Within myself, I've done a bit of ritual cleaning, too. I've been wallowing in emotional mire for so long, really, and the Moore book brought the stale, mustiness of my struggles to a higher level of consciousness. I joke around here quite a bit about being a perfectionist and holding myself to a higher standard than that to which I hold anyone else, but what I haven't said, because I'd never really looked at it this way, is that this perfectionism, and this higher standard I strive to reach are not signs of a noble heart or even someone who truly wants to please God or anyone else. They are symptoms of my own pride. What I'm saying to myself (and to the people around me) is, "Just doing enough - just being enough? Those are fine for YOU. But I am better than that."
Seriously. That's where perfectionism comes from, ultimately.
Think about it, (and don't confuse my criticism of perfectionism with a message that nobody should ever try to do her best or reach her ultimately potential, because that's not what I mean) WE KNOW BY NOW THAT WE CAN'T BE PERFECT. It's the truth. We are human beings, flawed deeply each in our own ways. My brain knows this, yet I die a little bit inside -- I allow myself to be deeply, deeply discouraged about who I am -- when I fail to live up to this perfect self I think I am. Even when I perform to par, but I'm just not THE BEST. THE PRETTIEST. THE SMARTEST. THE WITTIEST. Or THE FAVORITE.
It eats me alive!
I'm not living my own truth there.
Thing is, in looking at it all under the light of Beth's teaching and the scriptures she uses to illuminate her theory, I wonder how on earth I've missed this for so long? That I truly, at my core, believe that I am better than other people, and that's why my own inability to be perfect is such a HUGE and unnecessary stumbling block in almost every aspect of my life! Because I just can't accept that someone born to be SO AMAZING is just. plain. human. after. all.
Listen to what Beth says about what that kind of pride can do (and it can, oh yes ma'am it can, I'll be a witness to it!):
"... It's about ego, and we all have one. Let's face it. Sometimes people and situations make us feel insecure because they nick our pride, plain and simple. All the blows of life aside and every other root [of insecurity] yanked out of the ground, we wrestle with pride. Give some thought to the glaring connections between the two:
We're not the only women in our men's lives, and that hurts our pride.
We're not the most gifted people alive, and that hurts our pride.
We're not the first choice every time, and that hurts our pride.
We're not someone's favorite, and that hurts our pride.
We can't do everything ourselves and that hurts our pride.
We're not someone else's top priority, and that hurts our pride.
We don't feel special, and that hurts our pride.
We don't win the fight and that hurts our pride[...]."
And check out how Christians, specifically, use our Savior as a springboard for feelings of pride:
"Created in the image of God, we instictively know that something enormous is inside us. Pride is the result of mistaking the eternal for the temporal. We end up looking in to look up instead of looking up to look in. We get fixated on every self-gain or self-loss until, in our inordinate self-protection, we end up licking our wounds to the point that they can't heal.
Pride. A root of insecurity if there ever was one. We will never feel better about ourselves by becoming more consumed with ourselves."
Oh, I walk away from this book with so much, y'all. So much validation for what I've always THOUGHT were the roots of my own insecurities, but also this huge AHA! that has hit me right upside the head - that there's this fundamentally WRONG belief in me that is ALL MY OWN, and that frankly adds enormous, highly flammable fuel to what really may have been tiny little brushfires without it.
And this pride of mine is the festering, putrid load of dirty laundry that has to be boiled back to purity first, before any of the other issues in front of me can be successfully washed clean.