Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Myth of Perfection

There is no solace to be found in the myth of perfection. And yet, so many of us hold up the banner, and pledge allegiance to the myth of perfection.

Is there anything wrong with the pursuit of goodness, excellence, fidelity? Of course not.

However, living in circles that primarily outwardly display the persona of perfection can fill one with the idea that their imperfections are not welcome in the daylight. There is plenty of affirmation that struggles and failures are not welcome out in the open. I speak from the experience of having been raised within Christian circles. You want to know something about amazing grace? The amazing thing is that so many of the ones who take on the name of Christ know so little about extending grace to other humans.

This is not a dissertation for or against religion. This is more of an encouragement for anyone who might still be willing to open up and be appropriately transparent with others around them.


For the purpose of letting others know that they can make it through hard times. (Some say the only way out is through.) That maybe they don't have to pull up stakes and run and hide to conceal their imperfections and wounds. That they are not simply welcome within a community once they clean themselves up bind up their own woulds and present in front of others with the continued myth of perfection untarnished.

"Step away
Keep your distance
I can't be what you want me to be
But right now there are things inside I don't want you to see
So take your personal spotlight
Shine it on someone else for a while
I can't force a happy face or makeshift you a smile
I can't deny what I see, what I feel or what's in front of me
So take your world of precious moments of make-believe
They never made me believe in anything
But left me with nothing to hold on to
Your quick fix and magic tricks can only disguise what I was going through
And now I'm thinkin' it was when it wasn't
And now I'm tryin' to rationalize what just doesn't
Come together and somehow doesn't make sense
But God, how can I convince them when I'm not even convinced?

Everyone is thinkin' it, but nobody's sayin' it
Everyone's sayin' it, but nobody's feeling it
Everyone's feeling it, but nobody's seein' it
So how am I supposed to know what's real?

False sense of happiness
My security wrapped up in this
These control freaks seek out who they can brainwash and make activists
They'd rather have me lie than bring my failure to the light Keep your secrets to yourself It's not about you but them lookin' right No time to be ugly Don't trouble them with your doubt and fears Shout for joy little boys and girls You brokenness ain't welcome here
Well excuse me while I bleed through and my life becomes see-through
Don't ask for transparency but reject what you seein' too." (John Reuben)


Julie said...

You said, "The amazing thing is that so many of the ones who take on the name of Christ know so little about extending grace to other humans."

I think this is because inside most of us are still scared, little children. It is hard to extend grace when we don't feel it ourselves. We may say we believe in Christ (faith), but do we believe in what he taught (hope).

Thanks for your insight.

Garry said...

It is always says when you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. Communication Skills counseling

Christine Bonsmann said...

This is a helpful page. Thank you. The drive for perfection may be underpinned by complex feelings and thoughts. Counselling may be able to help if striving to be perfect is a problem.

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.

Whole Person Counseling said...

Perhaps the spiritual goal is not to be perfect, but to become psychologically whole, integrating both the dark and light sides of our nature.

Christ's example might tempt us to imitate Christ (imitatio christi) rather than become our own authentic selves as did he.

Cindy said...

I find my therapy on the treadmill.

Carolyn Cummings said...

Thank you for this post. As a Christian who is totally imperfect, I appreciate a call to honesty. I want people to see me living my faith, but I also know I can't hide my own failings for long. My prayer is that my transparency will allow God to work through me.

cici said...

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