Thursday, January 10, 2013

learning about perfectionism, struggles, beauty, and being set free

I'm learning a lot lately.  

A whole lotsa lot. 

 It seems almost instant, magical, as if I crossed an invisible but very real line from the exciting, experimental, busy years of the 20s and instantly moved into the growing years of my 30s.

I've learned to simply believe my husband.  He thinks I am beautiful and valuable.  I learned to relax and believe him even though I haven't felt beautiful for years.  Making the choice to believe him and not brush off his words or question why he would tell me that is more difficult than imagined!  For a long time I've hidden feelings within that told me my scale weight hasn't earned me any value as a woman yet.  He tells me differently.   I've learned not to ignore his words, but to accept them as real and to know that he truly feels that way about me, and that it's not up to me to define how he feels, it's up to him.

relax girl, it's OKAY.

I've learned that food has no morals.  Food in its basic form is simply FOOD.  It has been elevated in our current lives as some sort of idol and god.  I've learned that vegetables aren't gods and that desserts aren't the devil.  And I've learned that what I eat doesn't determine whether or not I'm a good or a bad person.  Balance is golden, obsession is destruction.  The sense of taste is one of five God-given senses humans are given to experience life.

I've been under the bondage of practicing perfectionism since I was young.  I've now learned that perfectionism is bad.  After I finally "got it" I had to tell myself that over and over again.  Perfection is bad.  Bad.  Perfection isn't something to boast about.  It is a character flaw, not a character enhancement.   Striving for excellence is beautiful but perfectionism isn't respectable, cool, or admirable. It's pitiful.  It's pride on our sleeves.  And I've learned to be discerning as I determine whether or not I'm striving for excellence or whether I'm reaching for perfectionism.  Excellence says that we are valuable humans, with individual gifts to use to our fullest potential for a full life.  Perfectionism says we have no value unless we are perfect and it shows that our motives are prideful, not motives to enrich our lives with excllence but instead designed to coldly paint our lives with pride. 

I've always firmly believed in striving to be the best we could be, working diligently on goals, and improving ourselves...and I still do.  But I'll now stumble along with all my imperfections, making improvements and growing along the way instead of requiring perfection.

I've learned that true forgiveness is hard and that I need Jesus to hold my hand and walk me through it over and over again.  I've learned that letting go is a beautiful thing-- just as beautiful as love is or flowers are or the sunrise is.

I've learned that living an authentic life means living in freedom and peace within.  Being vunerable and revealing who I am, the good and the bad has set me free.

I've learned to finally let go of my worries of what people think of me.  Why do we do that anyways?!  And for once, it worked! I have been living in the freedom of other people's possible judgements of me and my life.  I.don' anymore and that makes me want to laugh, jump up and down, and clap my hands. I'm excited to have reached this place in my spirit.  I'm a sensitive girl, so it's a learning process, so my feelings still get hurt sometimes, but then I release it and it's gone *like POOF* and it doesn't affect my daily life and holds no power over my actions.

I've learned that there are many people with beautiful hearts woven throughout the patchworks of our world.  I've learned to celebrate each of our individual talents and to embrace the talents of others!  It's amazing how much our lives could be enriched when we happily rejoice in other's talents, learning and celebrating as we go along.

I've learned that God is always there in all His majesty.  He isn't confined to the walls of a church. He walks with us, talks with us, dwells with us in a mighty way...just as we are. 

Peace that passes 
all understanding

I've learned that it's OKAY that I have struggles.  It's not easy, but it is nothing I need to be ashamed of.  I have a struggle that I've referenced in my blog before and it paralyzes a big section of my life.  But this is me, all of me, and I can't delete it out of my life.  I must face it without shame.  Someday my desire is to share the whole story with you all. 

I've learned that even though I've always been a strong person,  I am weaker than I ever thought I was as I've stop denying my battles and instead starting waging war against them.

But I've also learned that healing begins in my weakness, not in my strength. 

Good thing I really LOVE to learn because I've been learning a lot in this last year.  Most of all I remember that "God's mercies are new every morning."

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This post is linked to: Under the Table & DreaminNifty Thrifty,  Made by You MondayMet Monday, Tuesday Tutorials and TipsHOMEWORK: Be InspiredTip JunkieGet Your Craft OnWorks for Me WednesdayOrganize and Decorate EverythingTransformation ThursdayTablescape ThursdayStrut Your Stuff36th AveFoodie FridayI'm Lovin ItTickled PinkFriday FlairBe Different Act NormalFunky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up, Six Sisters Saturday 


Kirsty said...

Beautiful post! Beautiful person! :)

Blondie's Journal said...

I wish I could copy this post and carry it around in my pocket. Thank you, sweet girl!


The Quintessential Magpie said...

There is no valley so dark and no mountain so high that the Lord can't reach us. No disease, no past hurt, no past sin, nothing that will separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus. We can never be good enough or perfect enough to make Him love us more because He loves us where we are. His love is not dependent on us or our performance. His love is never changing and always constant. There is so much security in that knowledge, and I think it is so admirable that someone as young as you is coming to this realization. I think there are things we all struggle with, some more than others, but when you finally do let go and "free fall" into the Lord's arms, it really is the best thing in the world. It's very freeing. And that's where He wants us to be, safe and happy in His car, worrying about nothing, trusting in Him. St. Paul said it best when he talked about laying aside those things that are passed and instead pressing on toward the goal in Christ Jesus.

You are beautiful inside and out, and more than any human love on this earth... more than marital, familial, or the love of friends and particularly the fickle love of the world at large... is the one love that never, ever leaves or forsakes us, that always wants the best for us, wants us to grow and prosper, and never changes, the love of the Lord. I think we all struggle with things from time to time, but that one constant is what Christians have for certain. It's the pearl of great price. Jesus is SO worth it.

Glad to see you tackling the problem and not letting it tackle you. You go, girl!



The Quintessential Magpie said...

Here is my perfectionism at work, Lisa... I see TYPOS after I hit publish. But even seeing them, I think they are funny. God wants us to be safe and happy in his "car" instead of "care". But you know what? He should be the driver in our lives! So "car" works for me. Then there is the sentence about laying aside things that are "passed" instead of "past". But you know what? Some things we need to pass by, and sometimes we entertain the thought that maybe we shouldn't have "passed them by". No, those things are passed by for a reason and are PAST. So, see, even that sentence works. ;-) But if anyone can understand the struggle with perfectionism, my friend, it is I. I was my own harshest critic, all the while taking it easy on others. The day I gave myself a "pass" was the best day of my life, and I think God smiled. And yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks! :-)

Jane said...

My dear, talented, beautiful friend...You have come a very long way and I think you have finally reached the discovery that in spite of your "shortcomings", your husband and sons love you. And most importantly, GOD loves you. This love...both your family's and God's is unconditional. It's been a long journey...but you have discovered something many of us do not realize until much later in life..or sadly, maybe even never. It makes my heart sing to know that you have reached this place.

Bask in this knowledge...bask in the love of your husband and sons...bask in the love of our GOD. It only gets better.........


ps The comments from Sheila are right on... So much of what she has written has been a part of many of our and in person. She is a wise woman...and she has been where you were. Both of us struggle with perfectionism...and, like you, we have learned to give it over to God. Do we always heed what He tells us? No. But He continues to teach us...and He always love us, just where we are. And then He nudges us along to the next level...

Kathleen Grace said...

Oh my dear girl, the ways we punish ourselves for not being perfect. Your post could be written by any woman alive. We all worry about our weight, or beauty, every error we make. You are us and we are you and we feel your pain. You are right, trust the love of your husband. All we can do is try to be the best we can be. I think it is the trying that God loves, even more than the achieving.
Thank you for being so honest.

caveman said...

Amazing. I am almost speechless. You are beautiful, Ms. Lisa Moore, VERY beautiful! You are also very well made. God not only made you beautiful, he instilled in you intelligence, grace, compassion, whit, and much, much more. One of the things about you that I appreciate most is your deep appreciation for Gods majesty in all things. You never fail to notice the warmth of the sun, the almond glow of a Colorado afternoon, or the wonder of a snowfall. Yet somehow you seemed to struggle with recognizing his incredible creation staring right back at you in the mirror. At times I've secretly rejoiced that you don't know how beautiful you really are because if you knew you would also know that you are way out of my league. But the reality is I am thrilled to see you accepting and appreciating the beauty in you, just as you do all of
Gods creations.

And just you so you know, your struggle has never been your identity. It's been just that, a struggle. Not a single person here you identifies you that way, least of all your readers. Hopefully someday you will "own" the identity of amazing, inspirational, gorgeous, girl, because that is exactly who you are.

I like that you are learning that you are "weaker than you ever thought you were", too, but not because your past perception of being strong is false. You are correct in knowing that you are very strong. But, as humans, we are all weak. I've often pictured God standing in heaven, watching me trying to gain strength by lifting weights, shaking his head at my juvenile naivety. As Americans we are taught that through wealth accumulation, eduction, exercise, diet, being true to ourselves, or any number of other gimmicks, we gain control of our own destinies. However, that isn't true at all. God knew the date of our birth and the date of our demise, long before even our parents were born. Once we accept that every day is a gift from Him, and embrace the life he's blessed us with, imperfections and all, then we can truly know what it is like to begin living our eternal lives now.

Lastly, I want you to know that you are the most authentic person I've ever met. I'm often inspired by you and the way you embrace your talents, your imperfections, and most of all the people around you. You never compromise who you are, regardless of the company you keep, yet you always seek to validate the value of the people around you. That dearest, is not only authentic, is it the definition of inspiring.

Unknown said...

I feel so fortunate that I wasn't born with the "perfectionist gene". I do think it is a personality trait and not a choice. I was always taught that no human being could be perfect, but we should try our best. No one expects perfection but you. Trying is all we can do!!

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