“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.”
― Anne Wilson Schaef
This morning, as the sun sparkled through the dusty blinds, I felt the rawness of my very emotional week-end set into my bones. An awakening took place that I am still processing and new awareness feels good, but like new shoes, it needs time to form to your feet…or soul .
Upon sitting up, my eyes take note of the laundry hanging loose on the ironing board and the over flowing basket of clean clothes under neath still waiting to be put away. Clothes are intermingled with decorative cushions on the window seat and corners of books and papers peak out at odd junctures. “Why do people eat in my room and leave dirty dishes behind?” I say to myself, and then feel a lingering resentment compete with my contentment as I make my way to the door.
The disarray continues in the hallway as I step over Dr. Suess books and barbies in tattered gowns and missing limbs, but played with none-the-less. My head turns toThe 5 year old’s room that was spotless for a moment last week, but now scattered with toys and clothes and bedding that no longer lives on the bed. Next, I know I am headed to the kitchen where dishes await my attention and the to-do list gathers speed and my chest tightens as my world seems too big to handle.
My feet stop me at the top of the stairs as I look out the dust streaked window into the tops of the trees and memories of first moving into to our home six years earlier remind me of how I disliked our scrawny, little maple tree out front. It seemed so awkward and bent compared to the rest on our street, but I had no clue how to change it so I just lived with it like I did the other ugly parts of myself.
I was uncomfortable with the uniqueness.
I wanted my home to be the same as all the other perfect homes.
Perfect yards and maple trees that stood tall and round and full set the standard.
I wanted perfect too…it felt safe.
This morning I notice how grand my ignored skinny tree has become. It is full and round and rivals any of the others around. The branches reach towards the sky in a posture of worship in its fullness and it takes my breath away. I take a deep breath in as I realize how profound this moment is. I did not try and control the tree’s growth process and instead stepped out of it’s way and let nature do its thing.
Just like God does with me.
Gratitude seeps in and I look back at the mess in my five year old’s room and I become curious about why the mess triggers anxiety in me. Yes, the job feels never ending , and the to-do lists seem daunting, and I can never seem to get ahead of the game, but there is something more. I have let the mess be a part of how I define myself and with every unexpected knock on the door or friend who drops in my fear of being discovered for the mess I am takes over.
Then it hits me…
This mess is actually the most honest thing about me.
It represents the truth of how I get distracted by other pursuits that fill my soul. How my house is full of life and children who create and explore and play and live with out constraint. It is a picture of how I am not perfect and quite frankly can’t always cope with the amount of work it takes to have the pinterest perfect home. The mess may define an aspect of my ability as a house keeper, but it does not define my worthiness as a human being. The mess does not take away the fact that I am worthy of love and belonging and DOES NOT make me less than anyone else.
I feel another layer of perfectionism strip away and begin to thank God for the power of honesty and I quietly ask Him to
“Bless This Beautiful Mess and all who live in it”