"Airplanes," he says, "are like a strange disease." He watches them fly, thinks of how to make them better, and dreams of flying when he's on the ground. This man who loves his son so. Maybe someday he'll tell him of the landing that was a 'good' landing because he walked away from the wreckage of what he had built with his own hands. And then with a grin, in the same breath exclaim, "All my other landings have been excellent." Excellent, in his mind, is defined by being able to walk away from a plane with everything intact.
We hold ourselves to this code, this code of being perfect. Excellent we believe is defined by the perfection of which we do an activity. Perfectionism becomes the silent killer of the attempt to do an activity. Excellent. What if someone sees I'm less than excellent? What if all the other people find out I'm just an imposter trying to excel at something when I really have no idea what I'm doing? If I were to live under the old code, the one that condemns me at every step, these thoughts would undo me at "not good enough".
Good is when I humbly repent and ask forgiveness from someone I've wronged. Good is when I realize I will make mistakes parenting, but their is grace for those mistakes. Good is understanding and knowing there is a God who has grace for all these mistakes and loves me with a love that is unsearchable. Good is knowing that life is so much more than what I see. Good is leaning in and trusting when I don't understand.
I look at him and wonder if he will ever know the wonder of flying in an airplane. My protective Mommy heart will have to work hard at not freaking out at boyish antics. I know his Dad made it through childhood. And I'd like to teach him that sometimes good is letting go of excellent, and embracing the good of what we have and being content.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? How do you make 'good' and embrace contentment? How do you teach this skill to others?