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Why Perfectionism is the thief of perfect love

You would think that an artist wouldn't have a perfectionistic hang up. But that's simply not true. An artist is a person. We come in every personality that exists and we bring that to our work. I've been covered in paint on my clothes (not apparently a perfectionist) while leaning in to get the perfect likeness on my canvas with a teeny tiny brush. Perfectionism is a condition of how you see things...and yourself.

If you are a high level of Perfectionist - capitalized because it becomes an identity title - you almost delight in finding imperfections. You pride yourself on your skilled eye that knows how to line things up, reproduce things with precision, capture flavors impeccably. But to get that, your eye immediately goes to "what's off" and focusses on "wrong" all day long.

And then you get married and you want to be the perfect wife, keep the perfect home, be the perfect mom and serve God perfectly.

Only life with others is messy.

And you either focus on all that needs fixing, i.e. their faults, or you beat yourself up for not being able to be their all in all. And pretty soon, you become unable to breathe.

And maybe, if you're incredibly blessed, you fall apart and cry out to God - the one you're trying so hard to present a perfect offering to.

And you discover that He's loved you all along.

And He shows you this one thing that changes your life.

Perfect love is messy.

Love came down and had a messy birth in a messy stable. Love walked on dirty roads and washed messy feet. Love bled. Bleeding is messy.

And love bled for the mess the world had become.

And love is a father who doesn't care if His shoes get scuffed from His messy little girl who puts her messy little feet on top of His so they can dance.

And while they dance, love teaches the little girl that she doesn't have to be perfect to be loved perfectly - which is really what she wanted all along.

And perfect love is an "us" - not a "there".

It's a living relationship, not a museum piece under glass.

The photo at the bottom is the newsletter of my friends, Tonya and Roger. I get to see Tonya in action as she meets with people where I paint live three days a week. She is one of the very best at loving messy people I have ever seen. Through her listening and loving - and her ministry with her husband Roger - I've watched messy marriages get healthy, messy girls with messy confusion get direction and peaceful excitement. I feel healed just being near as people sip coffee and dive deep into conversation with her.

And I had no idea she would write this about the sign over my paintings. In fact, I'm not even sure I was there which is even more sweet because I literally had nothing to do with this, but get the joy of being a wee part of it and the added blessing of receiving her wisdom as she wrote. So I'll leave you with this perfect lesson from someone who knows that perfect love is messy.

Dancing with Papa,

PS I just noticed the event at the bottom. This one is already past, but oh my goodness, it was so excellent. Rich and I did it a few years ago. If you ever notice this event in your area, don't even double guess...

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