Welcome back, friends!
What? You didn’t know we were taking a little break here? I didn’t really know either. But when I unplugged for a while, I enjoyed it so much, I just kept it going.
Today I’m back because I read an excellent book last week, and I think it’s one for all of us. Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory just released The Cure for the “Perfect” Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver.
I have history with perfectionism. Not perfecTION—just to be clear.
I was 14 when a close family friend passed away. He was like a big brother to us, so my sister and I went to see a grief counselor. Charlie listened to me talk and then offered some strange feedback. I wondered if he was confused about the purpose of our visit.
He started throwing around the P word, and I sat there thinking, I’m not a perfectionist. I’m the most not-perfect person I know! I didn’t want that label. Because if I was? Then I was a massive failure at it. If you’re a perfectionist, shouldn’t you be a lot closer to perfect?
He sent me home with a stack of handouts on black and white thinking. I highlighted only the parts that applied, so about ¾ of the pages turned yellow.
That was the beginning of my rebellion against perfectionism. Though it took almost a decade before I admitted to maybe-sortof, just a smidge of a problem.
Kathi and Cheri call Perfectionism a bully, along with Performancism, People-Pleasing, and Procrastination. These P-bullies share one common goal: “to convince you to pour all your energy into creating and maintaining an image. This image is based on who they say you should be.”
Oh, that word. Should. I lived under its pressure, always striving to be more, just to make it to where I should be. I did it as a teenager. A college student. A new wife. And then the shoulds metastasized, when I became a new mom. Should-ed on at every turn.
While I wish I’d had this book a decade ago, it reminded me how far I’ve come with this kind of thinking. Half the book didn’t even need highlights. All glory to God!
See, fear is at the heart of Try-Harder living. But good news–“God wants to unlock the chains of fear, freeing us from its power”.
When fear rules, it’s an indicator that we haven’t fully experienced God’s perfect love. Maybe we simply need to take the little girl inside of us to Jesus, whose perfect love casts out fear. To me, Cure for the “Perfect” Life is a book about living brave, free from fear.
So come, join the rebellion! There’s room for all of us. Pick up a copy of this book, and join us at www.facebook.com/TinyActsofRebellion.
If you’d like a peek, click here to read the first chapter.
To find out more about this book, or to purchase it, click here.