The Quest for Perfection

A self-confessed perfectionist contemplates why she strives to be fault-free.

by Hollee Chadwick Jones • More.com Member { View Profile }

My mother continuously reminds me that a diamond — the most perfect of gemstones — is made from coal, which is decomposed vegetable matter. A pearl (my particular favorite) is not, as commonly told, made from a grain of sand. A pearl is formed when something organic, most often a parasite, penetrates the shell of a mollusk and lodges within the soft inner body of the animal. The parasite encounters cells within the mollusk's mantle tissue known as epithelial cells, which grow into a sac, envelopes the intruder, and excretes a chemical substance of aragonite and calcite. This is known as nacre or the composite of a pearl.

I don’t know how not to be hard on myself. I have no clue. But I have been told that there comes a time when good enough needs to be accepted. I am not to settle for only achieving good enough — that is a bar set too low for my personality and I am done with settling — however, as long as I can truthfully say that I have given my absolute best effort, then that is good enough. I cannot be all things to all people, I cannot fill everyone’s needs, I cannot do everything myself — I have to ask for assistance, let go and allow someone else to help me (not ask for help then do it all myself anyway), learn from my mistakes, learn from others who have already successfully done what I want or need to do, and accept that there may be times when I can’t do something. I need to learn when “No” is the perfect answer.

I need to look at my flaws and defects — the decomposed vegetable matter and parasites — as, perhaps, that which makes me unique. It is those very things that keep me from being a cookie-cutter human, a Stepford, which gives me depth and contrast, just as clouds enhance the perfection of a blue sky.

I will think on these things — remind myself of them when my perfection bug gets the best of me. That is the best I can do in this instance.

However, I was told today that I am loved for who I am, flaws and all, without reservation, without modification, without an “except for ... ” How perfect is that?

What’s your reaction?