Day 3: Something I Have to Forgive Myself For

This is an easy one:  being human.

I don’t have very high standards for people.  I don’t expect much of anything, not because I am cynical and am perpetually disappointed.  The simple fact is, I believe that people will do the best they can do when they want to, and will do what they want to the rest of the time.  Regardless, we can’t control others, so having standards and expectations only sets us up for frustration and disappointment if they are not met.  It’s so much easier just to be pleased by others’ unexpected actions.

As for me, on the other hand, I am superhuman.  Or at least I am supposed to be.  The list of things I am expected to do, be, believe, accomplish . . . well, it’s quite long.  Neverending, in fact.  “Perfectionist” is not enough of a word to describe my state of being.

It’s hard for me to accept compliments for a job well done, because for me, well done is the minimum.  There is no superior performance — there is good, and there is substandard.

For me, there is no difference between a few dustbunnies under a pile of unopened mail, and a room that could be on Hoarders — in both cases the house is filthy.

All or nothing with me, and “All” is unattainable.  Therefore, I never, ever succeed.  I am always failing at something, usually at most things.  The result is that most of the time, I live in this state of Substandard.  (Example: my house is rarely clean enough for company.)  If perfection is unattainable, attempting to climb that mountain is simply a waste of time.

I have no idea where this comes from.  No clue about anything that happened in my childhood, or along the way, to put me in this state of thinking.  And it’s not a self-esteem thing, either.  I happen to have a very healthy sense of myself, except in one area (more on that later).  It’s because I think highly of myself that I expect more of myself, and I know what I am capable of.

I need to forgive myself for not living up to the impossible expectations I set.  I need to forgive myself for setting them in the first place.  I need to change my thinking entirely, and see my inability to meet impossible standards as some sort of failure on my part.  I need to get myself out of this perpetual state of failure.

I’ll have to start by trying to figure out how.

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