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To All My Perfectionist Sistas,

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

I used to think I had to be perfect but I've learned a few things along the way.


Confession #1:  “I thought I had to be perfect despite knowing perfection is unattainable.”

     

If you only knew how exhausting chasing perfection can be. Okay, let me pause for a second. I am NOT just speaking to you, I am talking to myself. I admit that I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist when it comes to certain things. It’s like I know things can never be perfect but sometimes I sit back and wait until the “right conditions” before I make a move. Maybe you can relate. If I can be honest, I use that phrase, “waiting for the right time” as a cover-up or an excuse to not do something I know I am supposed to do. Why? The answer can be summed up in one word, fear. As we both know, fear can be quite paralyzing at times. My question to you, friend, is are you letting the desire to be perfect dictate your every move? Perfection is the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. But who fits this definition?

     

As a follower of Christ, I believe we are unknowingly taught to be perfect. Not because of Christ’s expectations but because of what we saw growing up and what we think God wants from us. These things have framed our mindset. We are unknowingly taught to keep things “on the low” because of fear of backlash or the need to create a picture perfect image of ourselves. We don’t want err’body in our business lol. No one would know the kind of week we had because when we walk into church on any given Sunday morning there is a plastered smile that says everything is okay. Been here. And despite crying myself to sleep the previous night, I keep up the masquerade to hide the real. When anyone asked how I was, instead of truth, all I can do is deflect and muster up an “I’m good.” I STILL catch myself doing this. Truth is, there have been plenty of times in the past where I wanted to shout, “I AM NOT okay.” It’s like I wanted someone to keep prodding to get it out of me but at the same time, my pride did not want to let them in. Enough is enough, sis. I want to say this to you--Life is not meant to be one huge costume party. There is no need to keep our masks on. After all the work we put into the mask of perfection, we sometimes forget that God can see behind the mask. No matter how many masks we are wearing, God sees behind them all.


Confession #2: “I didn’t want anyone to know that I wasn’t (And still not) perfect.”

     

 Vulnerability ain’t easy. It isn’t easy to open yourself up to reveal your flaws. So what do we do? Put up a wall and play like everything is perfect.  As I grow physically and spiritually, I am realizing that life can get exhausting very quickly when chasing perfection. I believe this is because perfection comes with so many friends: deception, frustration, insecurities, and many more. I have asked myself so many questions--Why didn’t anyone warn me? Why let the opinions of what people think set a standard for something God doesn’t even expect of me?

     

God has and NEVER WILL call any of us to be perfect. How do I know this? Because if so, Jesus wouldn’t have had the agonizing task of going to that cross to take our place. See, Jesus wrapped himself in human flesh as a perfect being without sin to eradicate our sins. Sis, it is okay to need help from time to time. It is okay to open up to someone you trust. It is okay to call up someone and say you are having a tough week. Straight up, it is okay to be a beautiful mess a.k.a. a work in progress. No, this isn’t license to stay “as is” but it should be the fuel for our growth. I always go back to this saying, “God cannot bless who we pretend to be.” God cannot make us whole if we do not acknowledge our brokenness first. If anyone is equipped to handle our disappointments and frustration, it is Jesus. He experienced the worst of it all. He was betrayed, talked about, condemned, and exiled. He didn’t die for our perfection, he died for our mess.


Realization #1: “Don’t let perfectionism steal your peace.”

     

I want us to have a heart to heart because it can seem that as we scroll down our timelines and feeds, no one has rough days. It’s like we know the pictures are only a snapshot into someone’s life and we know this is a lie but somehow our minds are tricked into believing otherwise. I go through this daily as I scroll through my timelines. Sometimes, I even feel far behind. I be like, What am I doing with my life?! Then, I say to myself, “Hold up. Wait a minute. Why are you comparing your chapter to someone else’s?” See, I have to talk to myself and recognize that everyone has a purpose and no two purposes are alike. There is no need to be insecure or jealous because their purpose is uniquely theirs. And yours is yours. PLUS, all social media is a snapshot into everyone’s lives. You NEVER know what is going on behind the scenes.

     

Do not let social media fool you. It can steal your joy with a quickness. We all post what we choose to post including me. I post the selfies (The ones that made the cut after 50 shots and a little editing lol) but I also choose to post encouragement and inspiration in the midst of my struggles because I recognize that our minds teeter totter between positive and negative thoughts all day. I KNOW how that feels. And because of the daily battles in our minds and the craziness in this world,  I just love to post things that bring peace and clarity. However, that is not all there is to life. Life for me isn’t always roses but I understand how vital perspective is. A positive perspective is everything. But trust me sis, I have my off days. A few weeks ago, I was struggling mentally so I took a social media break. I just had no peace. Sometimes, you have to just cleanse your mind of toxic thoughts. Perfectionism blocks peace and encourages clutter. Perfection will have you lying to yourself. Empty all that clutter out your mind sis. We have to replace those toxic thoughts with healthy thoughts. (Philippians 4:8)


Realization #2: “God is attracted to our imperfections.”

      If we look in the Bible, we can clearly see that God uses the most imperfect people. It is a testament to God’s love and grace. I don’t know about you but that makes me feel relieved to know that God loves me and can work with me in my imperfections. I want to let you in on a little secret friend--you will NEVER EVER EVER have to clean yourself up BEFORE going to God. It is a beautiful thing because God does his best work when we acknowledge that we are not enough and we need Him. Letting go of our perfectionism allows God to work in our lives. Perfectionism is a mask that our ego puts on to avoid being let down. But truth is, we will let ourselves and others down from time to time. We will fall short. Before you get discouraged, there is hope. God is perfect and he fills in the gaps of what we cannot do. I am telling you sis, life changes when we learn that we don’t have to come to God as a finished product.

     

God approved the “real you”. The one behind the wall of perfection. Paul said in Philippians 3:12-14, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Paul got it right. This is a daily decision. Instead of focusing on perfection, let’s give ourselves the permission to be REAL and push towards purpose.


And always, always, always  remember---you are fearfully and wonderfully made JUST as you are, flaws and all. Keep shining and progressing into who you are called to become.


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