Perfectionism started in our broken family of origin. Let’s be real. The perfect childhood experience is a fairy tale. There’s no such thing as the Brady Bunch.
I swore my dad could pop a wheelie by pulling up on the steering wheel of our Chevy station wagon. But, our parents were not superheroes. They walked the terra firma like everyone else. They tried. But every parent has hurts, wounds, and places of brokenness. Hurt people can say hurtful things.
Maybe you brought home a report card with A’s and two B’s. But your parent said, “If you just tried a little harder you could get straight A’s.” You buckled down and got straight A’s. But this time the response was, “What’s the stain on your new shirt. Can’t you keep anything clean! Are you trying to embarrass me?” No matter what you did it was never enough.
Parents who can’t be impressed or satisfied. You see them every Saturday at local athletic fields where kids do their best to earn some form of approval. “Run faster. Swing harder. Get more intense like the other kid on the team for crying out loud. One hits 3 homers, and the parent says, “You could have had a fourth if you had tried harder.”
When parents try and relive their childhood years through their kids it’s a real pain for everyone. The voice of our parents continues to dominate us throughout our lives. So much so we confuse their voice echoing in our minds with the voice of the God who loves us.
Let’s turn the corner. How can we overcome perfectionism?