughout my early twenties eventually led me to feel convinced I was not capable which in turn led to my addiction spiraling out of control. I was not sufficiently talented; I didn’t possess the skill; it wouldn’t be any good. The funny thing is, I thought that my insecurities and excuses were pretty special. I kept them in a nice little box that I could open up whenever I wanted to an excuse or sympathy from other. After a while, this became boring and repetitive.
When I got sober/clean I could not see a way of translating into material form the full scope of ideas and images at the forefront of my mind without feeling uncomfortable and making the occasional mess. And yet, my refusal to try in earnest resulted in a mess being made out of me. I had to learn to walk through the minefield of life one step at a time to find my true self.
There is no one or perfect way of doing things, my fears around matters of living and being human were shared by most.
In the beginning, many of these fears became self-fulfilling prophesies. Like everyone, I made (and still make) a lot of things that do not resemble what I picture in my mind. But through persevering, time and skill collaborate to produces good things. Sometime better things. The need for work and life to look a certain way becomes secondary to the process of trying and experimenting. I have found fondness for even the `mistakes` as they contain within them previously obscured pieces of myself. Sometimes these look and feel odd, but they are also interesting so therefore I embrace my mistakes and messes today.
Without allowing myself to experience the aliveness that ultimately results from making mistakes, I have often prevented myself from accessing the main ingredients for overcoming the laundry list of blocks that I and so many others point to: the elation and joy of true expression, and the sense of fulfillment these emotions bring forth.
Today I will live my life happily understanding that I am perfectly imperfect – I hope that you can do the same…