Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This weekend at Southbrook Charlie talked about achieving excellence in everything we do and everything we do to be done for the Lord. I started out listening to the service thinking "Ah ha....finally something I am good at......I am on track with this one... I work really hard to do things well"

Further into the service however , I realized my achieving to perform at a level of excellence was not at all what I thought it was. I was achieving perfectionism. I have always known I was a perfectionist, but never thought about how corrupt this characteristic is.


For perfectionists, life is an endless report card on accomplishments. A one-way ticket to unhappiness, perfectionism is typically accompanied by depression. What makes perfectionism so toxic is that while those in its grip desire success, they are most focused on avoiding failure, so theirs is a negative orientation. And love isn't a refuge; in fact, it feels way too conditional on performance.

Me operating in perfection mode is exhausting.

If I allow an endless circle of those limiting thoughts to ramble through my head for even just a few seconds, I start to believe it and shut myself down.

I am organizing my thoughts tonight (of course I am...being a perfectionist and all) I use this blog as a therapy tool at times and tonight happens to be one of those times.

A few things about me:

I am a very task oriented person. I like to "do" things. If I am focused on a task I sometimes ignore all other responsibilities until this task is done. I like to make lists and I like crossing things off my list even more.

Accomplishing tasks makes me happy. I feel joy after cleaning the kitchen, finishing the laundry, completing all there is to do at work in one day or planning a kick butt vacation. I can look back upon those tasks and feel good about my accomplishments... I have affirmation.

Having a lot on my list of things I feel are important to do will stress me out to no end. Most of which are not at all important but I feel they are, therefore I feel they need to be done. Sometimes I feel I overlook opportunities to grow emotionally to grab onto a task to cross off the list.

I am not always in this task mode... not sure where the light switch is and how to turn it off.

I feel I have a big heart. I have a lot of love in my heart for people, however I struggle to show it with my heart. I am fantastic showing you I care by "doing" something for you. I can DO all day long. I feel the reason I "DO" so easily is because I can rate or grade my doing. Especially if it is something I do on a regular basis for my family. It is like a check list and I work my way down the list. I do these things on my list out of love because I love my family, however while working my way down my tasks of love sometimes the feeling of love is lost in the mix. I fall short showing I love with my emotions. Myself (or tasks) can come across as passionless, uptight, and uncaring.

This is weighing very heavy on my heart this week. I cannot express in words how much my family means to me and to think my actions could tell them anything other than "I love you" troubles me. Plus, if my family gets this vibe... what on earth am I showing to those who don't even know me? Certainly not God's love.

My faith hasn't been the strongest recently... a lot of doubts have crept into my mind and have reeked havoc. I will not waiver from what I know to be truth. I know that through Christ all things are possible and if I have any hope at all in letting go of this toxic characteristic it is through Him.

Wheew, Ok I am going to shut up now. I can now begin to work on these thoughts to turn negative, toxic, perfectionism into Godly excellence.

I pray God works through me to allow me to show all the love I have inside me not only through deeds but through my words, attitude and my actions. I want to have a messy house and not care, I want to sit and watch a movie with my family and not think about 101 things I feel need to be done. I want to replace the joy of accomplishing tasks with the joy of sitting lazily talking and spending time with those I love more.

This will be a long road.... a very messy road indeed. :)

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