I have seen a spiritual director with regularity over the past five years. Each has a different style which I am ok with. I feel like I babble a lot with my current director. Like as if the words stop I might say something real. Which I mean there is some truth there, real is hard, but in this sort of relationship I don't have too hard a time with real. It is actually refreshing to get to be fully "real" because there I don't have to have pastoral identity, I get to just be me.
Anyhow, last week after much babbling I found myself talking about my struggle with professional perfectionism. Perfectionism isn't new for me, it has been a life long disease but as of late I only seem to struggle with it professionally. I ended up landing on this idea of imperfection as a spiritual practice and my director helped me to flesh that out a bit.
I try not to be all obsessive over this sort of thing around the kiddo, so what comes next is either me not being great at hiding my own struggle or some genetic predisposition. I can tally all my shortcomings in my head with out her ever knowing. I have noticed that Miss L wants to be really good at things like soccer with out practicing or working on the required skills. She wants to walk on the field and have a natural greatness with out putting the work in. Since she is six I try to accept this but after a particularly rough day at gymnastics, I kinda lost my shit a little. Which was unfair to her because she is six. I was frustrated that I spend the money and invest the time for her to try different activities and she never pays attention she just gets lost somewhere in her head where she is already as awesome as Rainbow Dash, as smart as Twilight Sparkle, and we could work our way through all the ponies. This makes me twitch, I have had to walk laps at soccer practice, grit my teeth at gymnastics, we won't even talk about dance class. 99.9% of the time I play it cool because I don't want her to catch it, the perfectionism. I realized as I sat there and thought about all this, she already has it.
I was the kid who thought she could become an Olympic swimmer by swimming laps in an above ground pool. I had lots of dreams that didn't require effort from me. I could probably look deeper there, in a moment's thought I can think of at least three explanations as to why my child-self would have liked those sorts of things. The point is my kid is just like me, while I feel pretty confident in saying I turned out ok, I really took the scenic route to get here and I kinda want her to take the expressway. It's her journey though not mine. This impatient girl who once wanted instant greatness has learned how to work hard toward something... I am not sure I would call it greatness. All this leaves me still with my perfectionism and a nagging question, if I believe God created me as I am then is the perfectionism part of how I was created? or is it a twisted version of something else I should be?
I am grateful for this space to write and to struggle.