"Despite this craving to attach myself to other 'mothers,' the early 'training' from 'the mom,' combined with very deliberate brainwashing by other adults (which will be discussed later), produced an extreme reluctance on my part to open up to people. I was obsessed with thoughts of:
"'I'm too much trouble.'
"'I'm in the way.'
"'I'm bothering them.'
"'They wish I wasn't here.'
"'The whole world would be better off if I didn't exist.'"
"I was a sensitive child and at least one part of me was overly concerned with perfection. I wanted so badly to be good, to be a perfect child, because I believed that if I could somehow be good enough and perfect enough maybe someone could love me. Maybe even God could love me.
"As a kindergartener, I was given an assignment to draw lines connecting pictures arranged in two columns. Each picture in column A somehow related to a picture in column B and I was to draw lines connecting the associated pictures. I just knew that I would do the task perfectly, and I naively said to myself:
"'If I try really hard, I'm sure I can do it perfect. In fact, if I try really, really hard, I can do all my assignments perfect forever. I bet I will be the first person to ever go through twelve whole years of school without making a single mistake on my papers!'"
"But this was not to be. The teacher saw that I had simply drawn horizontal lines from one column of pictures to the next, not paying attention to whether the pictures matched or not. She told me that I had done it incorrectly, that I had misunderstood the directions. I tried not to cry, but the tears just wouldn't stay inside. I was so sad and dejected. Why? Because I was desperate to be a perfect shild in order to be loved." (My Tears Fall Inside, selections from pages 29-31.)
Do you know anyone who struggles with perfectionism? Is this a challenge for you? Is the underlying reason for this thinking because of the deduction that perfection is necessary in order to be lovable--even by God? It took me many years to realize that God loves me (and YOU) the way I am right now--even with my imperfections. (Do you cease to love your children because they make mistakes?) He sees our life as a process and is just happy with however we are learning and growing along the way.