Posted by: scintillatingspeck | October 12, 2015

Perfectionism, crumbling.

Earlier today, I was writing about perfectionism in a status update on Facebook (my good ol’ interactive micro-blog):

Here’s what I want for me and all others who deal with the scourge of perfectionism: deep reservoirs of patience, compassion, slowing down, refocusing on What Really Matters. It’s daunting when you can feel how entrenched it is.

Funny how perfectionism will even scream about how I’m screwing up getting over perfectionism. I don’t usually hear its harshest, most blatant voice anymore, but it gets tricky and goes underground.

Perfectionism is just plain mean. It has nothing to do with real motivation and sustenance. It’s just a destructive bully.

I don’t know why the song “Wild Old Dog” just leaped to mind, but I guess it’s connected. “God is a wild old dog / someone left out on the highway.” I think it’s my heart reminding me that the sacred is not in what’s perfect, but in something as humble as a mangy, old, blind, abandoned dog. Yeah, I’ll take the dog, for sure. My heart just wants to love that dog. That’s what I’ll do.


I felt like I needed to post that here and follow the running dog into the tall grass.  What does he want to tell me?

Perfectionism is a destructive force, love.  It doesn’t have a trustworthy foundation.  It’s a crumbling tower of ego built on continually disintegrating bricks.  There’s no self-worth inhabiting that tower.  You shouldn’t try to live there.  I know, you have tried, and rocks and pieces of roof keep falling on your head, and you can’t get warm.  There is no way to fix it.  It’s broken.  It could never nurture your spirit the way it needs to be nurtured.

Although you keep trying to shore up the tower, believing its structure will hold you together and make you “productive”, remember this: you didn’t build it from the ground up, love—the foundation and the walls were here before you were born.  It’s not surprising that you moved into what felt like the safest habitation at hand, when your spirit was under siege.

Now the gargoyles in the corners think they can berate you endlessly, full of self-righteous fury about the proper ways of getting by in the world, the standards for being acceptable, the seemingly obvious rules to follow.  You need to walk out the door, into the tall grass.  Look at that tower, those gargoyles, from a distance.  That’s not your home.  There’s no haven there.  You will never meet those standards.  Nobody could.  They are literally impossible to achieve.  They are set up to reinforce your sense of powerlessness and worthlessness.  You wouldn’t even treat a mangy old dog that way, but you?  You are accustomed to this internalized oppression and abuse.

You are so much more worthy than that.

Come breathe the air and feel the grass against your legs.  Come listen to the birds.  Come lie on the ground, feel the sun on your face, and do nothing.  Nothing!  Nothing!  You don’t have to do a single thing to deserve all this oxygen and bird-song and sunlight.  You don’t have to prove anything.  You don’t have to make anyone like you or approve of you.  You don’t have to, ever.  It doesn’t mean you will never be functional or creative again.  It takes time and practice to learn how to switch from being fear-driven to being love-driven.  You have been practicing all along.

Now take that perfect effigy of who you were supposed to be, that false, glittering idol corroded and rotting from the inside out, and drive a stake through her.  She’s a perfect nightmare. 

You are more beautiful than a thousand false hopes.  You are the one who gets to live.





  1. Damn. That’s some good writing. Careful, your work might end up being perfect–then what will you do?

    • I’m 100% confident I will not have to confront the issue of achieving perfection. Thank you for the appreciation.

  2. Superb. Good for me to read. I’m also trying to switch away from being fear-driven. I think about this more in terms of being survival oriented vs thriving-oriented. ❤

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