How is it that I understood something this morning that I have never before grasped?

Perfectionism: On this path I have struggled with the sin of perfectionism. Without it, how would I ever succeed in creating anything of value? What would keep me going forward in my getting better, getting holier, growing closer to God and to others? It baffled me.

I learned once that character defects have a silver lining. As I’ve grappled with perfectionism, this truth kept hammering and I couldn’t totally let it go.

I don’t know why this thought came to me this morning. Is it be because I left my house in the middle of the night to help a friend – forgetting to ask her on the phone why she wanted me to come? It turned out an important need, but one that required  very little of me, far less than the scenarios I conjured up in my imagination as I drove to the hospital, groggy from the Benedril I’d taken back home. I only had to driver her home and return to my bed.

I don’t know if in this simple exercise of saying yes without asking why something broke away in my cloggy pipes and opened up the flow. It doesn’t matter, I guess. It is what is.

But here is what I realize this morning – this is my journal entry this morning:

Perfectionism is good when it is in the moment, as I face this decision in front of me…but it is not good if it is in the past. That takes the form of regret and self-punishment. Nor is perfectionism in the future good. That takes the form of control and anxiety. But perfectionism in the now is when I look at the options before me and choose the better. Why? Because this is the path I have committed to.

I need only to look at what is on my plate here and now and choose – perfect.


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