Happy Birthday to ME!!!
You guys, I can not tell you how incredibly excited I am to start a new year. I have never been able to really enjoy this day and celebrate it the way I know God intended. You see I am a perfectionist…WAS a perfectionist….it’s a dirty word, I know! My level of perfectionism never really allowed me to see or love myself the way God does. Functioning in this way robbed me of so much joy.
Perfectionism seemed like a nice idea. It meant I would always strive for greatness in every single thing I set my mind to do. Sounds nice, right? The problem is that my goals and efforts are completely unquantifiable. Sure, I’d be working tirelessly and always striving to do my best but, at what expense? I became a pro at picking out my flaws which led to looking past my successes so that I could work harder; get better. Perfectionism always left me disappointed in myself and emotionally exhausted. It was easy to see greatness in everyone else and celebrate them. But, when it came to seeing greatness in myself…..eeeeke, I could not do it! I always saw “potential” and the need to work even harder….get better, so that I would be better, have more joy, etc.
I longed for a release….begged God for it actually. Have you ever been in a season of pruning? The kind of pruning that leaves most doors closed at every turn? The past couple of years have been a time of “no’s.” Now, to a perfectionist this is the worst possible season. My confidence took a nose dive, I began to take refuge in my comfort zones. I was in hiding. Hiding was easier because it meant there was a smaller risk of disappointment. I even started to lose sight of the things God created me to do. Why?? Because, even though I have a beautiful relationship with God, I felt that I would never be good enough and my efforts would never measure up to be blessed in the way I knew God wanted to bless me. Logically, I understand that this is wrong thinking. Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly! His sacrifice sets us free….we no longer have to work to be loved and accepted.
What I needed was to hear from God in a big way! Months and months went by and God gently loved me through my heartbreaks and disappointments. He’s such a great parent! Man, I want to be just like him!! As a parent, I’m it was hard to watch me struggle but, he allowed those difficult times to teach me, to help me grow. He showed me that “mistakes” or “closed doors” aren’t tied to self worth but, are merely opportunities for growth and learning. Pure and simple. I am enough right where I am at this very moment! He also showed me….and, this one hurt a bit….perfectionism is not a personality trait but, a way to cope with unpredictability. Yeah, basically I am a control freak and I need to release my grip and trust in HIS ability to love and care for me well.
How could I love God so much and trust in him so little? This one broke my heart. This realization brought me to a cross road. Do I trust God and leap towards what He has for me? OR, Do I stay the course and do things my way?
The answer was simple! I’m ALL IN with you, God! No matter how uncomfortable I am in situations that I can not control. My trust is in you! When I am afraid to take a step but, the peace of God is there….I step because I trust in you!
You guys, once I made this mindset shift I began to hear God more clearly than ever before. You see, I was in a sort of prison. Not the kind where someone else holds the key to freedom. The prison I was in was one that I created along with the help of the enemy’s lies. I was free to leave at any time! Ohhh my goodness!!! That realization rocked me to the core! Unlock the doors! I’m leaving this joint! I made a choice to actively resist the lies of the enemy and embrace love and the mindset of Christ through affirmations and quiet time. I am HIS, I am chosen by Him, I am loved by Him, I am enough and I needed to start acting like it!
Soooo much revelation. So much freedom. So much love!
God so lovingly reminded me of the call he has on my life, which requires me to push past fear and take many leaps of faith. I have to laugh because I can come up with all of the risks involved in leaping! I still struggle with those thoughts but, I fight them with HIS truths. I remind myself over and over again of God’s love, His plan, His guidance, His hand in mine.
What I have come to realize is that my lifestyle as a perfectionist kept me from enjoying and truly experiencing all God has for me! Sure, I’ve had great successes and blessings but, the chains of perfectionism robbed me of joy and happiness. I often felt alone and unseen. Not by the general public but, by God. You guys!!! Perfectionism was robbing my of the joy of being a wife, a mother, a friend, an actor…..
Not only do I want freedom from this type of bondage for myself but, I don’t want my children to follow in these particular footsteps! I want them to feel the fullness of joy and acceptance. No jails or chains for them because this mommy is breaking free!!
God’s love for us is filled with patience and guidance. He allowed me to walk this road to such a degree that I was ready to leave it behind. Actually, I was ready to Forest Gump this situation and run!!! It was my choice. It took courage and guidance from Him but, I did it and it feels amazing! What a good and faithful God he is!!
I am beyond excited about entering this new year of my life! It was always hard to celebrate my birthday because I never felt worthy or excited about “me.” Not anymore! I am free from those chains and boy am I celebrating! I am ready for all God has for me!
With my new mindset I am able to hear God like never before! And, you better believe that I have documented and color coordinated His every word in my journal! 🙂
I hope that by sharing my journey with perfectionism it will help some of you who struggle in a similar way.
The take away…
Perfectionism is a habit. A bad one. And change doesn’t always come easy, or overnight. It’s a choice that will be made a million times over. But it is liberating, and God will walk with you hand in hand, every step of the way. Don’t allow relapses into perfectionism dissuade you from the freedom to love yourself and those around you in a beautiful way….to live the life God intended you to live!