When You Want to be Perfect

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A building full of shiny metal greets me. Every car and all the dresses from the time period displayed with them seem flawless. I am dazzled by the how clean all the cars are. Not a smudge or a speck of dirt. No banged up fenders. No flat tires. The dresses perfectly pressed. Pristine. Just perfection.

Don't we all wish we could be that way? Perfect without a smudge or a dent like the cars in the museum. Every detail of our lives beautiful like the dresses that hang near them. We strive for it. We agonize about how to attain it, but we never seem to show up all shiny and beautiful...maybe because perfectionism is not in the realm of our reality. Restoration is.

Like every car and dress in the museum we have a past. A broken-down one. A past that needs care and cleaning and a whole lot of restoring. So how do you deal with you less than perfect self? Where do you go to find restoration?

Accept your brokenness and defects. A perfectionist's biggest battle is accepting their less-than-stellar attributes. We don't want brokenness. We abhor the defective in our lives. I have found over the years that in battling perfectionism that it is totally related to the "what ifs" of anxiety. What if I am not good enough? What if they reject me? What if I fail? When I accepted wholeheartedly my broken pieces relief came. There is no pressure to make everything perfect when you grasp that it isn't attainable in the first place. The anxiety melts under acceptance. We all have fallen short of perfect {Romans 3:23}. Those that are healthy learn to not hide the defects.

Understand there is beauty there. We are all like a dilapidated car sitting in a garage. We are worn down by age, circumstances, pain, and grief. It takes a craftsman to see our worth and to bring out the beauty. Every life story has a beautiful piece to it. God can take the ugly and make the beauty shine. The most courageous stories come from the heartache and hurdles life throws at us.

Get rid of your ugly side. One of the ugly side effects of perfectionism is criticism. Perfectionists tend to be highly critical of themselves and others. I would have to say this is probably the most damaging part of "being perfect". I have been the target of perfectionists at times, and I have also shot a few critical arrows myself. When striving for all that is perfect we tend to get ugly about the faults in ourselves and others. I have learned to let go of my high expectations of myself and others. When I give grace the ugly goes away.

Realize that perfect isn't your goal, but restoration is. There was not a single car or dress in the museum without a past. Whether they had a ding or tear they all had something in common: imperfection. All were in need of restoration. These past few years I have been in need of restoration. And I am finding there is only one Restorer. God takes my failure, damage, and deterioration and has made something beautiful from it. My damaged life paved the way to a stronger person...a healthier one. We all need restoration, and we simply can't achieve it for ourselves. We need an expert. Someone who specializes in cleaning up our messes and making us shine.

So how about you? In need of a little restoration?

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