The conflict of perfectionism v.v. passive surrender of ourselves to ourselves.
Yesterday we talked about enjoying our failures. That might have pushed a little much. But who doesn’t nurse their failure more than their success? Who doesn’t remember their hurt in life more often than their pleasure? It can be confusing.
This friend we call, Me, pushes us and holds us back. But that is not said well enough. This description implies ambivalence – two strongly opposing forces in opposite directions. Amidst all the push and pull, we can get confused. We work so hard on our behalf that we forget we were born flawed and will, at every step of life’s journey, have a constant relationship with imperfect behaviors and emotions all the while having hope for what is better.
I remember in Tron: Legacy that Flynn explained that Clue was created to build the perfect world. When things became bad and Clue was blamed, Flynn the Creator essentially said,
He’s just doing what he was designed to do.
Clue, in the name of going toward what was considered perfect, began annihilating everything and everyone that wasn’t programmed right. Clue was baffled by his Creator’s disagreement and in the end destroyed them both.
Clu: I did everything… everything you ever asked!
Kevin Flynn: I know you did.
Clu: I executed the plan!
Kevin Flynn: As you saw it…
Clu: You- You promised that we would change the world, together. You broke your promise…
Kevin Flynn: I know. I understand that now.
Clu: I took this system to its maximum potential. I created the perfect system!
Kevin Flynn: The thing about perfection is that it’s unknowable. It’s impossible, but it’s also right in front of us all the time. You wouldn’t know that because I didn’t when I created you. I’m sorry, Clu. I’m sorry…
We, like Flynn, forget that our beauty is the constant relationship between going toward that which is better for us and allowing for our limitations, regression and failures. These forces don’t have to be opposing. Our life is more than an allowance for betterment and foibles; it is a position of value and respect to both. There is this wonderment that we can in all this chaos be what we should be, now, but still in process of change. We are all these things and Me, our friend, loves that.
Questions: How are you doing with your Me who struggles for the whole of you? Are you able to join Me? What limits you? Please tell me your story.
Self-Care Tip #274 – Love what keeps you from your goals and what gets you there without ambivalence.
- Perfectionism Is Poison (gibsongirl247.wordpress.com)
- Good Perfectionism versus Bad Perfectionism (psychcentral.com)
- Is Perfection even desirable? (psychologytoday.com)
It has taken years to put me into what I do or don’t do. To begin I have to clean me up. So me is genuine and free of selfish motives. That inner dynamic , as you say has to stop being the antithesis of itself. It takes reminding. It takes conscious effort.
thank u carl. u hear me!
I developed an odd ssense of perfectionism, and I’ve always blamed my parents! LOL
They always encouraged me and said to try to do my best, and anything I did was perfect! Unfortunately, my definition of “Perfect” was different than theirs; to me it meant “flawless,” and my feelings of inadequacy and incompetence only grew as I got older. Therefore I arrived at the feeling – all on my own – that nothing I ever did was good enough, was never perfect by my definition, so that meant that I obviously had not done my best. This resulted in considerable self-flagellation over the years. i still bear the scars. . .
ow paula. u’ve hurt a lot. thank u for telling us this simple story that so many of us know all too well. keep on.
I, like Paula, had parents who expected perfection and, in my case, SAID what I did was perfect but then added the dreaded “but”….”Your pen and ink drawings are perfect…but wouldn’t they be beautiful in color. Your work at church is perfect…but you could also be involved in the Women’s Civic Club. Being a leader is perfect…but you need to think about your family.” As a result, I, too, have spent my entire life with my own set of perfection guidelines and have never met them to my satisfaction. My reactions to wow’s and thank you’s is extreme discomfort because I know, deep down, that there’s a flaw people don’t see in the work I’ve done and I am convinced that I could have done better and don’t deserve the praise. It continues to be one of the most difficult and painful things I live with and I think a lot of that comes from wondering whether, if I’m not doing whatever I do – or have done- perfectly, I’m really loveable. Maybe that sounds like a case of 2+2=5 or apples and oranges, but it always seems to come down to “If I’d done it better maybe I’d believe, then, that they love me.”
twisted math ain’t it. i certainly won’t put u through the torment of a compliment, like telling u your comments r wonderful and your story powerful! no way. because i care. keep on.
Although rationally I know I can’t be perfect, emotionally can’t stop pursuing the level of perfectionism as I see it. For my life there are many levels of it, compartmentalized to suit my needs. I purposely and knowingly upset my life for the pursue of perfection. I know it is crazy… it is what I want most.
like the tiffany ring… sigh.
btw! u changed your blog-name?! this is saying something i think? a message? i’m a psychiatrist here. u can’t fool me! 😉 very very cool.
I couldn’t fool you. It was time for a more upbeat message starting with my blog-name… glad you like it. 🙂