About a month ago I went to confession. I had the option to do face to face or to go behind a screen. I opted to go face-to-face and it was maybe one of the best decisions I have made. As I went through my sins the priest could see my facial expressions and see my guilt and at one point he stopped me and told me to not feel so guilty. It’s really very simple – we say sorry to Jesus, tell him we love him, and keep moving forward.
I’m a perfectionist, and even more importantly I am the queen of beating myself up. I’m a people-pleaser and I want to make sure people are happy. And often times my perfectionistic tendencies have gotten the better of me… where I end up wallowing in a little pity party over some minuscule failure.
Today I went to confession, it’d been about a month. I really needed to go. As I was standing in line waiting my turn to go I realized a MAJOR change in myself. Despite these particular struggles I was having I didn’t lose my joy or my peace. In the past, when I would fall the way I did this past weekend I would be restless. I would be anxious. I would be angry like all the time until I went to confession. But that wasn’t how I was. I didn’t lose my joy. I didn’t lose my peace. I think this is partially because I remembered what Fr Antonio taught me last time – to say Jesus I’m sorry, I love you, and to keep moving forward. Because the reality is that dwelling in our past mistakes helps no one. Beating ourselves up and living in a pity party doesn’t do anyone any good.
But the other aspect of this has been being in the emergency department (ED). So often the ED what we’re doing is to stabilize our patient or make them more comfortable in some capacity. My preceptor (mentor/teacher) has taught me a lot, one thing she taught me when it comes to IVs is that it’s better to make a mess and only have to stick your patient once than miss or lose your IV because you’re trying to be clean. But essentially what I’ve learned is there are things you choose to be picky about and there are things that you learn to make do with and do what you need to do with what you have.
And what I guess I most want to say right now is that learning to let go of perfectionism is ever so freeing. It’s so freeing to be able to accept life for what it is, to accept myself for who I am. To accept my weaknesses for what they are. To embrace the mess that life hands you and to learn to swim through it. So here’s to letting go of perfectionism and embracing life for what it is and playing with the cards it hands you rather than wishing for a different hand.