My little sister called this afternoon to turn me on to this post. Go ahead. Go read. Read on in to the comments. You will laugh.

And perhaps be a little embarrassed at how many of those you've said yourself.

And then you'll laugh some more.

But then, you might see a button over on the side that says The Disease Called Perfection, and you just might click on it.

In fact, you probably should.

Don't be turned completely off by the picture. It will make sense.

I was fascinated by this post. It really has me thinking. Is it life changing for me? No. But I think it was for a lot of other people.

I have so many thoughts whirling around in my head about it.

1-Why do I not need to bare my soul, like 4,175 other people do?

2-It breaks my heart to see so many people who are or were a part of my religion saying that they struggle with this. I am terrified to move to a neighborhood where this is expected. I live in a fairly laid back place here.

3-Is there a difference between being real and being too real? I have struggles that I do not feel the need to share with everyone. But I have sisters and friends--very close on all counts--that I can share these struggles with who will support me and love me anyway. But wouldn't sharing all of my struggles with everyone border on cruel towards perhaps those people that I struggle with?

4-I ponder how many of the 10 commandments we, as a society, have forgotten to live. As I read through probably 10 pages of the comments, I felt so much pain for some of these people, and so many of the 10 commandments came to mind. Most notably, "Love thy neighbor as thyself", and "Thou shalt not bear false witness".

The loving thy neighbor thing is really getting to me because obviously we aren't doing it enough--otherwise so many of these people would not feel the way they do.

And the false witness one is getting to me because--well, lots of reasons. So many people not feeling able to admit they made a mistake. So many people choosing to play this false game. It reminds me of a post another blogger wrote that I found very powerful and has stayed with me. It was all about Satan being the Father of all Lies. I found in this post that I read today, and in so many of the comments, so much more of this deception that he pulls.

Ironically, I go back and read the post and it doesn't say as much as I thought it said, so one of these days I'll have to ponder it and write another whole post about Satan as the Father of Lies.

5-I'm pondering the lives of the people around me. The people that have those seemingly perfect lives (that I feel no need to compete with, in case you are wondering). I'm wondering how many have burdens like these that I'm seeing in these comments--even the simple ones--and I'm ignoring them or not helping. How many of them see me as perfect and think they need to measure up? I hope none. I try very hard to be exactly who I am.

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9 Responses
  1. "You can't have anymore cheetos until you finish your hotdog." Bruce reminded me that I said that to my kids one day.

    Now that you're laughing, I'll go read the other post you were really writing about and come back to comment again.

  2. I like your reference to the two commandments. It's true that if we would follow them more this wouldn't be an issue. I always hope that I portray my life as real as it is(wihtin reason) and that I always accept people for who they are. Perfection is a disease, but it's one that we can fight. We just can't listen to Satan and his minions. And I always pray I can teach my kids this.

  3. Well, it was a deeply felt and well-written post, but it turned me off, for some reason.

    I think most of the instances of "Perfection" he cites are actually instances of Pride.

    But not all, of course. There is certainly much tragedy when people feel too disconnected from friends and family to have the strength to be honest--or "Real," as he puts it.

  4. Eowyn Says:

    Seamore, I also think that I want to make sure I'm open and accepting, especially to my children and my family.

    Luisa, what I find interesting is that while I felt that it was a well written post, I couldn't quite put my finger on why it didn't touch me emotionally.

    I think that the thing I find the most scary is the lack of communication that people have. We all struggle. We all have times when we doubt. But when we open up and talk to each other, so many things are worked out.

    It certainly has me thinking, though.

  5. Kimberly Says:

    What I've noticed, just in the last few months, is that the world has accepted that non-communication as the new normal. Even just answering the question "How are you?" honestly, surprises people. Sometimes, it even puts them off.

    One of the reasons I struggle to build friendships with local people here is that 1) you've spoiled me and 2) I don't do small talk and people seem to find my version of "real" a little unnerving. Is that my issue? Am I TOO open? Or is it just how the world is now?

    Another thing I recently realized is that being real isn't enough, we also have to care about helping those around us be real. It's not enough to say THIS IS ME, THIS IS WHO I AM, WHAT I FEEL, WHAT I THINK! We also have to ask, WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHAT DO YOU FEEL?

    Sometimes "being real" just makes us more self-absorbed (been there). "Living real" (as I call it), is something infinitely more than that.

    Did that make any sense?

  6. I echo nearly all that has been said here, especially Kim's thoughts. I also think that people today are afraid to process their feelings and share them ... at least their real ones. It seems all to often people are afraid to be real and to admit that life isn't perfect.

    I often find when I am talking with friends, especially with other mothers with kids, that they find it so refreshing when I am not afraid to say I get upset with my kids or that at times they drive me crazy or that I have bad mommy moments or that I get frustrated. The flood gates then normally pour open for them and they tend to share what they truly feel. And most of the time these don't turn into nasty, negative, gripe sessions. They tend to be reflective and hopeful and how we feel like we are not alone, but that with the support of each other, we can be successful.

    Now it is time for me to ask, does that make sense :) ?!?

  7. Eowyn Says:

    You guys all make sense. It's hard to admit we have struggles, but I think it's so healing when we can find those moments with people we know won't judge us and be able to share.

    I also sometimes wonder if we are so busy being perfect that we spend a little too much time assuming that other people are as well, pre-judging them, if you will. I know that I've kept myself from many a genuine person on the assumption that they wouldn't like me, whether they would have or not. In this case, it's my fault, not theirs.

  8. Kazzy Says:

    I haven't gone over to read the other post yet, but I too live in a kick-back area, and it is awesome.

    I have wondered to myself if holding things in is living an honest life (because I am not that great at opening up to everyone about personal stuff, even though I consider myself an outgoing and friendly person). The conclusion I have come to, at least for me, is that i can be honest by talking about general feelings and opinions without needing to share details.

  9. L.T. Elliot Says:

    I've seen that perfection post before and it turned me off, too. I agree with Luisa about the pride thing more than the real thing because I think there is a too real just as much as I think there's a not-real-enough.

    I think, for me, that there's too many voices saying what is and isn't. I just want to be. Still and quiet and be. And in that stillness, I keep reaching out for God and hope it's enough.