I've said many times in these blogs that I'm a recovering perfectionist. I know first-hand how damaging perfectionism can be.
So the other day when I reread something I'd read several years ago, it spoke anew to me. "Perfectionism and blind duty can ravage a woman's body, spirit, emotions, relationships, self-respect, self-care and equanimity," I read in Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman's Body & Soul. The authors, Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick, went on to say a couple more things that spoke to me: "Do not try to transform yourself. Move into yourself." And "It is easier to try to be better than you are than to be who you are."
Oh, my, that's a lot to digest. They are right, though, aren't they? It is not easy to be who we really are. To feel comfortable in our own skins and claim all the goodness right along with the shadow sides of ourselves. To truly "move into" our own bodies and personalities. To own all that we are and can be. It is easier to push ourselves to try for perfection.
The authors also wrote, "Perfection does not allow for feeling." And in the margins I wrote "... or for healing!"
Let's not accept society's ideas of the perfect woman. Instead, let's just inhabit our own lives, with all the good and bad of that. Moving into ourselves is a process. It may take most of our lives.
That's OK. I'm fine with saying I'm a work-in-progress. How about you?