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Mette Maja Mouritsen
Mette Maja Mouritsen


Perfection and perfectionism

Perfection is certainty. It can never be seen, at best it may be experienced, and even then, there will always be a missing part, the part that is experiencing certainty.

It has always been difficult for me to understand the concept perfection and acknowledge the human quality perfectionism as I have mainly noticed guilt and shame in perfectionism and its tendency to contaminate the surroundings. Shame and guilt are two very powerful emotions and stressors in many peoples life.

Perfection can be a virtue and a torment, especially if it is an endless struggle for right and wrong or good and bad, like when it stiffens in a perfectionistic form.

Nevertheless, we are probably many who are grateful for the carefulness a pilot navigates, a surgeon operates, a cook handles the food, and a dustman handles waste. And most of us surely appreciate clothes, a good meal, movies, music, pictures, a highway, a book, a pair of shoes, a spoon yes everything from wick to wigs which brings meaning and joy, and especially when it is carefully done and given with pleasure.

To perform anything carefully, it is an advantage even a necessity to sense very clearly. To be very sensitive in order to distinguish the finest small details, which may reveal the small pleasures and make a difference, even in relation to life and death.

Perfectionism requires discernment and sensitivity and especially an ability to forgive, when the distinct lines are exceeded, which in fact may be the opening to a greater world of understanding and new perspectives, to the benefit of ourselves and others.

Where perfectionism may become harmful is when it wants to stand out as perfection, by blaming and shaming all that may not fit into a limited worldview.

Maybe it is because we cannot see the beauty in ourselves, or perhaps it rises from a desire to be the top of the pop. Both may lead to loneliness and isolation.

Still, it is valuable to listen to the inner judge, who rarely agrees completely with the outer judges, and of course; it's all about taste and well being, which is entirely subjective.

Perfectionism is also a matter of expectations to our self. If we have high expectations to ourselves, we often have high expectations to others. If the expectations are not directly expressed, they will rarely be fulfilled, as no one knows another person to the fullest, who doesn’t know himself to the fullest.

Mostly we have different requirements, so we will never be met "perfectly" out there. Only in acceptance of our own choices or compromises, we will make peace with the inner and outer perfectionism.

It is valuable to forget and to listen. Then we discover the love inside as well as outside. We dare to live.

If we don’t listen to others, we may easily get stuck in lack of inspiration, which also comes through other people and not only entirely from within.

The inner judge knows his own truth. The outer judge makes choices out of assumptions whether something is right or wrong, good or bad, just as he has been asked for. No one has the final truth, it will always be a compromise, in giving space for the many different truths. No one knows the full story and the story before.

Life is choices on choices, which we ourselves basically must take the responsibility for.

Perfectionism as “the ever dissatisfied”, “the ever trouble-shooter” and “the ever pointing finger”, is not the only victim, it infects the surroundings, the people who always do their best, the best according to the knowledge and awareness, which we may possess and seek.

Is there no such thing as failure? Of course, we all do, we fail when we do not accept that we fail because we are in a process of learning. We are simply in the process of waking up to a world that is not only about ourselves and our own truth and wellbeing, but also about our shared truth and wellbeing.

Perfection as a concept is a virtue, in the sense that it is an option to choose to be aware and do our best based on the knowledge and condition which are available. In this perspective, all is well, perhaps even perfect, and it brings pleasure into the process of creation and in the creation.

Perfection is certainty, it can never be seen, at best it may be experienced. And even then, there will always be a missing part, the part that is experiencing certainty.

Dearest perfectionist: It is time to forgive and listen a little deeper inward as outward ....

Ps. this is written out of personal acquaintance with different faces of perfectionism, the internal and the external. So with all of my writings, they arise from familiarity, so if you feel hurt by my words, it may be good to know that we are at least two, who now knows the wound, which is a great opportunity for a deeper healing process. Together we can all heal these wounds, if we want to and choose a path of forgiving and loving all that is.

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