Dear wife and mother,
Have you ever wondered how in the world did I get here? Like me, have you been pondering your past life experiences and how they directly affect the woman you are?
Just the other day, I reconnected with an old hobby of mine. I put a pair of knitting needles together and made a potholder. The simple project was relaxing and satisfying and so much fun! My husband even complimented me multiple times! But, forgetting that it was the first time in five years that I had knitted anything, I was frustrated at the flaws.
I was so stuck on the fact that it was not perfect that I failed to see the masterpiece I created. I could not see the journey and story of how that potholder came into creation. The story of my desire to do something more with my time than just sit on my phone and scroll. The story of bringing my daughter to the store and picking out yarn while multiple women stopped us to comment on how sweet my baby was. The story of feeling accomplished when I went to bed instead of overstimulated by everything I saw on social media.
The crippling chains of perfectionism robbed me of fully loving what I had created, flaws and all.
To this day, the chains of perfectionism hinder my capacity to live fully. I am stuck in a cycle of fine-tuning. I keep trying to reach a standard of living that is impossible. Nobody is perfect, so why do I keep pushing for myself to be?
Because according to my thirteen-year-old self, perfectionism is the source of calm and predictability. Perfect test scores in school avoided tough conversations with my dad, being the ‘perfect’ daughter by managing all of my doctor, oil change, and dentist appointments meant that I was not a burden, and my ability to juggle school work and farm chores without complaint indicated that I could handle anything!
Even though I lived in a loving and safe environment, I partnered with the spirit of self-reliance. Somewhere along the line, my perfectionist tendencies took root.
It was easy for me to confuse perfectionism with being driven, organized, and a planner. And because of that, I have lived a successful life. But one can not find peace when living a perfectionist lifestyle.
I now realize my perfectionist lifestyle will affect my daughter one day. You see, before getting married and having babies, our first form of identification is being a daughter. What happens in childhood can positively or negatively affect who we are as an adult. Our approach to being a wife and mother reflects our experience as a daughter.
I write to you, dear wife and mother, asking for your prayers. Assist me in this spiritual battle against perfectionism. As always, I will pray for you as we grow to love the imperfect parts of our story together. Just like the potholder, may our flaws become the intricate details that bring our life’s story to completion.
Until next time, your sister in Christ,
The potholder I made this week.