The Perfect Problem (Originally Posted May 19, 2012)

“Flaws are what make us human.”  I wonder if the person who coined this phrase was having a deep and insightful moment of self-expression, or was this their way of coping with the dismay that comes along with discovering (in yet ANOTHER way) how far from perfect we really are…

Today was wonderful in so many ways, yet I’m doing all I can to shake this lingering cloud off my shoulders. For those of you who know me well, you’re aware that I’m a perfectionist at the core.  Thanks to the liberty I’ve discovered in Christ Jesus I’ve been able to experience the freedom of being an imperfect person without letting my mistakes ruin my day, week, or worst of all the way I feel when I examine myself.  However, it’s a battle, and I currently find myself clawing my way back from the losing end.  A little over a year ago I had a conversation with a trusted friend and was rejoicing over the fact that there is so much to learn and gain from being aware of the ways in which we fall short. I was ready to dive head first into this road of self-discovery, and although it would be bumpy, uncomfortable, and painful at times I was determined to start peeling back the layers. I wanted to know what was hindering me from being the woman, wife, mom, friend, etc. I desired to be, and in that moment I basically told the Lord to bring it on.  Well that He did!  Almost immediately following this conversation I was faced with a situation that forced me to dig deep, get real, and let go of some old wounds and insecurities that had been weighing me down.  The end result was a positive one and my confidence soared as I realized that pushing past the discomfort was well worth it.  Then today happened.

Unlike the aforementioned situation I hadn’t given myself the pep talk.  I was completely caught off guard when a person I rarely see pinpointed one of my character flaws.  She had me nailed (can we say Holy Spirit!), and although I smiled and shrugged it off I couldn’t believe that she’d found me out.  This was one of those things you keep hidden behind closed doors because you know it’s an ugly trait. It’s something I’ve been working to improve, but just this morning I had a setback and was so frustrated that my efforts to be a better person seemed to be in vain.  I felt exposed and ashamed, and at a total loss as to how to keep moving forward.  I probably sound like I’m too hard on myself, and that’s probably true. But is it that unrealistic to be that person I see myself as in my mind, but sometimes struggle to bring to my daily life?  Whether it’s worrying, having a temper, getting too easily frustrated or giving attitude to the ones I love, this laundry list of Patty To-Do’s seems unconquerable at times.  Of course I know this isn’t true, but don’t you ever get sick of disappointing yourself?  I know I do.  Even still, I need to follow the advice I’d give someone else in this situation and snap out of my pity party, take it to Jesus and try, try again.  That’s the plan, but if you see me stumble along the way feel free to remind me that I WILL get there after all.

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