Perfectionism is often a humble-brag. The answer to that awkward interview question “what’s your biggest weakness?”
Perfectionism is dressed up as a deep love for drive and ambition. It masquerades as being conscientious, thorough and careful.
For a long time, I clung to perfectionism like a woman drowning in a sea of my own self-doubt.
It’s been the way I create my identity, my worth, my right to be in this world. It’s driven me to achieve and strive for success – or so I thought. As I’ve come back home to my body, I’ve come to realise that perfectionism is actually “self-abuse of the highest order”, in the words of Anne Wilson Schaef.
It’s been a difficult year for many of us. The divides seem to have grown deeper and more numerous, and a collective sense of fear has made people reactive and in search of any kind of safe harbor. We’ve been told to isolate, keep our distance, restrain offers of trust and see each other as vectors of potential harm. The impact has been grave – social threads are fraying, and rates of anxiety and depression are through the roof. I’ve seen the impact on my own kids… it’s been a rough time for them, as it has been for many members of what people are calling the “Lost Generation.”
One of the most relevant and potent applications of ART’s authentic relating teachings and practices is in the singles and dating world. Those who have learned the skills and tools of AR have a massive advantage over those who haven’t, by knowing how to reveal their authentic experience, practice curiosity as a doorway to profound intimacy, set context that can transform any moment into aliveness and joy, and generally have people feeling deeply seen and heard.
On a cold February morning in the high mountains of Colorado, my assistant course leaders and I walked up to the towering, razor-wire-infested gates of the Buena Vista Correctional Facility. We passed through the metal detector and were escorted down twisting concrete hallways to the facility’s classroom. Inside, a window revealed snow-capped mountain tops in the distance, bordered by prison fences in the foreground. Snack machines hummed along white concrete walls, and security cameras peered down on us from the ceiling corners. A few minutes later, eighteen men filed into the classroom in their dark green prison scrubs and took their seats in hard plastic chairs, arranged in a circle.
I want to share with you all about a recent family meltdown that had a big impact on me, one that poked fire into my deepest wounds, and one that ultimately led me to a relationship with boundaries I’d never experienced before.
I want to give you a little background context for what happened, then tell you what went down, and then share with you what I got out of it – a radical new perspective on boundaries, and a new practice of naming and establishing them.
Going through Authentic Relating Training has allowed me permission to access versions of myself I had no idea existed. With the context set for a holographic experience, the insight continues to unfold far beyond the container of the weekend. I noticeably see the content play out every day in new ways.