I overthink, overfunction and generally try too hard which gives way to exhaustion and eventually giving up until something happens and starts the cycle all over again. It’s gotten better after twenty years of recovery and healing work; better but not perfect. Perfection is static, life is all about movement which makes it messy. Peak moments, like running on the beach at sunset with your dog, last about a split second. The sun eventually sets as the earth turns and we’re forced to turn with it. Dear mornings, no. Unless you’re Sunday, in which case, please stay forever. Rest days are my favorite. Writing doesn’t feel like work.
Doing too much wasn’t always a choice. For many of us, living under the weight of trauma and systemic oppression, overfunctioning is how we survive. I used to think only poor people were victims of oppression but came to realize somebodies and nobodies are equally burdened by the human experience. Everyone’s fighting some kind of battle. And I continue to believe, despite moments of doubt, we all have equal access to Vastly Infinite Possibilities. It’s all in our head. We might not be able to change the world (let’s try anyway) but we can change how we see it. That’s what my latest video’s about.
I’d started thinking about perfectionism a few weeks ago after seeing a bunch of posts on Instagram about letting go of perfection. They were posted by people I saw as already being perfect which is what’s always made their messages feel like an insult to the rest of us. People who seem to have everything tend to be the ones telling us to be brave, stop trying so hard, let it go, good vibes only. My counter argument has always been: if we could do less, let go, smile, breath, accept, quit our corporate jobs and backpack across Europe, we would. Actually, I’d rather stay in really nice hotels and order room service but whatever floats your dream boat. When those dreams or even basic wants feel way out of reach we end up fighting, running away or freezing. Fear fuels perfectionism, procrastination and eventually our sense of powerlessness. The power got shut off again. I’m working as hard as I can! Nothing I do will ever be enough so why bother? And that fear is 100% valid, necessary, even helpful, until one day it’s not. Each of us gets to decide when that day comes and are responsible for figuring out what we need to move forward.
It’s not that we stop wanting to be the best or most alive versions of ourselves, it’s that we’ve learned to stop punishing ourselves into getting what we need and what we want. Healing happens when we choose to trust that every hop, skip and jump we take back to Love is good enough.
In other news, hi and happy Sunday. I’m wrestling with the last chapters and still on the hunt for an agent. Anyone want to represent 106,000 words about finding our way back to love? Got my third official rejection this week. Again, very encouraging. She said someone else will love my book. Friends have been asking why I don’t self-publish and I keep coming back to the same answer: it’s the dream. If my dreams happen to morph into a stagnant, dusty, haunted pit of despair, I’ll reconsider. Until then…