Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekly Reflection (week 37): Imperfection

The timing couldn't have been better for a Perfect Protest. Yesterday was one of those days when all my raw, ugly bits decided to pay me a visit. As often as it happens, I am always caught off guard. Spiraling high after some amazing experiences - Squam, 21 Secrets (gasp - I have 55 students in my course!), new session of Fearless Painting - I know the next cycle is a downward one. I know, but the funky funk still bites.

So all week long I was bashing my head against the rocks of "ought to's" - all the things I believed I should have been able to get accomplished but which not only sit unfinished, but have been joined by additional projects. Feeling frustrated with myself, I then chased my tail by comparing myself to others and believing myself to be the odd woman out. You know, the always uncool girl with braces and geeky sense of humor. That was and still is me.

So today I got up knowing I needed to shift my attitude. As a Scorpio, it is my tendency to want to sting something or someone, myself if nothing better presents itself. I wish I could say I am like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat,Pray, Love sending Light and Love to those who have wounded me ... but I'm not there yet. And I think before I can do that, I need to be able to do so for myself.

I've said it before: I am a recovering Perfectionist. Today I am considering the ways Perfection has hindered me. In college a professor once said "Show me a straight A student and I'll show you someone who hasn't prioritized their life." This statement was like a bucket of cold water over my head. How long had I been working for the grade to please someone else rather than working to learn what I deemed important? I was desperate to prove I was smart, but what did I take away from the exchange?

What has Perfection cost me over the years?

It has prevented me from trying new things for fear I would look silly or incompetent. It has prevented me from asking questions out of a fear of appearing stupid. It has kept me from getting to know other people out of a fear of rejection. It has kept me from traveling too far out of my comfort zone out of a fear of needing to ask for assistance. It has kept me locked in jobs I hated out of fear of trying for something else and being turned out. It kept me from pursuing what I loved - photography - out of fear of criticism. It kept me from being fluent in foreign languages, kept me silent so as not to make a verbal blunder.

Today I loudly and proudly am proclaiming: "Perfection, be gone! I choose to embrace my messy, imperfect and unique self."

J'embrasse mon individu imparfait.

Ich umfasse mein unvollständiger Selbst.


And if my translations are incorrect, smile and just nod anyway.

I think I can send Light and Love to that crazy woman above who has good intentions in her heart even if the execution is less than elegant or skillful. This is a good place to begin.


  1. I LOVE your picture! Your messy, imperfect, unique self rocks!!! and don't you ever forget it. I get where you're coming from. The fear of appearing anything less than perfect has caused me pain my entire life. That fear caused me to become exactly what I feared most-a person who could do nothing. I am now working on casting those fears aside so I too may welcome love and light into my life. You,dear Lis,are part of that.

    PS-I am also a Scorpio

  2. a perfectly awesome post ~ :)

    no one is continually sending light and love to those who have wounded them. i think we have to remind each other from time to time.

  3. Love this Lis. Your costs of perfection ring very close to home for me. May be time (past time) for me to stage my own perfect protest.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. wow - this speaks to me LOUDLY. i'm a recovering perfectionist as well....and to read you list all the things it has hindered you in (nodding my head in agreement all along -- 'yep - me too')...*sigh*...

    it's hard to do though..this embracing of in all things, one step at a time.


  5. ~again you have filled me with inspiration...embracing the raw truth that lies within us can be ever so difficult to accept and release...

    "I then chased my tail by comparing myself to others and believing myself to be the odd woman out."

    you are not alone in the words you have written...i think all too often no matter what we are doing...our human nature can lead us this way...but we all have a you have just proven to simply make a change in our mind...take that step forward to accepting ourselves...wonderful are you lis...i like you just as you are...whether it be your perfect or your messy, imperfect and unique always give inspiration to us and all those who surround you...much l♥ve and light upon you and yours~

  6. Dear Lis-oh can't we all relate to this??!!! I love your pic BTW-simply beautiful! just such a HUMAN moment ...full of joy and enthusiasm. I am so glad that you are showing pefection the door-and opening the way for LIFE!xxx

  7. love this and you. you are a brave warrior soul ..
    here is my goofy perfect protest
    and of course I signed up for 21 secrets, let's cross our fingers that I honour myself enough to participate.

  8. OHMYGOODNESS...look at that picture of you! So fantastic!!! I don't know who you are (nor do you know me), but I too took the perfection protest--I'm so in love with this idea & have been enjoying peeking into everyone's protests!

    Way to go & keep on going!

  9. I feel like I could have written this post. I constantly struggle with (and loose to) the feeling that I'm not living up to my own standards. That I should be BETTER at EVERYTHING. The worst part about my perfectionist tendencies is that in the past 10 years or so it's just caused me to give up on things. I think subconsciously I feel that if I just don't try then I can't really fail. I wish I could banish my perfectionist tendencies. :(

    Love the photo of you!!