Like a lot of news, this article has me laughing and weeping. “Unhappy? Self-Critical? Maybe You’re Just a Perfectionist” poses the New York Times in one of the more ridiculous examples of news, let alone medical news, in recent circus history. Pity the poor perfectionists. Not only are they imperfect, but they’re also depressed. They drink too much and they sleep too little. They don’t eat right. They have a really hard time.
This is like squinting to read a headline that says, “Need Reading Glasses? Maybe You’re Just Too Old.” Now that would be news.
The stunted logic and stumbling blindness of psychological science amazes me. Because, like, where are the non-perfectionists? Are they in a secret society with the I. AM. NOT. A. CONTROL. FREAKS ???!!!!!
Let’s face it. We’re all perfectionists. We’re all control freaks. Some of us deal with our perfectionism by trying really hard. Some of us deal with it by trying really hard not to try hard. How do I know that? Because we’re human beings. We all have thinking minds, the picking-and-choosing mind, and we judge. Can’t be otherwise. We judge everything as good or bad and no matter how hard we try to be good we judge ourselves as not-so-good. Isn’t that what we all agree on about life in general: We’re human. We’re imperfect. That sounds like it settles the matter; only it just settles it on the side of imperfection! It’s still a judgment. Who needs that? Remove the self-judgment and we are what we are.
“Mommy, I’m too dumb for second grade!”
Georgia was wailing on Monday morning before school. She moaned and rolled in bed, begging for an out. The reason? She was going to have a math test.
Don’t get me started on the lunacy of school testing, and the absurdity that such educational “improvement” was championed by none other than the child tyrant of mediocrity. School is what it is, and it’s a lot like the rest of life. One thing after another.
“I thought you said you liked tests,” I reminded her, and it was true. That comment put a swing in my step just a week ago.
“I like them when I get 100%,” she quivered.
Ah yes, don’t we all? Diagnosis complete. She’s a certifiable problem child, a syndrome, a case. Only I happen to see that she’s perfect as she is.
PS. Intervention averted. She got 100%.
Because some of you are getting so kissing close to seeing what true practice is, I’m going to dwell a bit on that next week. Let me entice you by saying true practice is the way out of perfectionism, the only way, and it has you laughing as you go.
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