Growing Beyond Perfectionism

The other day I was going through a list of things I needed to do in my head and was heading to get some tea from the kitchen and noticed a few things like little spots that need painting or things that needed a little extra help along the way that I added to my mental to do list. It got me thinking that if we really added everything we needed to do to a to do list and tried to do it all perfectly, we’d probably never get it all done. You may be able to make some great inroads, but there will always be something new to add to the list, and the more we add the more discouraged we may get which would result in even less getting done.

The same holds true for our relationships. We could constantly be pointing out things our kids aren’t doing right or what our partner is doing wrong. No one is perfect and we all have things that we do that annoy some people more than others, not to mention the things we try and fail at. So the question has to be asked: are we more concerned about appearances and perfection or are we willing to let love, trust and forgiveness prevail?

This is one of the reasons why communication is so important for families and in relationships: because you have to talk about what the lines are that shouldn’t be crossed or have to be followed. In general there should be a no abuse line, there should be a line about the importance of education and growth, there should be one about communication, and there should also be one about respect. Beyond that every family and relationship are different, and every person is different. You may have a more open relationship, or believe more in having your kids explore the world and try new things, or you may be less open than someone else. The question is are you all/both on the same page when it comes to the most important things, and willing to work through just about anything because you’re committed to loving and respecting each other?

As we enter this month that is often the topic of fears, violence and scaring others, I encourage you to consider if perfectionism is causing separation between you and those you love or hurting the quality relationships you could have. I’d rather do “good enough” and have healthier relationships than try for perfection.

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