Guilt speaks loud and long into the hearts of women, but perfectionism is the quiet gossip in the corner who speaks lies and half-truths that sound just close enough to the facts to keep us listening.
I don’t consider myself a perfectionist in the traditional sense. Unlike my Type A friends, I have a certain lack of attention to detail that drives my family crazy and a finite amount of energy. However, I am well acquainted with the lie that drives so many of us to chase after perfection. Maybe you’ve heard it too?
Failure is not an option.
Actually, if you’re doing things right, it is. It’s not only an option, but it is a likely outcome of a life that is lived in freedom.
We recently went to see The Three Musketeers, and if you don’t mind having to explain to your six and nine year old what ‘consummate’ means (which by the way, I do), then by all means go see it. In the movie, D’Artagnan is leaving his father’s home to start a life in Paris.
Before he leaves his father says, ‘Son..’
D’Artagnan interrupts and says ‘I know, Father. Stay out of trouble’.
‘No’ says his father. ‘Fight, Love, Live! Go out and make mistakes!’
Fight. Yes, sometimes you have to fight to be free. You have to fight against the lie that failure isn’t an option. You are free to fail and pick yourself back up and try again. So go ahead and sign up for the class you’ve always wanted to take, write the book, run the race.
Love. You are free to love the things that make you feel alive. You are free to give and receive love. You will not love or be loved perfectly, but you will know the freedom of trying. Do you want to adopt? Have babies? Raise puppies? You have love to give, so go out and give it.
Live. Living free involves risk. Take a risk. Try something new, something that goes against every lie you’ve ever believed about yourself, something that would make your mother blush or your kids cheer on.
Go out and make mistakes. You aren’t living free unless you have a list of mistakes as long as your list of successes. Take cooking classes and still make bad meals, try snowboarding and spend more time on your backside than your feet, make a career change or five.
Quiet the gossip in the corner, and know that you are free to fail.