I pass a particular woman often in my neighborhood who runs faithfully. She runs in rain, snow, sleet, excessive heat, etc. It almost seems as though she wants to run in the harshest types of weather as a form of self-punishment! Why am I assuming that? She is probably in her 40’s and of average height, yet her weight is somewhere between 75-85 pounds. From the first time I saw her, I knew she was anorexic. My daughter and I see her often as we drive out of the complex on the way to school. I admit that I have used her as an example to my daughter of what an eating disorder looks like and have seized that opportunity as a teaching moment. Each time we see her, we wave, smile and then lift her up in prayer. I am also teaching my daughter not to judge but to pray.
This morning when I was out for my own run, I passed a house where the lady is often obsessively picking up miniscule pieces of dirt at the end of her driveway. She always has on dish washing gloves and it so focused on the cleanliness of her driveway that she never looks up to even say hello. I feel sad for her. She seems to not be able to take her eyes off of the inevitable dirt, leaves, and debris that blow onto her property.
Both of these women have a cord of perfectionism that is literally strangling them! Here is a short excerpt from my book, Journey to acceptance – spiritual release from food bondage:
The definition of perfectionism is a demand of excellence and rejection of anything less than perfect. Do you demand excellence from yourself and others? Do you reject anything that is less than your idea of perfection?
Perfectionism can also be considered a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards. Often you may become overly critical of yourself and expect high levels of performance from yourself regardless of what is happening in your life. When others criticize you it may be absolutely crushing to your self-esteem. Maybe you set unattainable goals and then punish yourself with negative words if you don’t reach these goals. Perfectionism is a cruel taskmaster.
If you recognize yourself as having perfectionistic qualities, please hear my heart on the matter. It’s great to have a spirit of excellence like Daniel did (in the Bible), but when you begin to judge, criticize and put yourself and others in bondage to your unattainable expectations of perfection, everyone loses! Your kids will lose, your husband will lose, and most of all you will eventually hate yourself because you pushed everyone away with your high, unattainable standards. You will never be satisfied with yourself because you can’t meet your own unreasonable standards. This will eventually turn into self-hate.
Jesus is the one who can set you free from the cord of perfectionism. His Word says:
Matthew 11:28-30 Amplified Bible
God loves you and He is the one with the answers. His Word has everything you need to be set free from bondage.