Ripples #1062: The Phantom of Perfection

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1062: The Phantom of Perfection
Sep 30, 2019


Perfection is nothing more than a phantom shadow we’re all chasing.
-Dumplin’ (by Julie Murphy), shared by Mary in Tigerton, OR


You don’t end up with stress because you are not perfect, you end up with stress because you want to be perfect.
-Ekhart Yoga, shared by Amy in Carlsbad, CA


It typically takes an hour or two to assemble these Ripples email each week, and it is often a highlight of my week. Except when it isn’t because I’ve been busy or I’m tired or just not feeling inspired. Those are the tough weeks, when quotes don’t seem to match up smoothly and even when they do I struggle mightily to find the right way to tie them together. Sometimes it gets all the way to Sunday evening and Ripples still isn’t ready. A panicky feeling can start to bubble up because I know I’m fading quickly (I’ve long ago learned that my creativity and patience are at their strongest in the early part of the day.)

At some point, though, I take a few deep breaths with my favorite mantra (Here now, here now, here now) and realize what is going on: I’ve accidentally stopped trying to stitch together something lovely and sweet and fun; instead, I’ve inadvertently become obsessed with trying to create a PERFECT issue. As soon as that realization happens, I’m able to see it and name it and release its grip on me. I can smile as I say, “Thank you for showing up, perfectionism. I realize you’re trying to help me shine–it’s just that I’ll probably shine brighter if I shoot for excellence and not perfection.”

And with the insight-light switched on, the phantom shadow evaporates and I can much more easily find something to share with you. Some weeks are better than others of course, and that is perfectly fine with me. Or imperfectly fine I suppose. 🙂

The Ripples Guy
p.s. The pebble is a quote from the book/movie Dumplin’–a sweet story with a little touch of Dolly Parton sparkle…add it to your Netflix queue for the next time you need a lift:

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