I wasn’t a particularly bad kid.
I mean, I snuck under the bed and opened all my birthday presents before the party, I convinced my sisters they were adopted, and I got punished ten times one night for doing the same thing, but that was no reason for my own body to turn against me.
At first, I thought it was a bad habit, like biting my nails or sucking my thumb. Mama put this nasty stuff called “Don’t” on my fingers to stop the urge, but I soon developed a taste for the bitter acid and wanted more.
I assumed other kid’s moms said, “don’t pull your hair out tonight, honey,” when they put them to bed. But I knew I was the only girl cool enough in my sphere to have their hair buzzed completely off at 4-years-old.
Doctor appointments were regular, but Daddy made them seem like fun trips. He also made having a buzz feel like the coolest haircut ever. Mama would tie big bows around my head, and tell me I had beautiful eyelashes . . . but I knew something was wrong, because at night I could see tears trickle down her cheeks as she rubbed my head to sleep.
That evil trait was taking me down.
My socks had to be folded just right or I would scream, my food couldn’t touch on my plate, I had to do everything right, every time. Even at the young age of four, I have clear memories of stressing about my fellow flower girls throwing their petals the right way at my Aunt’s wedding.
I found a way to stress about everything. Do you?
Perfectionism can steal your joy at any age.
Sure, I only was perfectionistic about petty, little, things, like my socks . . . but at 4 years old, that’s a big deal! You might think you have bigger problems, problems that are worth getting perfectly right.
But don’t let perfectionism make your hair fall out. Seriously.
That video, that photography edit, that resume . . . do your best. But you aren’t perfect, and chances are, your “best” isn’t either. So why stress about something unattainable?
Our mirages of perfection are constantly drifting away from us, causing clouds of stress, fatigue, and worry.
So, I have two practical rules I live by now:
- Cast your cares on the Lord, for “His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.”
- Live life by the 80/20 rule
May we learn from a 4-year-old, and may all your hairs stay firmly rooted in your head,