Maybe curse is a harsh word to describe perfectionism, but it’s definitely, without a doubt, how I would label perfectionism (at least currently).
I’m realizing how much I struggle to see my value, worth, and dignity as a daughter of God. Yeah, it’s kinda my mantra, but I think it’s my mantra because I myself struggle with it so unbelievably much.
I was catching up on my blog reading today and one of my favorite blogs is beauty beyond bones. Her writing always hits me right in the feels, it hits home so very often. Her post this time is called ‘Prove Yourself Society” (read original post here).
She talked about a girl “just wanting to prove herself”…
Shoot. That was me… no, that is me. In December/January I was having panic attacks because I had to write an essay for a summer program I was applying for. I highly stressed over writing cover letters and working on my resume for these summer nursing programs that I REALLY wanted. I knew that on paper I didn’t have what it takes to qualify. I’m not the best of the best on paper. I don’t have a phenomenal GPA, but these programs seem to exist for the best of the best… I was having panic attacks trying to write in a way that would allow me to prove myself to these hospital systems.
And as I read through her post and was thinking about it, I recalled a conversation I had with a friend from school last week. I was filling out a form that asked for my strengths in the clinical setting and I didn’t know what to say. I told my friend I wished I had the clinical evaluation sheet from one of my clinical instructors because then I would use what she said and know what to say… And she asked me “what do you think your strengths are?” And I didn’t know. I couldn’t confidently give an answer… or really an answer at all.
In no capacity do I see myself as good enough. I can tell you what other people say about it and I can tell you that I see why they say these things about me. But if you were to ask me what I thought my gifts were and I wasn’t allowed to use what someone had told me as my reason for picking that I don’t know that I could come up with anything.
I could tell you that I do everything I do with my whole heart, but that’s because someone told me that once.
I could tell you that I’m really caring and really good at being patient-centered, but that’s because my clinical instructors have told me that.
I could tell you that I’m joyful, gentle, peaceful, etc, but that’s only because other people have told me I am these things.
I can tell you that I feel things with every cell of my being. But I wouldn’t say that’s a good quality. It’s a quality that results in me trying to take the weight of the world on my shoulders. It’s a quality that results in me crying over silly things.
In the “Prove Yourself Society” post I mentioned earlier, she talks about not having to prove our worth, because God chooses to see us with eyes of mercy, he alone makes us worthy by the gift of himself on the cross. Which, somewhere within me, I know that to be true. Today, I’m not there.
Today, I’m stuck feeling stuck. Stuck feeling inadequate. Stuck feelings angry, frustrated, sad, lonely, emotional… Today I was reminded that perfectionism is a struggle of mine. That I want things to be perfect so much that I’ll pour my entire self out to be empty and broken and exhausted, just so everything else can be absolutely perfect.
Today, I’m reminded I’m a sinner in need of a savior. Today, as I sit with a headache forming and sinus pressure building from crying – I’m oddly okay with the fact that I feel broken. I’m oddly okay with the fact that perfectionism is my reality, and in different settings it presents itself differently, and some days I forget it is a burden I carry… but maybe, maybe I’m reminded of it today because God wants to remind me He makes all things new, He takes the stones of our hearts and gives us hearts of flesh. And maybe I’ve posted 2 post back to back that are oddly similar yet slightly different, and I’m okay with that. Here’s to being okay being broken. Here’s to breaking the chains of perfectionism that tie us down from the freedom offered us in Christ.