I have to admit, I’m nowhere near having it all together. If you thought I did – I’m sorry to burst your bubble – but it’s the truth. Perfection does not live in this house.
I still lose it every now and then.
Take the other night, for example. I was making tortilla soup for dinner, and I made a small mistake. Ok, no, big mistake. As in putting the wrong spice in the soup. Not only the wrong spice, but 10 times as much as should go in the soup.
Yep, big mistake. It tasted awful. Josh can vouch for that.
So there I am, standing in the middle of the kitchen, crying because I messed up the soup. Ok, it was more like momentarily sobbing, but who needs to know that?
Knowing that dinner was a lost cause at this point, I poured the whole steaming pot down the drain. And then cried again over the ingredients I just wasted. Down the drain.
(Did I mention that we’re not exactly rich?)
Y’all, I was so upset. My crying and pity party went on for a good 20 minutes until I realized how ridiculous I was being.
Alright, it may have been pointed out to me how ridiculous I was being.
I’ve been thinking about that night all week, wondering why I was so upset over a dinner gone wrong. I turned over every possibility until I realized it all came down to perfection for me.
You see, I’ve struggled with perfection all my life. If everything in my life wasn’t perfect (or at least – didn’t appear perfect), I fell apart. I couldn’t handle letting everyone see my faults and failures. I couldn’t let anyone see that I was human in case they decided to write me off.
It never occurred to me that I actually end up written off because I don’t show my faults. Whowouldathought?
I have had a lot of expectations for myself over the years. Be the perfect student and make the perfect grades.
Be the perfect employee and never make one, single mistake.
Be the perfect daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend and keep the peace.
Be the perfect wife and cook amazingly all the time, clean the house like I’ve done it all my life (ha!), excel at all those domestic duties.
The thing is, these expectations of perfection that I have for myself only end up costing me in the long run. I’m the one that freaks out when I make a mistake. I’m the one that spews my insecurities from said mistake on others. I’m the one who is let down time after time because I fail to reach the goal of perfection.
I’m the one that pays. Every. Single. Time.
Now, don’t misunderstand, expectations are good and healthy…until they get in the way of your perception of yourself and others. Expectations are put in place to encourage us to meet goals to the best of our abilities, not to tear us apart when we fail to meet our goals perfectly. It’s good to have remorse. It’s healthy to feel apologetic when we mess up. But to completely crush our sense of self worth?
No, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Not at all.
God is utter perfection. If you read the Old Testament, you’ll see that we were required to attain perfection to gain access to Him. So, take heart, it’s inherent to our beings.
But here’s the deal, that was the Old Testament. Before Jesus. Before the sacrifice of the Perfect One. For us.
We are no longer required to be perfect. There’s mercy now. There’s grace. All of our imperfections were nailed to the cross when Jesus took the punishment for us.
So there is no need to punish ourselves when we fall just short of perfection. It’s only rehashing what has already been done.
Do you struggle with perfection? What do you do when you fail to measure up to your standards (or the standards of the people around you)?
Share your stories below and let’s tackle this issue together.