Perfectionism and her death
This Dark and New Moon is the time for reflecting how the last lunar cycle has tracked and how the seeds you sowed at the last new moon have served you.
The Dark Moon asks what needs weeding and the New Moon asks what to sow next…
This last cycle with my pursuit of pleasure has tracked so beautifully for me.
You might say, I am feeling a little bit pleased with myself.
This is definitely not my default setting, so I have been a little concerned that this might mean that I am unwell – terminally ill even, because of course, there can be no other rational explanation for my extended smugness!
Sure, I’ve had a menstrual migraine, sure, my breast abscess burst again, and sure, I spent a week in a dizzy, lightheaded spin as I bled and my breast oozed… Sure, I’m letting go, but it’s unlikely that any of this is life-threatening.
Except of course the part where I am ready to start consciously dying a little bit more every single day, so I can become even more pleased with myself.
Confused? Let me explain.
I had a dear mummy friend over recently and we sat in my sunny backyard watching our daughters playing fairies.
As always when women get together, we told stories.
In particular, we talked about the impact of the #metoo phenomenon on our souls, and we allowed some painful memories see the light of day.
We gave Pain permission to stop living in our heads and instead let it traverse our vocal chords, allowing it to be transmuted while releasing our shame.
It was a beautiful afternoon followed by dinner on the grass, and both our girls went to bed early that night.
This should have been cause for more smugness, but instead, I mentally flagellated myself for how I could have done things better.
How I could have had dinner prepared earlier.
How I could have listened to my friend more.
How I could have just borne witness to her stories without offering solutions.
But… with two three-year-olds running wild, dinner to be cooked, fights over toys to mediate, tears to console and children unravelling on the witching hour, my timing was not perfect.
I had to rush to say my piece and get my advice in when I could, and yes, it was unsolicited advice.
I had a deep realisation that this is what I always do – I start with good intentions, a commitment to listen, and then I can’t bear seeing people in pain and so I rush to fix, and offer my unsolicited advice.
I am then consumed with guilt and I replay my flawed actions over and over again in my head.
Which is not really helpful. So, when I realised what I was doing, I took a step back and called in compassion and tried to administer forgiveness for my own self judgment (because you know, I’ve been attempting to do that for months!).
But I failed. Again.
I started instead on a brand new argument.
“If I was not a mum with this busy, chaotic environment, I would definitely have listened better.”
But the 3 year old lesson came crashing in. Again.
“I am a mum – it’s been three years already.”
“This is my busy chaotic life now.”
“I am no longer the career woman I used to be with just one role – I have so many roles now.”
“Now that I’m a mother, I no longer have a handle on everything in my life and no matter how hard I try, I’m further from perfect than I’ve ever been.”
That last thought stopped me cold in my tracks.
Striving for perfectionism is an act of violence.
And it’s violence against myself.
Imagine the hashtags:
#violence #againstme #againandagain #perfectionismhurts #makeherstop #shewontstop
This act of violence against my self is what is keeping me unhappy.
Sure, I know that I am doing the best I can, with all the resources I have, every single day in every single interaction.
And yet, I don’t cut myself any slack for slipping up when I’m in a new situation.
I don’t let myself change.
I hold onto this outdated standard of perfectionism that just doesn’t serve me anymore.
I don’t let those old parts of me die or let those new parts emerge, all new, shiny and inexperienced.
So it’s time I gave perfectionism permission to die and permission to stop living in my head.
Let my perfectionism traverse my vocal chords and the words on this page.
Let my perfectionism be transmuted, let it die and let it release those crippling afterthoughts of all I get wrong.
Oh yes! Yes! Yes! This Dark Moon, I’m so ready to let perfectionism go!
And what am I welcoming in on the New Moon on the 18th November? More pleasure of course!
My pursuit of pleasure is bringing in some unexpected insights and I not ready to call in that harvest just yet.
I need another full cycle of cultivating pleasure before I can say for sure that I have a permanent pleasure habit.
The best kind of habit.
I need to hear more stories about strong women leading beauty-filled and spiritual lives, and so I created Empress Crow and Rabbit. It’s a forum to showcase the inspirational stories of women in uniquely feminine careers. It's also a bridge between what we think we know and what we feel is right. Thank you for joining me – let’s all learn, grow and celebrate the feminine together.
Photo credit: Lucy Spartalis