This simple — but profound –- concept alluded me for a large part of my life. You see, I thought that perfection was the benchmark of success. The demand for perfection clouded my eyes and I was unable to celebrate the progress that I was making because of my small successes. You see, perfectionism kept raising the bar of expectation. The fear of failure coupled with a pervasive sense of shame – that I can not be enough – arrested my desire to thrive. In effect, I found myself stuck in an abyss of fear and anxiety.
In my attempt to silence the voice of shame and inadequacy, I found myself tenaciously pursuing the illusion of perfection. As I continued to overcompensate for my sense of shame, I found myself in a dilemma. Because the good that I did was rarely quite good enough, I found myself in an endless cycle of striving to be more through doing more. Over time and through repeated bouts of exasperation I arrived at some definite conclusions. I could not do enough to be enough under the taskmaster of perfectionism.
In the midst of my exasperation I had a spiritual awakening. I was meant to be a human being and not a human doing.
Over time and through being proactively involved in my recovery process I began to realize what I was doing to myself. In my attempt to satisfy the voice of more I set myself up to be irritable, restless and discontent. Irritable when things did not go my way, restless because of my unconscious anxiety, and discontent because I could not be at peace with myself. Consequently, I became frantic in my attempts to force solutions because the outcome was more important to me than the process.
The reality was that in the process of forcing solutions I never got what I really wanted – peace with myself.
Through my pursuit to be free from the faulty belief system of “more”, I have had several spiritual awakenings. With time, my belief system has changed. I am able to be free from the drive to control outcomes because I am not because I do. I no longer feel the need to overcompensate, in order to prove my worth and value. I now know that I am enough. I have come to realize that my life is found in the process, not in the outcomes. Consequently, I can trust God with the outcomes, while I enjoy the footwork.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson
I now find myself encouraging people I meet along the path of life with this statement, “Take one step at a time, keep going at what you are doing and before long you will look back and see how far you have come”. By maintaining this philosophy I am inspired to celebrate my small successes because I know that I can trust the process, a loving God and myself.
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