Today’s thought from Hazelden is:
I was so mixed up I tried to be perfect at avoiding perfectionism!
— Kathryn G.
Oh, the struggle with perfectionism! Of all the clubs we can use to beat ourselves with, that one may be the worst. With all the "musts," "must nots," "shoulds," and "should nots" we demand of ourselves it’s a wonder we can get through some days at all.
One woman said she called one of her cats by the other cat’s name and as a result spent the next two hours depressed. Most of us don’t go that far with perfectionism, but we still make unreasonable demands of ourselves.
The "one year" test is a good one for perfectionism: "If I (fill in the blank), what difference will it make in a year?" Some things will be important in a year. Making meetings, contacting our sponsor, communing with our Higher Power, and being honest with ourselves and others are all important. And we should be concerned when we fail. But more often we punish ourselves for the little failures – forgetting someone’s name or saying the "wrong thing." These are the "crimes" we remember the most. But now we can learn to forgive ourselves and concentrate on what’s really important: our new lives in recovery.
Today, help me remember what’s important. Help me forgive myself for minor mistakes.
You are reading from the book:
Body, Mind, and Spirit. Copyright 1990 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Hazelden.