I am ignited by Anne Lamott’s post on perfectionism this morning.
” There’s a whole chapter on perfectionism in Bird by Bird, because it is the great enemy of the writer, and of life, our sweet messy beautiful screwed up human lives. It is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back, and if you’re an artist, it will destroy you.”
I am fighting back. Her words stir so much emotion in me.
” Do you mind even a little that you are still addicted to people-pleasing, and are still putting everyone else’s needs and laundry and career ahead of your creative, spiritual life? Giving all your life force away, to “help” and impress. Well, your help is not helpful, and falls short. “
I do mind – a lot. Years of anger and resentment are boiling inside my deep cauldron. There’s threat of it spilling over and scalding me. I breathe deep and slow. The boiling subsides, the lid closes. The danger passes and I am safe, again. No use letting my self-anger hurt me more.
“My pastor said last Sunday that if you don’t change directions, you are going to end up where you are headed. Is that okay with you, to end up still desperately trying to achieve more, and to get the world to validate your parking ticket, and to get your possibly dead parents to see how amazing you always were? “
Who needs all this anger? But when it comes, you have to let it in, acknowledge it, feel it, use it, turn it around and then send it on its way.
Thanks to anger’s angst and Wonder Woman’s magic, I have moved a few a little mountains in my world this morning. It is not that I have to work harder. I have to be a little smarter and a little more flexible but most of all, a little kinder to myself. It is important that kindness starts at home.
But being a woman, daughter and a nurse, I’ve been taught it is holy to be out there for others. I’m seldom home for me. Thank you Anne Lamott for all your words. I love you.