I usually have a lot of jumbled thoughts. They all fight with each other to see who will come out on top and be the lucky winner to find life as I express them in some form. The downside to having so many things going on inside your mind is that sometimes, no one wins. Sometimes there are just too many thoughts and the tangle they create leave nothing but silence and my mind a complete blank and I just stare off into space.
The worst is when I am standing on a stage, leading worship or in the middle of a show, and the silence of my mind betrays me and it's just so not cool. The second worst is when I feel inspired to write and as soon as I have a pen or a computer (or even my phone!) handy, there's just empty space where, only moments before, there had been inspiration.
I think I know where some of this comes from. It comes from the 'Old Me'. The Me that thought that I could only act if the action was perfect. The Me that thought that the only way to survive life was to be perfect. The Me that believed that I was only worthy of love if I was perfect. And, the Me that believed that the only way to inspire people was to be thought of as perfect. I know I used to say things like 'perfection doesn't exist' and 'it's ok to not be perfect, your are uniquely made and that's beautiful', but deep down, I was lying. I might have believed those things for someone else, but I didn't believe them for myself and I would never have admitted that to either of us.
Perfection is seriously damaging. When you start to believe in the idea of it, it takes root inside your heart and mind like a weed. It grows deep, strong, and fast and begins to uproot all these other things that had found a home inside you. It chokes out humility, it suffocates compassion, it dislodges honesty, and it causes authenticity to decay. Once perfection takes hold, it will taint how you view everything, including yourself. Especially yourself.
When perfection took root in me, it created a split. That's honestly the best way that I can describe it. I wasn't even aware of it for many years, but when God showed me my brokenness, the best comparison that I can make is to liken it to a sort of multiple personality. There was the Me that I would reveal on stage, the Me that I would reveal to my friends, the Me that I would reveal to my husband, and the Me that I would reveal to myself. None of them were the real me. The real me had been buried so deep and hadn't had air to breathe in years. When the truth of my brokenness was revealed, it was as if the Lord shined a light into the dark places that were overshadowed by perfection and revealed every tiny fracture that needed healing. All of the different versions of myself needed to be brought together into one whole being.
Perfection is a lie. It looks beautiful, but it is dark, decayed, and poisonous. So beautiful on the outside, so ugly on the inside. Such a lovely deceit. Digging the roots of perfection out isn't easy, but it is possible. Sometimes it takes counseling, sometimes it takes accountability, sometimes it takes practice, and always it takes honesty, vulnerability, humility and a willingness to walk through the process, as many times and for as long as it takes. The truth is, you will never be perfect. I will never be perfect. That person you admire isn't perfect.
If I'm being honest with you, and myself, I still struggle. Not with the multiple versions of myself, when God does a healing, He does it fully. The area of myself that still works to keep perfection from taking root is in my creativity. The lie says that I shouldn't write a word, sing a note, draw a line, unless I know that it will be perfect. The truth says that perfect doesn't exist, art is subjective, and if I wait until I know something will be perfect, I will never accomplish anything. Overcoming these lies takes time and practice. For both you and me. It's totally doable though, I promise.
But, let's be real, aren't we glad that perfection is a lie? That it's not really achievable? Doesn't that take off the pressure? One of my favorite verses is the Bible is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 'But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.'
It's a beautiful thing when all the pressure is taken off and you can just relax into the fullness of who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you, flaws and all.