The semester began a few weeks ago and I am already overwhelmed with all the craziness. My personal prayer life, friendships, and cooking for myself are only a few things I am concerned about in the midst of a heavy course load. I put too much stress on myself as I strive for perfection in all I do.
Perfectionism consumes me.
My battle with perfectionism became known to me in elementary school and still greatly affects me today. Sometimes, it causes me to fall apart in the middle of any slightly stressful task, whether that be a difficult conversation with a friend, completing a simple daily assignment, or writing my blog. I struggle to accomplish tasks and assignments because I know they won’t be perfect.
When I can’t achieve perfection, I often take it out on myself. I beat myself up for what seems like an infinity, damaging my self-confidence and ability to communicate with others. Often times, I put my worth into the things I can achieve without meaning to.
Perfectionism is a difficult battle to fight. Procrastination, a lack of motivation, and the fear of not being enough, often times accompanies perfectionism, creating an even larger battle for one to face.
I know that I cannot do it alone.
I must rely on the Lord to survive this semester because I cannot fight this battle against perfectionism and its companions on my own. If I want to survive and thrive, I must put on the armor of God and let Him fight for me.
My relationship with the Lord has grown with time in prayer, through which He has shown me glimpses of his unconditional love. Even though the Lord shows His love for me in little ways every day, I have only taken a sneak peek into this reality.
He has shown me over and over again that there is nothing I can do to make Him stop loving me, or loving me more. I have the freedom to distance myself from His love or the freedom to more intimately discover His love, by opening my heart and being present to Him.
Loving myself unconditionally
As I said before, I have put my own worth into my activities and academics. When I fail to be perfect, I often beat myself up and fall into believing the lie, “I am not enough.” Though I may feel like it is the end of the world, a bad grade or even failing a task cannot affect me in what really matters. My battle with perfectionism causes me to forget there is nothing I can do to earn the love of others and God.
I must look back at the purpose of the world and my own life. That purpose is and forever will be to get to heaven, and be one with my Creator who truly loves me. The only thing I can do is let God show me who I am in His eyes, and guide me in living a life of holiness, following Him, seeking to love as He loves, and turning to His mercy when I fail.
Seeking to love as Christ loves means I must love everyone, right? I think I often look at that as the way I must treat others, but I’m obviously missing a part. If I desire to love as Christ loves, I must love myself as He loves me. I must love myself unconditionally. Furthermore, I will strive to recognize my worth as it truly is, not as if it depends on my successes, accomplishments, or grades. That means when I fail an assignment, I can’t make it to an event, say something stupid, or make a mistake, I will not beat myself up over it, or think of myself as any less than who I am. I am beautiful, smart, and a beloved daughter of the Father. From now on, in the midst of the craziness, stress, and all else that will come with this semester and the rest of my life, I will seek to love myself unconditionally by abiding in His presence.
“You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.” (Isaiah 43:4)
© 2018 Emily Pillatzki
Photo Credit: Maris Bey