I have a cycle. For several months out of the year (typically late fall-early spring), I focus a LOT on natural living, cooking/baking real foods, perfecting every little area of my life, and all that comes with these things. It’s all I blog about, and I think about it non-stop. I focus on perfection in every area of my life… from keeping the house spotless, to doing special things with the kids, to eating perfectly, to using all natural products, to perfecting my parenting, etc.
Then when I can’t handle the time (and money, for that matter!) that it takes and can’t keep up with everything (because perfection is impossible), I decide that it’s something that I shouldn’t be focusing on. I start to realize that I’m idolizing these things. I start to realize that I’m pursuing the wrong things. I start to realize that I have made my identity in these things.
I realized something pretty BIG last night… when I feel like the world is out of control, I try to control it by getting all of my ducks in a row and perfecting everything that I can. And it works for a little while because I don’t focus on the “out of control” part as much… because I’m too busy focusing on what I feel that I can control.
Then, I feel guilty all of the time because I cannot control it. I start to feel stressed all the time, depressed, and anxious. I feel like I’m wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.
When that happens, I just give up on it all, which isn’t necessarily good either!
I desire to get out of this cycle. Desperately. I just don’t know how. And maybe that’s where I need to be. I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t know where to go from here. And I don’t know how to let go of the desire for perfection. “There is no fight left on the inside, but maybe that’s where I should be. I’m giving up trying; I’m giving it all to You.” JJ Heller
I wrote about this cycle last year… almost exactly a year ago (by only two days!). Read the post here: Ouch.
Just like last year, I desire to focus on being filled with Jesus… not on being fixed.
Someone that I truly respect (who is a counselor) has told me over and over again… the way out of this is to truly realize just how much I am loved by my Savior. She always says “Jesus loves me, this I know.”
I don’t think I’m there yet, and I’ll be honest and say that. I do know that He loves me, and He is my only way out of feeling the need for perfectionism. But, until I truly believe that, this cycle will continue. I pray that I can finally overcome this.
My identity isn’t in the things that I do, but it is in Jesus and Him alone. I am in Christ. I am a new creation! The old has gone, and the new has come. Nothing that I do will make Him love me any more… because I am already loved with agape love. Unconditional love. Right. Where. I. Am. In all of my yuckiness. In all of my need for control and perfection.
That is why I always say… This life is crazy and messy… and his grace is sufficient!
Another thing that I realized last night is that I don’t have to blog about changes every-time they happen, and why I make those changes… I wrote a post yesterday that I was planning on publishing today about changes that we’ve made to our grocery budget due to changes in our financial situation. I decided last night that I’m not going to publish that post because it just doesn’t matter.
So, then, Robert and I talked about how it’s good to make a “plan,” but I have to be flexible with that plan. Consistency is nearly impossible because life is ever-changing, and nothing will be consistent all of the time… no matter how hard I try. Each month is different financially based on Robert’s side work, based on whether or not I miss work because of illness, etc. So, I’m just going to take it one pay period at a time .
I wish I could say that this is the end of posts like this, but I don’t think it is. I know myself well enough at this point to know that it’s a frustrating cycle, and I will just ask Jesus to give me grace each time I find myself in this situation. We all have “thorns…” and this is mine. That’s why I’m thankful for Jesus!