I thought I was doing a really good job of letting go of my perfectionism. But it a part of me that keeps popping up over and over again. I am much better about striving for perfect. Giving up control. Giving it to God. All those fun little sayings.
Here is the thing about me. My whole life I have wanted to be good. I wanted to be a good daughter. A good student. A good friend. A good girlfriend. A good employee. A good wife. A good mother. A good Christian. A good person. And in my skewed brain, good equals perfect.
Attempting to shed years of striving for perfection cannot be done in two years. It is not possible. Just like I cannot get over a decade long love at the drop of a hat. I am at a crossroads. How do I move forward with letting go of perfect when I don’t know what good means?
In my heart, I want to follow Jesus. I want to live like Him. I want to love like Him. According to the Bible, to do that, I need to love my enemies, extend forgiveness, be kind, show compassion, and treat others with love. The Bible tells me that I need to be perfect as Christ was.
So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48
In my head, I know I am human. I have positive and negative emotions. I sin. I have flaws and faults. I live in a broken world where materialistic values outweigh internal morals and virtues. My life is entwined with social media with likes, comments, and attention. I pause often to double check my motives of writing and sharing my story.
Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23
I am conflicted. I am human born in original sin. I will never be perfect like Christ. I know this. But I want to be good. Yet, I don’t know what that looks like without being perfect.
What is good? What makes a person a good person?
Can I still be a good person when right now I can’t forgive? Can I be good if I have anger in my heart?
Is a good person someone who can’t always be nice and kind? Boundaries need to be set for the sake of the heart and soul.
Are you a good person if you would rather be indifferent than involved?
Am I still a good Christian if I don’t know if I want to do what the Bible says I need to do?
Is a good person someone who puts themselves first? Above children. Above others. Can I say no? Even though inadvertently it will hurt others.
I am sure some of you are thinking, well duh Katie. Of course. But a recovering perfectionist sees this as failure. I am guilt ridden with having normal human emotions. I am anxious and sick to my stomach for trying to protect my fragile heart. I am a disappointment because I can no longer be who I once was. Pretending to be good and perfect.
So, how do I be a good person but let go of perfect? How do I listen to my own voice rather than everyone else and still be a good person? How do I follow Jesus yet know I fall short of leading a perfect Christian life? How do I tell my head and heart to shut up? How do I stop trying to be good and just be me?
I understand that everyone is doing to define a good person differently. I understand that society is going to categorize me as a disappointment because I question perfection and its definition of good. I understand that the Bible is showing me the way to Heaven even though Jesus knows I will fail over and over again.
How do I move forward with the reality of what I use to believe is no longer true? My life revolved around being good and perfect. My life was broken and shattered. How do I let go of perfect and good? So I can rebuild a better life.
4 thoughts on “How do I stop trying to be good and just be me?”
I have to say, I envy your strength. I stopped believing in perfect a long time ago…
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Believing in perfect is hurting me more than I like to admit. There is no such thing. But I still feel like I need to be perfect in order to be deemed worthy. Working on letting go of that belief.
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I haven’t really thought of myself as a perfectionist because I give up too easily on things. But I can really relate to the trying to be good. I try not to make waves or be a burden to others. I try to do my best until I can’t and give up. The thing is, I don’t know how to be me. I don’t know who I am other than a failure at almost everything and a very few things ok. I know what the Bible says about who I am to God but for some reason can’t get that to overpower my sense of being invisible.
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I understand this. At times, I have felt this too. Being me and comfortable with who that is, I am finding is an ongoing journey. One that is filled with ups and downs.