Hoopalicious' Blog

The Trap of Perfection




Hi, My name is Anah and I am a control freak. I hope to soon be able to say a “recovered” control freak… but you have to start where you are right? I have long secretly suspected this aspect of my nature but last night, during a wonderful group meditation when we were asked, “what do you need to let go of?” I got “the need for perfection”, which is just control in disguise. For the first time I really got how much this one central focus, perfectionism, has caused a whole avalanche of life squashing mindsets. Closely on the heels of perfectionism is cynicism… because perfection, as our mind conceives of it, doesn’t actually exist; you can never actually arrive there, so cynicism and even bitterness set in really quick. But like any good perfectionist, you think, “If I just get better, push harder and are more vigilant, eventually I will achieve this sparkly fantasy of a perfect life” and of course we all know that doesn’t work either so… self-judgment, depression and stress, welcome to the party! Next, since it’s not working on yourself, the tendency is to turn that perfectionism on others and now not only are YOU living in a torturous state of mind, but so is everyone around you, especially those you love best (lucky them). Because you love them soooo much that you want them to enjoy the perfect world you have conjured up in your head too! Exhausted yet? So am I.. deeply and profoundly. The paradox is that everything is already perfect, even in all it’s imperfections, if we would just stop trying to “fix” what isn’t broken, we would experience far more peace. But, I digress.

After this insight I felt how tightly I have been holding myself for YEARS. With almost every thought and action is the near constant mental litany “Is this the right thing? Maybe I should have done this instead of that… am I accomplishing this in the most efficient way possible?”… and so on and so on, ad nauseum. Next I got a flash of a feeling, a temperature reading if you will, of the major relationships in my life. I got a sense of those that I hold dear feeling nervous to speak their ideas for fear that I will “have a better idea” or to do something without asking me in case it’s “wrong”. How sad. I know that as far as control freaks go, I am probably fairly low on the scale (or maybe not?) but this is so diametrically opposed to what I know to be true, which is that all ways are valid and valuable and that true love can only exist in freedom, that I want to heal this ASAP.

A big part of this is to get off my own case, which may seem contrary to the last paragraph but there is a difference between beating yourself up about something and seeing clearly what you want shift and it’s impact. I get how much this pattern has held me back and I am 100 percent committed to letting this outmoded way of being go!  I know that all this stuff is just muck to get through and not really ME, I am what is observing it, which means I have a choice, thank the GODS!

So what the heck am I going to do about this? What I got in my mediation is to breathe, keep my mouth shut if I am “in it” and ask the Universe/God/Source/Higher Self for help… even beg if need be. Seeing this is sobering and at the same time exhilarating. I will be called to let go of EVERYTHING I am attached to as being “right/wrong” “better/worse” and even my ideas about integrity. Integrity has been a convenient “spiritual” mask for the right/wrong game and a sneaky way to continue to judge or control those around me while appearing to take the higher ground... sticky stuff, eh? I am accepting in advance that at first I will fail at this and probably fail pretty miserably now that I am conscious about it, but that this is part of the process also. It would be easy with a pattern like this to attach to the new way of being as a new avenue of perfection. SO I will muck through with as much (or as little) grace that is available to me in the moment and just get on with it already.

The truth is life is messy, and as I can only suspect from here, wonderfully so. There is no perfect way to be, appear or live (beyond the paradox that everything is already perfect) The more I have tried, the more stiff and stagnant I have become. I can feel a truth underneath the surface, a wildness and a freedom aching to be expressed. Breathing, listening to the sweet and subtle voice of my heart, taking each moment as it comes and allowing myself and others to BE, I leap into the wild and wooly unknown!



Great post Anah! it reminds me of this post i wrote a few years back which touches on related and different aspects of the same journey I think. Congratulations on the breakthrough. Thats a great thing. http://www.templeofpoi.com/blog/?p=783

August 18 2012 at 02:08 PM

Sharon Trimbo

Well, said! I didn’t realize I wanted everything ‘just so’ myself until one day two of my friends both agreed and commented on how they know they better ‘get it right’ or I’d be disappointed. Ouch. Realizing my tendency to demand perfection in myself and others has allowed me to extend grace toward both my loved ones AND, yes, even me. Instead, I try to see the humor in my non-perfection, forgive, grow and then…move on!

Great post, Anah!

July 26 2012 at 07:07 AM

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