“Oh, my little baby, you’re sleeping the whole night and not crying at all. Mommy loves you.” “You’re not making yourself dirty. Good job! I love you.” “You’re so noisy. You’re a bad child. I don’t like you anymore.” “Be quiet, or I’ll hit you.” “Keep the good grade. I’m proud of you.” In your mind, have you felt familiar with these voices coming out from your parents’ (or caregivers’ ) mouths since you were little?
In fact, children’s first beliefs about themselves were formed from their parents’ (or caregivers’ ) feelings and desires toward them. The only way a child can develop a sense is through a relationship with another. We are “we” before we are “I.” Why? Because in a child’s immature mind, it’s so natural for him(her) to connect his(her) own behavior with the parents’ ( or caregivers’ ) feelings or desires that he(she) will also assume only when he(she) does things well, he(she) will be loved. On the contrary, a child even believes that once he(she) doesn’t perform well, he (she)will certainly be refused by his (her)parents ( or caregivers ) and not worthy of being loved at all even when somebody truly loves him(her).
Do you feel you used to play some kind of role in your family just for getting the CONDITIONAL LOVE from your parents ( or caregivers ) and also fulfill their desires? Do you know we are perfectly created imperfect human beings? Because we are imperfect, we are never all good or all bad. Do you know what UNCONDITIONAL LOVE means? UNCONDITIONAL LOVE means we’re loved as a whole—-including our strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures in us. God’s love is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. When we’re loved unconditionally, we can love ourselves unconditionally, and we have the potential to love others unconditionally.
John Bradshaw said, “Perfectionism is learned when one is valued only for doing. when parental acceptance and love are dependent upon performance, perfectionism is created.” “Perfectionism always creates a superhuman measure by which one is compared. Perfectionism leads to comparison making.” Maybe you used to be compared with other siblings at home or your parents (caregivers ) might usually compare your performance with your friends’ from school. Maybe you’ve already felt distressed at work, too. Looks like you’re in the trap!
There’s no doubt for me that there’s a nurturing form of competitiveness. Such competition will drive us to do better and expand and grow. However, Perfectionism spawns conditional love, destructive competitiveness, and self denial. Are you the victim of perfectionism or making the others victims of perfectionism? If you’re the former one, are you suffering from depression now? Are you worried a lot about not meeting other people’s (parent’s, teacher’s, spouse’s, manager’s…, etc.) expectations? If you’re the latter one, somebody may be a depression sufferer now because of you, and you surely were a victim of perfectionism before. Then, what is depression? Basically “Depression consists of a denial of one’s own emotional reactions. This denial begins in the service of an absolutely essential adaptation during childhood and indicates an early injury.” said Alice Miller.
God can help and heal you. Tell God the situation you’re struggling with now and let Jesus heal your wounds in your heart. You can also pray God’s Holy Spirit to help you retrace every event which has happened and hurt you in the past. Be sure to let the emotions truly come out. The past memories might have been buried very deeply, but Jesus is the Lord, He knows everything. Jesus had become a human on earth before, He experienced what we experienced and of course He felt what we felt. There was a woman mentioned in the Bible named Hannah, and she was the mother of Samuel. Hannah came to God and talked to God when she was deeply sad. She said, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:15-16
What does that mean about Hannah’s pouring out her soul to the Lord? It’s referring to Hannah telling the living God everything from her heart! God had mercy for Hannah, too. God healed her heart and restored her mind eventually. I hope Hannah’s story would give us some encouragement, and we must not give up ourselves. For the Lord is our hope, we’re not hopeless indeed! Dear friends, if you’re not a believer yet, I wish you would give yourself a chance to further know about Jesus Christ. Never give up!!!
Next time I’d like to talk about how the school system has been bonded by perfectionism. See you then, and