The Cage of Perfection

As a kid, I was gifted & put into programs to nurture my gifts. It was unusual for the public school system in Salt Lake City, Utah in the mid-70's.
Despite all the reflections that I had the ability to stretch outside the usual boxes, I suffered from serious self-worth issues, & one of the consequences was that I thought I had to be perfect just to be worthy of being alive.
While this perfection pushed me academically, it also led to severe impairments. As I got older & quit winning every competition I entered, I quit pushing myself. Basically, if there was a chance I could fail, ESPECIALLY if there was any chance I would let anyone down, I didn't try.
What was the consequence of making a public mistake? Deep down it felt like a death sentence.
Something I couldn't even allow myself to ponder it was so painful.
Then one day I discovered my husband was using methamphetamines. The details are too dark & toxic to recount, but in an instant, I had to rely on the help of others to make it, & I couldn’t hide.
I needed a restraining order, places to stay, legal advice, & guidance to navigate all of the bizarre hazards that had been set up to keep everyone out of the toxic waste den my ex had created. It was the nightmare version of "A Beautiful Mind."
I learned to humble, allow myself to be human, have needs, stop pretending anything in my life was anything close to perfect, & start getting help.
Not just from friends . . . I started getting visions, again in the form of Sacred Feminine Archetypes. At first, it was Kali Ma, then Spider Woman, & then the Muse . . . little by little, as I put my life together, & surrendered myself to the fact that I was not in fact a lone wolf, able to live my life without a misstep, I really started to live.
I embraced my new relationship with the Goddess in all of her many forms, & I started to learn how to embrace being human & making mistakes.
I have definitely made mistakes, & I have definitely let people down, but I have also lived a life full of adventure, & even more important, a life of learning & growth. I would have done very little learning & growing had I not broken through the cage of perfectionism.
Playing it safe all the time is not the path of a leader or a change maker, & I have both in my bones & blood.
I still hate to disappoint people & fall short, but I know, without a doubt, I've been able to help far more than I've ever let down because I was willing to push the edges of the illusion of perfection & really live a human life full of folly & grace outside the cage of prefectionism.