In her book Conscious Femininity, Marion Woodman explains the title of her other book Addiction to Perfection to an interviewer:
…It comes in part from the situations in which parents have a concept of what the perfect child would be – perfect athlete, perfect scholar, when 100 percent achievement is the goal. The parents are trapped by this ideal, and their whole life is centered around performance…People begin living for an ideal – there’s nothing else to live for. But if you are living for an ideal, and driving yourself as hard as you can to be perfect – at your job or as a mother or as the perfect wife – you lose the natural, slow rhythm of life. There’s just a rushing, trying to attain the ideal. The slower pace of the beat of the earth, the state where you simply are, is forgotten.
Do you recognize this situation in yourself? I do.
Society has a huge impact on how we live our lives and what we think is important. When we pay attention to messages outside ourselves about who we must be and what success looks like, we do ourselves a disservice. We turn our power over to others when no one can possibly know what’s right for us or what we need – except ourselves.
As we discover our uniqueness through inner work, slowing down and paying attention, we reclaim the person we are meant to be. As we notice what we love, what we have energy for, what we don’t tolerate, we begin the inner journey back to finding out what matters to us and to living our lives, not the lives or wishes of others.
In many ways, we are strangers to ourselves.
Stop. Slow down. For one moment, breathe in and out. Who is this being who races around in a rush?
Let yourself notice how you feel. If you don’t like what you are feeling – notice. Take note without judgment. What will you do about it? Breathe. It works better than cookies.
Look outside. What catches your eye?
What do you need in this moment? It matters. You matter.
This is how you begin coming home to yourself.