From Each Day A New Beginning, by Karen Casey, December 1:
“’And it isn’t the thing you do, dear, it’s the thing you leave undone which gives you a bit of a heartache at the setting of the sun.’ ~Margaret Sangster”
A quality many of us share, a very human quality, is to expect near perfection from ourselves, or to expect the impossible in all tasks done. I must rejoice for the good I do. Each time I pat myself on the back for a job well done, my confidence grows a little bit more. Recovery is best measured by my emotional and spiritual health, expressed in my confidence and trust in “the process.”
Creeping perfectionism is a strange form of self-sabotage. At first it seems like such a good and healthy attitude. But setting realistic goals and doing my best to achieve them is very different from placing unyielding demands on myself and feeling “less-than” if I fail to meet them.
It all boils down to being honest and knowing myself as I am, not as I think I should be. Knowing myself and coming away liking myself—well, for many of us, that’s a process that takes a long time. Holding onto realistic aspirations can be a healthy thing. But demanding perfection of myself and worse, punishing myself when I fall short, is not healthy. It’s a bitter tyrant holding a whip at my back.
Strong language, yes. But not as strong as the sting of that whip on my back. I’m happy to be free of it. I love my recovery fellowship where I’m just one in a community of equals, where I can mess up and they love me anyway. I’ve grown up in the rooms all these years and I’ve learned to love myself, warts and all. This is where I found my humanity. I am truly blessed and happy to be alive, now more than ever, as we join hands to strengthen our communities. Thank you, HP!