The Battle of Shame and Perfectionism :: soul calm {12/31}

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For me part of finding calm is letting go of the perfectionism that invades my soul, leaking me dry one doubt, insecurity, or mistake at a time.

I can worry all day about how I might be messing up my kids because perfect parenting doesn’t exist. I could get slightly angsty about missing a day of this October challenge (hello day 8, where did you go?). I could worry about not doing enough, not being enough, or disappointing people.

I could. And sometimes I do, but often the healthier thing to do is to let myself off the hook.

Take a deep breath and let it out.

Take a moment to just be.

My desire to parent my children well isn’t any less for allowing myself grace when I make a mistake. Owning up to my own inability to be the perfect mother or wife or friend is a start. But then I have to let it go and simply enter into these same daily moments again and again.

Sometimes, when I become too enamored with my own mistakes or my own inability to perform up to expectations and I can let these moments dictate future situations.

Shame.

When I mess up, perfectionism focuses on the blot on my record and sometimes I just want to give up because I already messed up once and shouldn’t try any longer. When I fail, I don’t want to try again. But just because I lost my patience once, doesn’t mean it has to be a day of lost patience. I can try again. Nor does it mean I won’t lose my patience (or “insert besetting sin here”) again.

There will always be failure.

There will always be times I mess up.

So in the midst of my attempts to act and live in a way that reflects my wishes for my behavior, I am also allowing myself to release the tight grasp I have on my own expectations.

Grace.

When we show ourselves grace, we can look our mistakes in the face and learn from them without sinking into shame. Because seeing grace is more important than feeling shame. And showing up to our mistakes, instead of hiding from them, can be the biggest way we learn.


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I am blogging everyday this October on the theme of Soul Calm. I want to take the dust of the day and sift it through my fingers. I want to see beauty, drink peace, and rest in calm assurance. Let the dust drift away, seen and unseen, beautiful, maybe, but not mine to keep. I hope it blesses you. You can find the collection of Soul Calm posts here:

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