It has been a couple of weeks since I had picked up the Motherhood book but the chapters that I read this week have left me speechless. I have had it brought to my attention several times lately that I have a perfectionist problem. This is not an issue limited to only certain parts of my life.
When I was almost 7 years old my baby brother died. I had babysat him the night before his death. When I found out the next afternoon that he was dead I was convinced for years that I had killed him. Shortly after my dad left my mom and then I thought I had broken my family apart because of the neglectfulness on my part which resulted in the death of my brother. While I was in my teens my mother often said to me that she wished I could be more like my brother. If all these are added together is it any wonder that I have dragged the need to retain tight control of all the areas of my life, to be “good enough” all the time into my adulthood years. I have been working on learning that all I have to be is who Father created me to be. I am not perfect, I cannot be perfect, it is not my job to be perfect.
Being fully human means embracing all the foibles about oneself. The way I am made makes me perfect for the purpose for which I was created. If I am struggling with the issue of all the things wrong with me, then I need to stop and take a look at the ideals I am striving for. Am I trying to be someone other than the person He created me to be?
The chapter of the Motherhood book that I was reading talked about balance. The chapter was called “Mt. Shoulda” where we as mothers spend much of our time thinking I shoulda done... The author quotes another mother as saying, “There's no such thing as balance. It's all about choices- choosing this to gain that, giving up that to make this a reality.” I have spent many years trying to keep tight, rigid balance in my life. But the reality is that I have to makes choices based on the information I have now. I cannot know what I don;t know. I am only human and I am only expected to do the best I can do based on the information I have.
Another mother in the book states, “stop trying to make your child's life happy and simply help the child discover who he or she was meant to be”. If I can't figure myself out, how am I supposed to help them figure themselves out? Oh yeah, that's what my perfect Heavenly Father is for. I keep forgetting that He doesn't want me to drive myself crazy trying to be more than He created me to be. He only wants me to be the best me that I can be. And the trick to that is that I can only be the best if I stop trying to be the best!