Surprise! I'm a perfectionist. To the point that when my professor so kindly announced he typically gives one A on essays, I immediately fumed because it was too late to drop the darn class (I'm still mad now, actually. Whatever happened to getting the grades you deserved? No, that's not a thing anymore? ... Okay, time to settle down and get back on topic).
I'm actually not that hard on other people, though. If you screw up, chances are ninety-nine times out of one hundred, I won't care very much. There's grace for you, friend. I really don't care how messed up you are, other than how it hurts you and others. I know you're wounded by life, you're made in the image of God, you're intricate and unique, and so I seek to understand you. I like you, my fellow screw-up.
But when it comes to myself, forget it.
I'm so stupid.
I need to die.
Though I'm not proud of this, that's what shoots through my mind when I screw up, or whenever that memory pops back in my mind. In the height of my depression, I actually muttered these things aloud as I walked along the streets of Boston because hearing the words somehow stopped the physical pain I felt upon failing and experiencing these memories.
True, I apologized over and over when I failed, but no matter how the person responded, I had to beat myself up. I had to, you see, because if I didn't, I wouldn't take the mistake seriously and clearly I'd forget about it and become a callous, irresponsible narcissist.
And hey, I mean, it partially worked. If you trust online personality quizzes, I score about 4% in narcissism when the average number is at least over 30%. Success.
If success is berating yourself until you believe in your stupidity and worthlessness, if success is shutting God out of your life because you have an eating disorder and you can't stop giving in to over-exercising and so obviously God can't handle your mess, if success is hating yourself, then I'll dance in my failures and beg you to fail with me.
I'm not saying celebrate failures themselves. But why not celebrate each other as we struggle and soar through life, failures and all? Why try to act like we have it all together? Because we don't. Whether we have God or not, whether we are rich or poor, whether we're male or female, insert whatever other dichotomies you can thin of in here, we will never have it together in this life. Some things help and others don't, but that's besides my point at the moment.
I have a secret dream of coming to a random stranger and saying: "Hi there, I'm broken and anxious and on medication, and I'm insecure about my weight and intelligence and hey! Let's be friends. I love you because you're a person and I'm not going to stop for anything, 'kay? Now shake on it!"
Or something along those lines.
Maybe I can start with you? Wanna shake on it? :-)