“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”— Matthew 11:28 (NIV).
Confession time. I’m a recovering perfectionist addict. Rest doesn’t always come easy for me.
In a recent national advice column, a woman wrote in about her “drive to be productive, to take action, to keep things organized, and stay perfectly on top of everything.” In other words, she was battling perfectionism. Oh, how I could relate. At least to the “old” me.
The writer, a young woman, recognized her problem. She was so overwhelmed by her drive to do everything perfectly, she had trouble sleeping. Her question for the advice columnist at the end of her letter reads: “How do I learn to become okay with being still and to rest better?”
Learning to Become Okay
As I read the advice columnist’s reply to this young woman, it was as if she were speaking to the younger me. The younger me could have written this letter, seeking help for the desire to please others by striving for perfection. However, I hadn’t recognized at my younger age what the advice columnist explained to the letter writer.
Perfectionism is often inherited. I was in my late 40s when I realized my mother was a perfectionist. And so was I. But it wasn’t until I experienced new life through a relationship with Jesus that I was able to begin my journey of letting go.
Letting go of the need to strive for perfection is a process. You don’t just wake up one morning, cured from this unhealthy habit, especially if you learned it from a parent. However, with each passing year, I’ve let go of the desire to strive for perfection. It’s not only unhealthy, but unattainable.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service