Perfection. Excellence. Unsurpassed Accomplishment. We all strive for those traits at some point in our lives, some of us more often than others perhaps. But what if that need to be perfect, to be the best pours into what we expect of others around us? Not just the obvious people like our children but co-workers, parents, friends, or spouses?
Are the standards we place upon ourselves so high that they make others feel they cannot be near us for fear of being a failure simply by being who they are? Arethe clothes they wear, the way they look, the way they walk or talk, (or justthe fact that they do things differently than us) not meeting the level that wewould expect from someone in ourcircle? I learned that the hard way with my husband when we first got married.I folded towels a certain way. Nice. Neat. No edges sticking out. All the samesize and shape. He didn’t. It drove me crazy. Until one day I came home to alaundry basket filled with clean, unfolded towels. I quickly realized Iwas more satisfied with a husband who did laundry than I was upset that hedidn’t fold them my way.
As women, I believe we set our standards high unintentionally. We live in a worldwhere men still make more money for doing the same job and although “homemaker”is the toughest job in the world if one had to dish out what it would cost toreplace her many roles, he could never afford it. Yet still, we women try to“do it all” to “be it all”. We aim for the crown of perfection. After all,everything falls on the woman. If his shirt is wrinkled his wife didn’t ironit. If the kids are obnoxious she didn’t discipline them. If the house ismessy, she didn’t clean it. If the kids are too skinny, she didn’t feed them.And it goes on and on!
But why do we set our sights on being the best mom, the best wife, best homemaker,best party planner, best lover and so on? Love? Acceptance? Value? Where didthis era of people of perfection begin? I’ve never heard of a single “perfect person” except Jesus and even inthe Bible none of his friends were perfect. So where does that mentality comefrom? There are even churches out there that only seem to want ‘perfectChristians’ or as they call them ‘saints’ sitting in their pews. Why? Why have we allowed this “perfection” toprevent us from really seeing the people around us?
A portion of a poem by Marianne Williamson called “Our Greatest Fear” states, “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Yes, we should strive to live a righteous life of honesty, conviction, and integrity. But isn’t it comforting to see that even God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He appreciates us doing our very best and striving every day to be better than the day before. He wants us to be genuine. We must remember that if we were perfect- we’d be the ones that walked on water. But since we’re not, we should think that we have friends in High places and no matter what we wear, how we walk or talk or fold a towel, our playing small does NOT serve the world for anyone. Girl, it’s time to focus on the sparkle and to “take flight the plight of perfection.”
© c. michelle bryant
Michelle Bryant is an entrepreneur, nationally acclaimed award-winning artist, inspirational speaker, self-published author of five books available at most online retailers, a multi-award winning, published photographer whose work is nationally used for worldwide marketing campaigns and featured on various items including but not limited to apparel. She shines her light and speaks from her heart in an encouraging and transparent manner and offers a message of hope, healing, and victory to any who encounters her or her works. You can check out her multitude of works at: www.divinelyfocused.com.