Removing the perfect mask

Ms. Perfect.

overachiever.

“Ms. Neat and Tidy” was  the award and title I received at my preschool graduation. In my 2 years at the neighborhood preschool, I had apparently demonstrated some early skills of organization. My desire to have things in order, neat, and to make sense.

Almost 30 years later, that title could probably still be handed to me. But don’t get me wrong here. I enjoy spontaneity. I love, and almost crave, the future of unknowns. I gravitate towards changing things, making things new, and improving upon old ideas and traditions. When I was teen, I would move the furnitures in my room around at least 5 times a year. Why? Because I wanted change. I wanted to reorganize. I wanted to improve from what was done before.

Perfectionism is something I’ve had to fight. Displaying for people I have a “perfect life,” with my perfect house, my perfect marriage, my perfect 4 children, and my perfect cats. But the truth is, nothing of my life is perfect all the time…or even SOME of the time.

Kelly’s-Mask-off, people! Here comes the truth—-Sometimes I yell at my kids, get frustrated with my husband for silly things, have a bad hair day, feed my kids Pringles and Slim Jims for dinner (yes, this has happened…), OR, my husband’s most favorite flaw: not changing the toilet paper roll when it runs out.
THIS is why there is grace; an enormous, overflowing abundance of grace! I need grace, and lots of it….especially in my relationships.

I think it’s natural for people to want to put on their masks-of-perfection to hide their flaws. It’s human! No one wants their weaknesses exposed….no way! We want to hide how we are really feeling on the inside. We do this constantly and so flippantly in our interactions:

“Hi Joe, How are you?”

Answer: “Good!”

It just falls off so easily. Rolls off the tongue. But truly, what if the interaction went honestly? How would people react? Would the receiver actually want to be burdened with the actual honest answer?

“Hi Joe, How are you?”

Answer: “Well, actually….this morning I burnt my toast, and because I was running late to work and hurrying, I stubbed my toe on the shower door and it started to bleed. It’s killin’ me right now, and I have a splitting headache. Oh, and I just found out my daughter failed her last math test and needs to get a tutor. How are you? Do you have an Advil to spare?”

No, we never answer honestly like that, and if we did, the person asking the “how are you?” question would probably start backing away slowly.

We all have masks of perfection that we try to hide under. Thankfully, the truth is, we aren’t perfect, BUT God’s perfect grace will cover over us. He knows we aren’t perfect, that’s exactly why He sent His son to earth to die for our sins.

All we have to do is admit we need it and receive it.

Plain. Simple. Easy.

Following the path,
Kelly

© Kelly Sundsvold and kellysundsvold.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kelly Sundsvold and kellysundsvold.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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