Have you ever been in a relationship you knew was bad but didn’t know how to end it? Whether it is a friend who betrayed us, a boyfriend who ignored us, or a coworker who undermined us, unhealthy relationships are bad for the soul. But there is one relationship that steals potential from all of our ther relationships—including our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with God. It’s our relationship with Perfect.
Perfect is a bad friend. No matter what we do or say or give or take or create…it’s never enough. Perfect always demands more, but it’s never satisfied. Never.
My friend Amy Carroll has written a new book I just love!! And she’s on a mission to help us all break up once and for all with our unfaithful friend: Perfection! And today she stopped by to share her heart and her book with us on my blog – plus she’s giving away a copy too.
“As I rummaged through the damaged store, I hurried toward a colorful decoration that caught my eye. A hurricane had ravaged the seaside store’s merchandise, but there were a few treasures left.
My prize that day was a papier-mâché figure of Santa Clause directing a band of animal musicians. Since my husband was a band director, seeing Jolly Old Saint Nick with his conductor’s baton poised made my heart sing even though it was a balmy North Carolina summer outside.
I carefully carried the figurines to the cash register and made them mine.
Nearly skipping with joy down the sidewalk, suddenly I tripped and dropped my fragile treasures. My face fell with dismay as I peeked inside the bag only to see pieces of Santa and his friends lying jagged and free-floating at the bottom.
When I got home, I gently removed the pieces and lay them out on a table. One by one, I drew a thin line of glue on the narrow edges and began to put them back together.
The results weren’t altogether terrible.
Santa’s pedestal is webbed with cracks and the beaver is missing a leg, but unless guests get too close, they’ll never know the trauma Kris Kringle endured. He’s broken but still beautiful, and a smile stretches across my face each Christmas as I unpack him from his protective box.
Why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?
All of us have a level of brokenness from our own sin nature or from sin leveled against us. We all have cracks of insecurity, shards of sin, and flaws of failure, but for most of my life I’ve wanted to hide mine. I’ve wanted to glaze over my brokenness with a façade of perfection.
If I had found only a perfect Santa acceptable, I would have either tossed him after his fall, or I would have hidden him away in the box with the other outdated, worn-out ornaments.
That’s ok with an object, but we’d never do that to an imperfect person. We’re all in the same boat! So why are we afraid others will do it to us? That maybe God will too?
So we keep others at arm’s length, never allowing anyone to get too close, or we hide behind our walls of shame or false perfection. We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…
Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.
Jesus doesn’t despise us in our brokenness, tossing us away or hiding the fact that He loves us. He gently takes our pieces and glues them back together with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness. If we’ll only lay down our masks of perfection and surrender to His perfecting work, Jesus lovingly sets us out for the world to see and claims us as His own.
I’ve been on a journey to break up with perfect, and I’m finding my relationships with others are deeper than ever when I’m real about my flaws. In the process, I’m able to point to Jesus as the Perfect One, our ultimate hero, and I’m resting in the lavish love I’m finding in Him.” ~ Amy Carroll, from her new boo: “Breaking Up With Perfect”
ENTER TO WIN
To celebrate the release of her new book “Breaking Up with Perfect” Amy Carroll is giving a copy away!
ARE YOU READY to BREAK UP with PERFECT? If so, leave a comment below this post where entries will be gathered and a winner will be chosen. Please CLICK HERE if you’re reading via email. All comments must be shared on my blog to be entered. THANKS!!
Trying so hard to break up with perfect. It’s heart breaking when you hear your own children say, “mom it doesn’t have to be perfect”. We/I try to have everything perfect that it starts to ruin your relationships with everyone. I strive to be perfect and I expect my loved ones to also be perfect. I see that now. Especially since my husband thinks that he will never be or do good enough. I can’t wait to read this.
I grew up in a house where perfection was demanded. My whole life has been trying to be the best and perfection has ruined my ability to unwind working on my gourds because unless it is a masterpiece I won’t finish. I am constantly striving for perfection at work, relationships and every other part in my life and I am very very frustrated and tired. I do not have close relationships because it’s to exhausting trying to be “on” all the time. I hope your book can help me in this.
I am 16 years old, and I happened to hear about Renee’s blog on Spirit FM. It was one day when the conversation came to not measuring up to others expectations. It is something that I struggle with daily, so I thought I would come and see Renee’s blog. I just wanted to say that I love reading your blog’and Renee- they were so helpful! And thank you Amy Carol for writing this book!
I yearn for the day I can break up with perfection! For 52 yrs i have struggled with the awful images in my mind of how imperfect I am, even though I know God makes no mistakes & made me perfect in his image, I just can’t believe he means “ME”. I struggle in every aspect of life, myself, marriage, children, grandchildren, friendships, maintaining a home, you name it I try to be perfect at it all. However the way I see it vs. the way others view me & what I do is drastically different. Its never good enough for me! I long for the “break up with perfection”. Thank you for writing a book about a struggle that most women have & a way to make the break up happen. Thank you also for a chance to win your book, either way I MUST read it!
Wow. I facilitate groups of Mending the Soul for abused women and also groups using books like “Boundaries”. What a great addition this book would be to help these women.
I struggle with perfection every day!!! I would love to read this book. Thanks for your ministry and for sharing and giving someone the opportunity to read the book! Hope everyone has a blessed day.
Ajibade Tolulope Samuel says
When I read the extracts you shared, I was engrossed so much that I hated the fact that I was merely reading an extract. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post. I placed myself in front of the mirror of my Spirit and realized how subconsciously I’ve expected perfection from myself, ans even though I saw others as imperfect, accepted them for who they are, I expect of myself perfection, and as a result of this unattainable goal, I never truly lived a happy life… Its time to break free from perfection, and accept myself for who I really am just as I accepted others and above all how God accepts me.
I stay in far away Nigeria but I would desire so much to have a personal conversation with the blessed writer Amy Carroll. I hope to learn more from you and your book.
God bless Renne for sharing this wonderful piece with the world. May your friendship with Amy never end… Gid bless us all as we break free from perfection!
Oh how I wish I could let go of the engrained need to be perfection. I’ve lost many nights of sleep assessing my imperfections and planning on how I can make them into perfection…..or at the very least, provide a “perfect” mask to wear so the outside world doesn’t see how horribly imperfect I really am. I’ve spent many days (and even years with some things) drowning in the floods of anxiety that I am riddled with because I’ve made mistakes that I am not proud of and in my mind that makes me less of a person because I must be something terrible and horrible to make such choices. If I could learn and grow from imperfection and just move on it’d be ok…..but I obsess over these things and define myself by them. I love the reference to the broken Kris Kringle….”he’s broken but still beautiful…..why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?” To more complicate matters, I expect the same perfection I burden myself with from my children, husband and others I love. I’ve spent years purposefully isolating myself from other people outside of my inner circle and building up intentional walls so I don’t have to expose myself to be less than perfect…..vulnerable. It’s a lonely world that I live in, an unapproachable……dark, lonely perfect place where I set myself up for disappointment over and over again because of my need for perfection in all areas of my life. I’d give anything if I could break up with perfection…..
It is so hard to remember that I don’t have to be perfect, but and no one else can either. I want to be a loving positive force for my friends and family, without the guilt of knowing I am not perfect. Only our true Father is the perfect one!
Finished cleaning out a home I’d lived in for almost 25 years and wanted it clean for the new owners; unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to do all I wanted but realized it’s ok! Praying God gives the new owner many blessings and memories as they move in! Would love to have a copy of the book!
Cecilia Daniels says
Coming from a dysfunctional childhood caused me to try to rise above it by not only trying to be ‘perfect’ myself, but I expected it from others as well. You can imagine how difficult it was to maintain this level in all areas of my life! Many relationships suffered time and again. It caused me a lot of pain, and only when my own children shut me out did I finally get off my high horse and let the Lord change me and my brokenness! Jesus is the only Perfect one, Amen!
Sounds like a wonderful read. Something that I am definitely in need of….getting rid of the perfection “thing” in me.
Delsa Byrd says
I try to do things so perfect and right. I believe i go overboard with it and it has at times became stressful feeling like you have to do everything perfect or well. I really need to say fare well, see you later alligator, and after while crock-a dial. I don’t want to be looked at as not being able Oh Wow(does that mean perfect) LOL
DeAnn I♥RFKC 2011 says
It’s funny, it’s like I just realized I keep a place set at my table for rejection for when I fail to meet that perfect mark I have set for myself.
It’s just like God to drop something in your lap! I don’t believe in coincidence and I know God intends for me to be free from my harmful ways of thinking. I just started reading Renee’s Confident Heart and I have now pinned today’s blog to my new book list. This time next year will look ALOT different by the grace of God.
Linda N says
Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book. Maybe I could finally find out how to relax and enjoy. When I can’t do something perfectly, I find myself not doing it at all. Not the recipe for success.
Can’t wait to read your book! I now realize perfectionism is basically a sickness. I’m not sure what drives me to always want a neat, somewhat clean, house and yard, but have always felt it’s a direct reflection on who and what kind of a person I am. Thank you for your ministry and willing to be used by God
UGH– perfection— that word and feeling that we all suffer from. God is putting the pieces back together, but the world around me seems to not want damaged goods. In other words, to find someone who wants to share and enjoy this broken but glued vessel is lonely at times. BUT God….knows what He is doing. This I believe and trust. Thank you for your book and ministry to encourage those of us who suffer from this.
Ouch! And Ouch. Preparing to send mini me out into the world this fall who learned this trait from me a little too well ;(
Jenielle Harpster says
I have struggled with perfection my whole life. It has been such a struggle that I have stayed in friendships, thinking that I could be the perfect friend. Then one day I realized that the relationship wasn’t healthy and trying to be perfect for other people, isn’t what God desires for my life.
I hold such high standards for myself and unfortunately for others. This has resulted n much brokenness in my relationships. I am praying and hoping for healing. This book sounds awesome to help I that process.
Cora Nash says
I struggle with the haunt of discouragement- that I am not doing enough. After I read this I realized I am striving for perfection and demanding of it of others in the most dangerous subtle way. Can’t wait to read this book!
This book really caught my attention – I am currently struggling with a betrayal in friend relationship – and have always struggled with the “perfect’ syndrome. I feel like if I tell anyone about my struggles it means I am weak and doing something wrong. God is beginning to work with me on this.
This is something that I constantly struggle with in my life. I can only focus on God to keep those negative thoughts out of my mind. The closer my relationship with Him, the less of those thoughts I have.
Diane Higgins says
I would love to read this book! I am constantly dealing with feelings of perfectionism. I’ve gotten a little better but still have a long way to go! I would love to win this book! Thanks for all you do. Love reading your emails!
Rebecca A. says
Thank you for writing on such an important topic that I think most of us deal with in today’s world and our everyday. God Bless, look forward to reading 🙂
Leigh Ellen says
Oh, how I would love to read this book. I long for the day when I can relax and enjoy life. I miss out on the joy of many activities just because I am focused on things being a certain way. I have a two year old and I don’t want to miss out on his life and fun because I was focused on the wrong things.
Connie Stankovich says
Hi, I would love to have this for someone dear to my heart.
Perfection is literally killing me.
Perfection is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I long for the day when perfection will stop preventing me from trying new things. I am just so scared of failing.
Elaine B says
I need to break up with being perfect. Perfection has been my middle name since I was about 8 years old. Being perfect almost cost me my relationship with my daughter about 4 years ago. I would so much love to have this book to read.
What I have read so far from your book really resonated with me. This is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. Accepting that I will be accepted by God and others regardless of my flaws is a definite work in progress. I’m in hopes your book will make a difference in my effort to accept myself for who I really am, a child of God, ok with all my imperfections.
Ahhhh, so comforting to know I am not alone! Perfection has robbed so much of my life! It’s exhausting! I’ve tried to let go and let God so many times – only to take it back again! Thank you, Amy, for writing this book. And a bigger thank you to all of the ladies who let their facades down to post on this blog! I want to break up with perfection!
Shanequa Moore says
Perfection! Almost kept me from commenting, thinking my response could never be good enough.
Miranda Miller says
I would love to read this book and hoping I win. I would have already bought it but do not have enough funds for it. I am the type of person who thinks I am will never be perfect and at sometimes envious of those who look perfect.
Lisa Ann Carlson says
I so struggle with this in one specific area of my life, while I would not call myself a people-pleaser, I would say I habitually wear a Mary Poppins mask…she is never cross or cranky, always level-headed and calm and polite. While good manners are never out of fashion, it is exhausting too always be pleasant and happy, but if I am not…? Thanks for write this book Amy! It is so needed!
This book sounds amazing! Reading all the comments so far it sounds like many of us women are in the same boat! And sometimes as a Christian I feel like there is always a little more expectation to be perfect, even though we are under grace. I mean, how many times do we hear about the Proverbs 31 woman? So unattainable. But like many others I want to fix this not for myself, but for my two children. They are growing up in such a time of so much seeming perfection…t.v., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, moviestars……..Oh how I bathe them in prayer in this area.
Yes PLEASE I would love to read this!!! Definitely a STRUGGLE for me! Thanks God bless!!
My pursuit of perfection nearly ruined my marriage. Instead of letting my husband lead our family with God at the head, my type-A personality and perfectionist nature tried to do both my husband’s and God’s job. I am thankful that God spoke to me and told me that perfection was becoming an idol in my life that was getting in the way of not only my relationship with Him, but with my entire family’s relationship with Him. God is not just good, He is the only PERFECT one.
Oh yes. I need to read this. If only we could all learn to be transparent with one another.
Marilyn Gore says
I am a sensitive Impatient perfectionist and drive myself crazy inwardly because I want to portray
nice and don’t want to be mean outwardly…I long for a Christ- like heart that my outside demeanor mirrors my true heart of Agape Love and compassion…
Amy santos says
It’s so scary how much I can relate to this brokenness you speak of, always striving for perfection. It’s not fun and I cannot wait to read your book!
Robin Kraft says
I felt like you were talking about me when I read this. Thank you for reminding me that Jesus loves me right where I am at, just how I am. Wow that is comforting. His very best to both of you 🙂