Pursuit of False Perfection

//Pursuit of False Perfection

Pursuit of False Perfection

Per · fec · tion /noun/ the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

The other day I asked my two year old son what I could do to be a better mom. At first he looked at me with some confusion trying to understand what I was asking for. Then he run up to me and hugged me really tight while saying: ‘Mommy, you are my perfect mommy!’ The first thing that came to my mind, and the first thing I almost said at loud, was “Baby boy I am a horrible mom at times”. Thankfully, for once, my mouth didn’t follow my brain and I just quietly enjoyed Bud’s huggie. When he pulled away, he looked into my eyes with this indescribable love. It wasn’t the first time he looked at me this way, but it was the first time I fully understood my son’s perception of me. I was simply perfect.

I spent a few days thinking about that conversation. I kept wondering how he could perceive me as perfect while I could list hundreds of mommy oopsies. Did he not notice any of them? Did he forget the days I lost my temper with him? Did he forget that I didn’t bring his shoes to a strawberry patch on a rainy day and he had to walk barefoot in a mud? Did he forget the day I didn’t bring a diaper with us and he sat in a poopy for a while? Could he forget it all?

The thing is, he hasn’t forgotten any of those moments. He talks about jumping in a mud at the strawberry patch every time he sees a mud puddle, and he reminds me to bring a diaper bag when we go shopping. He just doesn’t see those oopsies as my flaws. He sees them as a part of his mommy and his mommy is perfect no matter what.

During the days I was reflecting on my son’s view on perfection, my friend shared with me details of two job offers she received and told me she was taking the one that paid more. She also shared with me her concerns about the man I wanted to introduce her to. She just wasn’t into facial hair. She asked me what I would do. This time my mouth and brain worked in synchronicity. Without any filter I told her that I tend to take a job that pays less but has more potential and that the man I married was not a person I would ever date when I met him. I don’t think she was touched by my answer in any way. I, however, realized that my pursuit of perfection most of the time has begun with unrealistic desires and the process of finding perfection has always begun in messy places.

We all have Unrealistic Desires that disable us from getting on the Perfection Path

My best friend came to my mind while I was making a list of unrealistic desires that took us a step further (instead a step closer) from finding perfection. As close friends often do, we spent countless hours talking about guys we’ve met and giggling over silly things we thought of them. Looking back we both were so ridiculous. I could not date a boy who had any type of an accent, especially a southern accent. Nope. I just couldn’t get past that ‘flaw’. Given that I myself have a very thick Polish accent this non negotiable of mine was truly insane and uncalled for. She would not date a man unless he was bold. No matter how many boxes she could check of her list, as long as they had hair, she was not interested.

There was someone I was dying to introduce her to. He was ‘perfect’ for her. Good looking, smart, successful, loved to travel, and he was even a Gators fan. I knew he would worship her! She was all he was looking for and he was all she ever dreamed of. But I never did introduced them because he had a head full of thick, dark, commercial worth hair. Fast forward 10 years and he is not that happily married with 3 children while she is in a relationship with a tad of a commitment lacking dude. The thing that makes me shake my head is that the beautiful hair he had is now gone. He is completely bold. The idea of a perfect man in my friend’s head stopped what could have become a great love story.

The List kept getting longer and longer…

I continued writing down all those ‘imperfection’ that either I had in my mind or the people I knew shared with me while adding things either I or them missed out on…

She was not as fit as I like women to be {she is now running marathons and is an amazing wife}

The house didn’t have a large pantry {the yard! the view!}

He is not a Christian {my husband found Faith through me}

We wanted a girl {6 years later still waiting for a child after passing on the opportunity to adopt a boy}

The other job paid $5k more {missed out on an opportunity to take over a large division in a bank}

The list kept growing and I started seeing a pattern.

While chasing what we think is perfect, we often miss out what is perfect for us.

Today I went back to the conversation I had with my friend about the jobs and my husband and I realized that in both cases I left a lot of space for God to do His work to perfect what initially started with a little potential.

Initially the job was pretty crappy. It paid a half the amount of the other offers I received, it was hectic and not defined in any way. They weren’t even sure what they needed me for. I took it because of a feeling I had, a quiet whisper in my head that said it was a right fit. And you know what? It really was! The role had nothing but potential to become my dream job. For 6 years I thrived. I did what I loved, I grew in knowledge and personally. I even more than doubled my initial salary. Because I didn’t come into a defined role that I would have considered a perfect fit at the time I was able to redefine what I was doing every few months and contribute to the team in greater ways.

And my sweet husband seriously was not a man I was interested in dating. Non Christian, ladies man, meat head, with a boring and not lucrative job. And the jeans – oh boy those jeans – you know the ones that kids wore in the latte 90’s, so baggy they almost looked like a denim curtain wrapped around his waist. The only two things he had going for himself were the lack of accent and love for the 80’s music. Once again I went with that whisper which clearly told me he was the one. Today James is a devoted Christian, wonderful daddy to our boys, and a perfect husband. He is perfect for me as much as I am perfect for him! Our relationship grew from ‘slight potential’ to a ‘perfect match’ in every possible way.

What would my life look like today if I didn’t chose the job or the men that were nowhere near perfection? What if I didn’t leave a space for God to step in and keep perfecting both me and the job and me in the job? What if I didn’t leave a space for God to mold James and I into a perfect unit? Would I find the satisfaction and contentment I’m experiencing now? Or would I keep experiencing disappointment while pursuing jobs and men that were perfect at the moment? This thought reminded me of a quote I read a while back:

When you aim for perfection, you’ll discover it’s a moving target.

~ Geoffrey F. Fisher

Those words right there make perfect sense! A moving target!

Friends how many times did you take that perfect job just to realize that now you wanted to do something else? How many of you bought that perfect house just to declare it wasn’t a good fit for your family as soon as you moved in? How many of you went on perfect tropical vacation and realized that after all you would probably relax much more in a mountain setting? Let’s make it even more granular – how many times did you buy that perfect, super expensive pair of high heals and later realized that you are a flats person after all?

We so often engage in a pursuit of false perfection and experience disappointment. We don’t realize that as we change, our view of perfection changes as well. We are stuck in ‘now’ and ‘I want’ without opening our hearts to the possibility of perfection growing from little to none potential.

What would our lives look like if we threw away all checklists, followed the whisper in our hearts, and trusted that God can grow a perfect relationship, career, house, car, practically anything from  a seed of potential? What if our perception of flaws changed and we considered all flaws to be a beautiful part of a perfect piece? What if instead of looking for perfection we found what we have to be already perfect and expand into even more beautiful lives?

‘Mommy, you are my perfect mommy!’ today, tomorrow, for as long as I live, with all my flaws. I will always be his beloved and perfect mommy.

Today, tomorrow, and for as long as I live, with all my flaws my life will be a perfect life.

 

By | 2017-10-13T14:05:37+00:00 October 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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