How Perfectionism Blocks Happiness


To live is to experience life anew, to change,  to clean, to release that which no longer serves us.

It was an inocuous mistake.  One for which I would have tortured myself for days if I had let it.  In being given a spot to drop them off,  the young couple told me a bar name to help me to locate their final destination. So I dropped them off at the last named bar, the one nearby to the one they were going. It was an innocent and non-maleficent error on my part. One would think that I had lead them to death based on the heavy-handed guilt and shame with which I was continuously bombing myself in that hour of self-torture.

After deciding that I was tired of this state of self-loathing, I finally stopped to turn and face the source of my suffering. Following is the re-creation of my inner process to find the taproot to my self-hatred:

What, really, am I gaining from this?
Nothing but sadness, guilt and shame.

Where does this come from? 
Your desire to be perfect.

How has being perfect served me?
You thought it protected you. You have believed that it gave you validation and a free pass to happiness.

Where has this happened before?
It was then that a series of images flash-flooded my inner-vision.  I was floored and almost overwhelmed. 

It was then that I gave myself a healthy dose of love and compassion, opening my heart to myself, being sure to bestow love upon each previously unloved image of myself that spanned my entire lifetime up to that point.  Seeing now that the very thing that I sought to bring me happiness (perfection), was actually blocking me from it!

In recognizing that happiness, the very thing I sought, was being blocked by my pursuit of perfecting myself, I was able to pull that false-belief out of my garden all the way down to its roots.

Having done this work for several years now,  I am sure there are other vines of “perfection” in my garden.  By identifying this one vine, as it were, and seeing the truth of it helps me to be more easily able to identify the other vines that need to be pulled.


Photo Courtesy of marin @

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