Not Good Enough

An observation about a common “fear”-

“Atelophobia is the fear of imperfection. It is a specific type of phobia, an anxiety disorder characterized by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. With atelophobia, individuals tend to fear any type of imperfection in their lives.”

It leads to perfectionistic, “good person” longings that drive conduct, born of a sense of missing the “first” blessing and attempts to be “good enough” to measure up. Actually, it reflects a sense of self being not-good-enough that drives performance. It also fosters a set up for deep-seated anger, resentment or personal disappointment about one’s self or disappointment in others. One may rationally understand that one cannot live up to the ideal that one has cast as a vision of life. It may, however, lead to cognitive dissonance between the ideal and the real. Address it through acceptance of self, life and others as they are and commit to simply make the best of the only things over which one has control and what one has received…… being content that what one has is sufficient…. and refraining from judgment of self and others. Strategy- Stay present in the blessings of “here and now.” Seek serenity in the moment remembering we have been perfectly made in the image of God. We do not have to strive to make ourselves perfect by anyone’s worldly standard. We can just BE, and allow others to BE, without engaging in judgment. When one stops striving to do and be “good”, there is freedom from the fixation on those things that one judges as not “good.” We can receive the grace and mercy of God that frees us from our own judgements.

I remember the moment kneeling at an altar for communion when God first rattled the door of the cage of perfectionism that I had slammed on myself. Each time I have come to communion since that December day in 1992, has been a step further and further toward loving God with all that I am because of how much he loved me and learning to love others as myself.