I Am a Recovering Perfectionist
“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”~Joseph Campbell
I don’t want to do anything if I can’t do it perfectly.
I didn’t have this awareness until I began seeing psychics and spiritual teachers in my early twenties. Perhaps that is why I am a psychic reader now, I was gifted clarity around unconscious thought patterns before they became conscious to me, and was thus able to see patterns and have choice, much earlier than I may have otherwise. Awareness is a powerful tool.
I remember when I had a soul retrieval with Gwilda the Shaman and she saw me as a child, under the blankets with a flash-light, drawing. She could describe the pad of paper I had in my hands.
I had forgotten that memory. I had forgotten drawing all together. I knew her vision was right, it prompted my memory and she saw my favorite note pad.
When we found my lost soul part in the cave of lost children of the northwest, she asked, “Why did you leave?” My lost soul part said, “They laughed at it. They desecrated my art.”
I remember that my family did laugh at work I did. Until I put it all away and stopped drawing for good.
I learned early on, if I couldn’t get it right, I’d quit altogether. Somewhere along the way, I’d picked up some harsh messages about how I had to do it perfectly, or I wouldn’t even bother at all.
What a sad way of living. Many of us do it, I know. Scared to risk, be laughed at, claim pride in something we enjoy, only to have it judged or compared to other artists, we hide it all away.
I didn’t have a lot of space to experiment and play as a kid. I didn’t get to make many messes.
Every day now, when I sit down to write my novel, I deal with the voices inside. They say that I am crap. They say that I am not enough to write a great book. They say that it’s too much, too big, I’ll never finish.
I am learning that those voices may always be there, but they don’t matter. I get to show up to my art day after day, again, over and over, until I’ve given all I’ve got.
I just want to see it. Let me see it. Let me make a mess and get it out and see what I put on the page.
Years of shaming myself for not being perfect, years of comparing myself to others and surmising that I had no talent, have lent to wasted days of not birthing my inner world onto an outer canvas, fresh and raw for the ravens to eat.
Now, I want the bloody carcass of my lost parts to regurgitate on the page- be eaten up if they must, so long as they are out of me. I just want to see them.
Our art is such a sacred, intimate part of ourselves.
Whether we paint, write, or massage our hands upon another, the way in which we express our gifts can be raw and revealing, thus the years and hours of therapy it can take to pursue our dreams.
I can’t help but think that we were brought up with such limited constructs of viable things we could be, that we were robbed of playful wonder and messy experimentation. This only lead to my stunted growth in the areas of art.
So, as I sat on my therapists couch, at this cross-roads of sorts, deciding between making a real go at my passions and my purpose- being a psychic, a healer and a writer; or heading back to full-time teaching, sucking it up, being thankful for the security and good vacation days, I realized, with her help, that I can’t go back.
I can’t pursue the old way, or all will have been for not. My purpose is clear to me and with a full time career, I can’t show up to do the work of my soul.
I must find ways to support myself that leave me freedom to grow in my endeavor to serve via my passions. The only thing that holds me back is that I think I have to do it perfectly. The reality is, I just have to show up. One foot after the other. One word after the other. It’s okay if it’s messy.
I’ve but one chance in this life, and I wish for nothing more than to erupt as a volcano onto the blank canvas of my life; leaving a legacy of revealed, raw, open art.
In tendrils of confusion and madness, I will continue to find my real parts, the soft and subtle parts, that wish to reveal themselves to you.
Reaching you, having you see me, finding resonance through exposing our shared pains and joys, is my greatest passion.
I want for deep connection, waves of powerful emotion to be catapulted in others via the words I write on the page. I am in the business of moving mountains inside the hearts and minds of my friends. I shall not deviate. This passion, this ever resourceful, renewable, energy inside- it a force of motion and movement and mutual joy that I shall ride as a wave, be a surfer upon my yearning, till I slide right into my grave.
So, if you want to know what I do for a living, I am a recovering perfectionist.
Now, I make a living through a lot of different things because life, like art, is messy, and frankly, so am I.
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Yes perfectionism is a disease that upsets our emotional wellness. Your right it uses shame and guilt as tools to drive onward into anxiety and other unhealthy states of mind. Too bad our society leans towards that attitude.