featured image

Jena Muhr shares what she has learned in her struggle against the impulse to be perfect in every way.

I am someone who struggles with perfectionistic tendencies. I like to do my best in things and always strive to do my best. In my faith, in my marriage, in my parenting, in my home, and in my work, I always strive to do my best. And when I get stressed or feel overwhelmed, I feel my perfectionistic tendencies coming into greater play. "Nothing is good enough. It can always be better," are common thoughts that run through my head. Thoughts about what I could be doing better can keep me up at night. 

I hope that I am the only one who struggles with this. Who struggles to get everything done on their own. And believing that they can get it done on their own. But it just seems to be so elusive. 

My mom always tells me that these perfectionistic thoughts are not from Christ, that He does not ask us to be perfect, but rather He asks us to turn to Him with our struggles and our needs. This is something that is so difficult for me, maybe because I downplay my struggles or feel that there is always something that I can easily be doing better to serve or to be made worthy. Or maybe it is because there are so many bigger things out there than my small corner of the world. 

But here is what happens: I struggle and I strive to be perfect on my own. I work harder and longer trying to get to that “perfect” level of life. But it never comes. There is always a new level. A formula that will help me master everything. But it never works out to the degree I had hoped. 




I struggle to accept that there is no earthly form of perfection. Only Christ is perfect. And I will never be so. Continuing to strive to be perfect takes me further away from Christ and the love that He has for this imperfect woman. Christ loves me with a perfect love ... somehow, He loves me. It is mind-boggling to think about. 


Click to tweet:
I struggle and I strive to be perfect on my own. I work harder and longer trying to get to that “perfect” level of life. But it never comes. #CatholicMom

As I continue to write I am brought back to my Confirmation days when the leaders talked about sitting at the foot of the Cross. That there I will find peace, and love, and hope, and everything that I am seeking. I guess that is where I will find something that is perfect.

But it won’t be my being made perfect. It will be Christ who makes me whole: never perfect, but whole. And I will trust in Him rather than in myself. This is the ultimate gift that Christ gives us: being free from the standards of the world and the pressures that others place and feel the peace and warmth that comes from Christ and His perfect love.



Copyright 2023 Jena Muhr
Images: Canva