Friday, September 25, 2009


So I'm blogging instead of studying. I learned about this yesterday in my Human Growth and Development class (this is not your typical ages and stages HGD class--it's all about relationships and how the mind wraps itself around those relationships). This--blogging instead of studying-- is a compulsion. I know, you think of gambling, pornography, over-eating--yes, these are compulsions, too. But according to Erik Erikson (or at least my professor's interpretation of him), any activity that "hijacks your brain" to help you "check-out" of what you should be doing (because what we should be doing causes anxiety) is considered a compulsion. Compulsions are common in our day of Facebook, Ipods, and the remote control--just tune me out because I can't handle life.

Well, maybe this is not compulsive right now (ha ha; rationalization is a key component of impulsiveness and entitlement) because I am blogging about what I study, right?

Oh, well. What I'm also learning is that we, as human beings and that includes me, Miss want-to-be-perfect Sundy Lynn Sunshine Anderson, are in process. To be "in process" means that we have not arrived, but we are figuring it out one experience at a time. Funny it is how trying to be perfect actually stunts growth and development (which, you recall, is the name of my class).

I wonder how much of my life has been spent agonizing over what I haven't done right or have done wrong instead of exploring what it is that I can do with my current state. But I must keep this thought at a wonderment stage, and not start regretting the time that I regretted the time that I didn't do that which is what I should have been doing. . . over and over in my mind: Do you get it? Do you get me?

Perfectionism is a stunting disease--it stops natural growth with fear, shame, embarrassment, doubt--I think I still pride myself on this infectious disease. I have always wanted to look perfect. Well, world, hear me now-- I am not perfect. I am striving, but I am not there, and that was never supposed to be the goal, anyway.

Life is about tasting both the bitter and the sweet and learning to prize the good. Beating myself up about how I have tasted the bitter is not the purpose of my mortal probation. That I would taste bitter is part of the plan. Perfection isn't based on how much work I do--my merits will never be the A grade I earn. It cannot be earned. There is One mighty to save who got the perfect score and laid it down for my soul. Perfection is the cost. He paid it because I can't.

So I give my all as a part of the process (I am, after all, in process)--to become a little nicer than I was yesterday, to have purer intentions than I did last month, to give more of myself to the Lord than I did in 2008--and I do this not so that I can claim perfection, but so that I can taste what sweetness is. So that I can prize the good--so that eating the fruits of righteousness can transform the parts of me that are obviously bitter. If I don't attempt righteousness, and hope that the Lord will save me from my sins, I will start trying to find joy IN sin, which isn't possible--pleasure will be my reward, which has a pretty short shelf-life. "In process" means that stagnation is not possible--I am either eating bitter fruit (often comes with extra sugar coating) or fruit that is whiter, sweeter, and purer than man can attempt to create.

I've spent a lot of my life attempting to prove to God, my family, my friends, myself, that I am worth loving because I am almost perfect. How sad to discover that all my toils have actually pulled me away from the people who love me anyway. And that their love is not given to me because of what I do or don't do or pretend to do or not do, but because I am. Because I exist. Because we've built a relationship and connected and shared pain and joy and suffered and rejoiced amid the carnage of mortality, however big or small that looked like on any given day.

So I have a new goal--I will exist. I will allow myself and others to be in process. Shame is no longer the cover I will carry over my burdens--Perfection through my own merits will be left along the roadside as I transform through the merits of Jesus Christ. My love will deepen, my joys will abound. I will taste both bitter and sweet and praise the Son of Man (indeed He knows my natural man pains) for His conquering of every disease, including perfectionism and compulsions of every kind.