NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Pedestal of Perfectionism

Recently I had some work of mine reviewed.   Flashbacks of when I was in the workforce facing the dreaded "annual performance evaluation" sent chills vibrating down my spine. The fear victims experience in my recent suspense series pales in comparison to the terror I felt sitting down in my manager's office as he shut the door.

I always fared extremely well in those evaluations and should have been ecstatic. BUT although 99% of the feedback was positive I would invariably zero in on the 1%, beating myself up over it.  Why? Because my name is Patti, and I'm a perfectionist.

Focusing on the1% stripped away every ounce of joy I had in my accomplishments. The joy morphed into fear and doubt. Fortunately, later on in life, I had a supervisor who cared enough to knock me off that pedestal of perfectionism by pointing out the 1% did not represent failure, but an opportunity for growth.  

The same curse of perfectionism attacks me spiritually. When doing my daily examination of conscience, I beat myself up because once more I have sins to confess.  Growing anger and disappointment tempts me to throw my hands up and accept the fact I'm a total loser. I even told my priest that during one of my trips to the confessional.  He just smiled and reminded me of Ecclesiastes 7:20, "yet there is no one on earth so just as to do good and never sin."  He added that God does not want us to wallow in guilt or disappointment, but learn from our mistakes, strive to do better and move forward in faith.  

Pastor Rick Warren also has wise words on the topic:  "If you struggle with perfectionism, then ask God to help you deeply understand that he loves you unconditionally," which brings me to this wonderful quote:

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Lenten Food for Thought

The following post was written a few years back.  Since Lent is right around the corner, how about giving up anger and spend the time focusing on forgiveness? 

As a writer, life experiences sometimes inspire ideas for future projects, but I never expected a menial household chore to be one of them. 

You see, I had an attack of domesticity the other day and decided to clean out my refrigerator.  I realized the contents could very easily be used to get rid of a spouse, backstabbing friend, noisy neighbor ... well, the possibilities are endless, and the passing would more than likely be determined an "accidental poisoning". 

I'm embarrassed to say I had cottage cheese that expired three months ago, hidden behind a plastic container filled with something that morphed into a green slimy substance, hidden by all newly purchased grocery items.  In fact, there were several hidden plastic containers and some of the slime was even black. Did you know jelly can mold?  I didn't. I guess 2009 wasn't a good year for grapes. Of course, let's not forget salad dressing, horseradish, cans of whipped cream and a jar of maraschino cherries (I don't even remember using them - of course, they did expire in 2012).

Not only did this chore give me ideas for a future book, it reminded me to be more diligent in checking expiration dates and throw the old stuff out. It's bad enough to be faced with slime and mold, but the smell.....that alone could do someone in.

And ... here it comes ... it gave me food for thought:  Just like expired items in the fridge, unresolved anger or hurt will fester and eventually poison your soul if you don't throw it out through forgiveness.