Somehow I wandered across the internet and found this post on the disease of perfection.
It was sort of sobering.
Today, I was in the parking lot of Lowes after trying to return something. I placed Bronwyn in the car and told her to climb to her seat (which she did) while I buckled Aeralind in. I made the mistake of putting the cart up prior to buckling Bronwyn in and by the time I returned she was busily ignoring my requests to come be buckled in while playing with the steering wheel and every button in the car. It was my fault for not buckling her in immediately and I knew it. I ended up having to haul her out of the front seat while she threw a tantrum (the kind where they arch their back until they flip out of your arms). Both of us clonked our heads on the roof of the car as I moved her from front seat to back seat.
The woman in the car next to us rolls down her window. She says nothing to me and just stares. I'm obviously pregnant, I'm driving a horrendously messy Toyota Corolla with two babies in it, and one of them is throwing a tantrum. I buckle in Bronwyn, square my shoulders, and walk around to the drivers' side. Lady-in-the-car heaves a very disapproving "Hurrumph! sigh.
Now I don't know this woman. I'll never have a conversation with her. At the moment, she's just an example. She's just a critical person who wonders why others can't "get it right." Actually, she's probably more of a mirror of myself that I care to admit.
She's infected with the disease of perfection and I obviously don't meet her standards.
Those "Hurrumphs!" of disapproval happen to me quite often, even when I'm in the midst of friends.
"You know you could kill them if you keep doing that!" (referring to letting my perfectly capable children eat whole grapes)
"I don't understand why you'd want a VBAC, you could die or your child could die. It's a stupid decision"
"You shouldn't say 'no' to your children. You'll regret it because it's so easy to repeat."
"You schedule sex with your husband?! How unromantic!"
And the list goes on and on.
More often than not, I sit in a room and say nothing, more afraid of what will be said if I'm real than if I just joined in on the perfection game, pretending everything is right.
I have a massive Fear of Man.
I always have. I want to hear "Well done!" from everyone around me, more than I want to admit where I am weak or be challenged by a friend toward growth. Hearing things like those listed above just make me withdrawal into the shell of pretending perfection even more; those things make me quieter, more introverted.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.
But the thing is: I'm not being part of the solution.
I'm not being real.
Being real takes courage.
Being real is saying: "I'm broken. Only God can fix me, but you can pray for me. You can apply scripture to me and I'll listen humbly."
Being real is saying "I fear God more than I fear man. I know that His strength is showing perfect through my weaknesses. So I'll admit my weaknesses and forgive others for theirs."
Being real is pushing aside your own critical nature and seeing people for where they are, where they've been, and where they could go if they had someone who listened to them and pointed them to the One who can cure everything that is broken.
But most of all Being Real is hard.
Nothing worth doing in life is easy.
Let's Be Real.