Sometimes the Holy Spirit sneaks up on you with an unexpected revelation. For me, this happened when putting together – and posting – my most recent blog on Facebook. I set out happily with “Living Out Loud” as my goal and instead ended up with “For Crying Out Loud” on my mind (the wrong ‘…Out Loud’).
I wrote the blog and then shared it on Facebook. Only when I checked on my Facebook page to see whether it had gone through, I noticed that the blog had somehow been shared with the wrong photo – one of a giant wave.
After deleting the blog post from my Facebook page, I went back to the blog on WordPress to try and sort out the problem. I noticed that every time I tried to share the blog, instead of the photo of the woman standing in front of the cupboard deciding what to wear (which went with the article), the photo of a crashing wave showed up.
I couldn’t understand why. I sat there for what felt like ages trying to fix this. Eventually, I decided to repost the blog on WordPress and delete the former one. This time, the correct photo shared on Facebook.
Still, the headline read, “An INFP’s take on staying stylishly fabulous’’. This related to the content in the blog but suddenly the words ‘stylishly fabulous’ looked horribly wrong to me. That phrase was about ten years outdated. I couldn’t possibly use it!
So I decided to change the headline on the blog to “When in doubt, put on ‘you’”. I refreshed the Facebook page and noticed the new headline didn’t show up on the Facebook ‘share’. The words ‘stylishly fabulous’ stubbornly stayed there.
So I went back to WordPress and again reposted the blog, deleting the latest one from my Facebook page (hoping my friends hadn’t noticed the ‘recurring’ blog on my Facebook wall).
And so it went, back and forth, correcting here, tweaking there…
Which is why I have called today’s blog, ‘For crying out loud’ – because I had an epiphany in this moment of intense frustration. Could it be that I was my own worst enemy? Could it be… and I had never thought of it this way… that I had perfectionist tendencies? I had never thought of myself as being a perfectionist and being too hard on myself but suddenly my inner perfectionist demanded to be noticed.
So in this new blog in the Living Out Loud series, I want to introduce the ‘For crying out loud’ phenomenon. This is when a hidden disposition causes us – and possibly others – so much frustration that someone is pushed to say, ‘Oh, for crying out loud!’ What this behaviour trait or personal disposition does is unassumingly and subtly sabotage our efforts to live out loud – most of the time, without us even knowing it.
I wouldn’t say I’m an all-out perfectionist. This doesn’t apply to all areas of my life – like filing, for instance – but in some areas, I am too hard on myself. It took a revelation from the Holy Spirit and a very annoying blog to help me to see that.
So if you happened to be on Facebook two days ago and saw my blog repeating itself, now you know that there was a great battle happening behind the scenes, with pictures that didn’t want to show up etc.
I was going to apologise for the recurring blog but that would be the perfectionist thing to do. Instead, I have made up my mind to be kinder to myself in the future.
Sometimes we are our own taskmasters and this all-or-nothing perfectionist thinking is what stops us from grabbing life with both hands.
The beauty of life is in being imperfectly perfect. As a girl and teenager I did ballet and I remember well our annual ballet concerts. There were quite a few small kids with the studio and they were anything but militant in their conduct on stage. In one of the concerts, one of the small girls – I can still remember, her name was Lisa – turned to face the back of the stage in the middle of the dance, and started to cry… quite loudly, I might add.
In other concerts, the tiny kids would stop to look around, or even run off the stage, into mommy or daddy’s arms, as they sat in the audience. Still, there was something beautiful in the imperfection of it all.
I’ve heard it said you inspire more people with your weaknesses than your strengths. If you can see the weakness and imperfection in me, and see the Lord move despite who I am, then you will be encouraged to know Jesus is willing and can move powerfully in your life too, despite who you are.
It’s ok if things aren’t perfect. So what if your life isn’t a fairytale or your bag doesn’t match your shoes. Don’t let perfectionism steal your joy or stop you from living out loud. There’s only one you and you’re imperfectly perfect just as you are.
To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/
©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018