Don’t talk to strangers! Don’t reveal too much of yourself too soon! Be careful who you trust!
Years back I was approached by a foreign-sounding gentleman in central London. Way before the EU and crossing borders was easier than crossing a busy road. They said they were Italian fashion house peeps … had been to a show in London … now had to return to Italy but were unable to take their collection with them – I can’t remember why. So they were prepared to let me have their collection at a knock-down price just to save the hassle of trying to take it back home. Six jackets. Adult and child sizes. All real leather. Was I interested?
Now this was before the internet. A much more
innocent naive age. Being scammed came with face-to-face contact and face-to-face charm! Scammer and scammee both had to size each other up physically as well as emotionally and intellectually.
They seemed genuine! 😊
My “purchase” went down in family history as another example of Dad’s flawed “dad-perfection-in-all-things”.
Along with the time I came off the commuter-train from London to a white-out snowstorm – so quickly got into the nearest taxi – only to have an anxious mum-wife – waiting for her own husband with one child in the front seat – politely ask me to get the hell out her car!
Dad-perfection-in-all things … NOT!
There are other examples. There are always other examples! Like the “stop smoking” counsellor who advised me not to stop just yet – he told me I was suffering from depression – which he thought more important to help me with – and me blissfully unaware!
Dad-perfection-in-all-things … ?
Anyway, it was he who told me that being a perfectionist is a very VERY heavy burden. Perfection as a lifestyle is an impossible goal.
But the energy needed to constantly fail is massive.
As is the damage to those around. Because to achieve perfection requires those in the circle of “controlled perfection” to be … controlled.
Dad-perfection-in-all-things now takes on as lightly sinister edge.
Except that I have come to learn that we all are – in our own ways-eccentricities – perfectionists. That we all try to make our lives “perfect” for ourselves. For some it requires hours on Instagram. For others hours on Twitter. For some hours at work. For others it is never being seen to be wrong. For others it is this – and for others it is that. None of us like – or choose – an imperfect life. We all like to think ourselves in control.
Yet being in control requires being in control of others. We learn that as very young children. We need others to say yes to our requests-demands. We need to say no-we’ll see to others’ request-demands.
We never call it perfection or being a perfectionist of course.
That title is reserved for the overt bullying-types. Not the covert manipulative victim-types. The ones who never could and never would – but always seem to anyhow.
It’s one of the things I love about the story of Jesus the Man-God. His strength through gentleness. His wisdom through connecting. The absence of needing recognition and validation. The absence of chasing perfection whilst achieving it anyway. The absence of chasing anything much but being who he is anyway. And – what I find interesting – is that he comes with both haters and lovers. And the Man-God accepted that in the same way he accepted everything else.
“Many returned home” … “From that day they sought to kill him” …
Maybe a bit extreme in this day-and-age – but you get my drift – being Mr Popular was not a need. Just like being Mr Fixer of everything and everyone wasn’t either.
Is that perfection?
Because we have wrapped the Man-God up in all the crap we use to put-off having to be the same – or even try very hard to be the same.
He is “Jesus” … the “Son of God” … without “Sin” (for “God cannot be around “Sin”” – even though the Man-God revelled in being with all – even the “sinners” isolated-insulated from those perfectionist-pure-washed-clean-by-the-Book-believers who were “acceptable in the eyes of God” (allegedly).
I think we need to wash-away the religious dressing and idolatry and packaging of the Man-God story. Or else we have yet more crap as good reason for watching from the side-lines rather than being.
Being “I am” as I think of it.