Friday, April 3, 2009

Excellence vs. Perfection

Today’s art quote: “Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it,” brings back terrible memories of my childhood and young adulthood when I was a perfectionist.
Have you ever been afraid you weren’t good enough? I grew up with that constant fear and lived moment to moment always doubting myself. It was an oppressive attitude that kept me from reaching my potential.
It wasn’t until I began to see my value as a unique person, that my compulsion to be perfect began to subside. And the more I realized and came to believe “that I am fearfully, wonderfully made” by God (Psalm 139:14) the more free I became to reach my potential.
But in giving up my need for perfection, I never gave up striving for excellence. I’m always in hot pursuit of self-improvement.
As a person, that means ever taking time to consciously recognize my vices and replace them with good habits. As a wife, it means choosing to honor and cherish my husband even when I don’t “feel” like it. As a Mom, it means learning to listen better and to accept my children right where they are even when it’s not where I want them to be. And as an artisan, it means striving to master the tools and materials of my craft. And how do I do that…
I do that by asking questions…
Some would refer to me as “over the hill”, and I have to admit that white hairs are quickly replacing my dark brown ones. My body may be getting older, but I’m young at heart, because despite the wisdom of my years, I’m still eager and ever ready to learn and to grow.
Earlier I said that gaining confidence in my own goodness, freed me to reach my potential. But there’s a funny thing about my potential--I’ll never really reach it either. However, I’m having a good time in the process, and I just keep on getting better and better.
So, do you have a question for me. Just leave it in the comments below.
And enjoy today!

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