Flylady and Perfectionism, Again, and Again

Sometimes, I am amazed at how deeply my finding and following Flylady has affected me. Yes, I have a cleaner, more peaceful home. But that is just the superficial evidence of the deeper work that dealing with my perfectionism has accomplished.

Flylady posted again today about perfectionism. Her message is just what I’m dealing with on a constant basis lately. I wonder if all of this constant self-evaluation is somewhat narcissistic, but then I read in The Knowledge of the Holy today:

Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is. Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God.

This small snippet reassured me that intelligent and vigorous searches and painful self-probing are valuable when it comes to gaining truth and understanding. And I continue to have vigorous searches and painful self-probing when it comes to how perfectionism has shaped my life. Each search and probe results in a healthier me, a me who loves myself more and who can then love others more. A freer me. A me who is much more able to get out of the way and let God shine through me.

My most recent probe has involved the revelation of what has actually been my motivating self-talk for getting my Flylady chores done on a daily basis. I found that I have been saying to myself every time I get a load of laundry done or get supper in the crockpot or clean the kitchen counters, “Joey will really appreciate this.” And underneath that seemingly harmless motivating statement is the lie: If I keep doing these Flylady chores, Joey will LOVE me.

Now, Joey does appreciate my keeping up with the housework. But my little, life-long, live-in perfectionist that I haven’t been able to entirely evict from my subconscious mind distorts that fact into thinking that I have to earn Joey’s love by keeping up with the housework. Yes, this whole idea stems from the idea that Joey’s love language is acts of service. But the perfectionist in me twists it all around to fit the idea that my PERFECT behavior in some way allows me to earn people’s love. That people don’t or won’t love me if I’m not perfect.

Sure, I’ve already looked at this phenomenon. I’ve even blogged about it recently. So it continues to amaze me that I can continue to learn more about how perfectionism can really warp a person’s ideas about life and love.

P.S. I read a magazine article about an artisan who boasted by describing herself as a perfectionist. It reminded me how our society in general speaks of perfectionism as a virtue. And, as Flylady put it today, it is NOT a virtue. It is a crippling, degrading, stifling vice that keeps people from loving each other fully, from doing God’s work in their lives, from living abundantly!

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2 Responses to “Flylady and Perfectionism, Again, and Again”

  1. Sheree Says:

    Amen to the last paragraph, sista!

  2. Laura Says:

    Love, love, love and amen, amen, amen!!

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