You might not know this, but there’s a crazy woman living in my head.
The crazy woman wants to control everything. She wants everything in neat little boxes. She wants a checked to-do list. She expects clean floors, good hair everyday, and a clean car. The crazy woman craves perfection.
In today’s world this is the norm for a lot of us; a badge of honor. “I just want everything to be right” . And we laugh and shrug our shoulders, smiling at our slightly neurotic- but by all means productive- tendencies.
Except, it’s not really funny. It’s not really something we should laugh at and shrug off. Because at the end of the day, it’s driving us all fucking crazy.
The thing about perfectionism is that it stems from fear. It is a byproduct of being so goddamn afraid all the time. Perfectionism is the tool we use to manage that fear. We are so afraid of life that we try to control it. Clinging tightly with white knuckles on the steering wheel of our lives.
And it works. Until it doesn’t.
We can’t beat the fear. We can’t cover it up with perfectionism. It doesn’t work, because it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. It’s like spraying perfume when there’s a dead animal.
So if we can’t beat the fear, maybe we try to change the way we respond to it. Maybe we put down the perfectionism card, and pick up some grace. And some faith. Maybe a little humor, acceptance, and kindness.
Maybe we don’t have to be perfect, maybe we can just be authentic.
We need to be able to say, hey this is hard, and I’m struggling. And then we need to let our people take care of us and then be there for our people when it’s their turn. We need to stop being perfect and start being real. Because the facade is half of the problem. The charade is the majority of the burden. When you strip away the control and the perfectionism, all you’re left with is fear of not being enough.
And if we invite in that fear, make friends with it, if we hold it up close, talk about it and let it fucking breathe, it’s not really that scary after all. The anticipation of the things our mind creates is worse than the thing itself. The fight is more tedious than the actual defeat.
Let’s talk about the crazy people living in our heads. Let’s admit that we are all struggling. Let’s drop the perfectionism act and just get real. Let’s ask each other for help. Let’s show the fuck up. For ourselves and by doing so we give others permission to show up too.
Because we’re not wrong for struggling or being afraid. Where we went off course is trying to control something that cannot be controlled (life). For trying to be perfect when we need to be graceful and compassionate. For struggling when all we need to do is surrender.
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