Clambering

It took me 3 attempts, 3 egg yolks, a large glug of melted silken butter and a decent amount of bicep strength to whip up hollandaise sauce – admittedly I gave up after the second try and was then drawn back to the hob to try one last time.

Final result = A sore rotator cuff, a yellow velvety, lemony hollandaise sauce – but….

And it is often this ‘but’ that keeps pushing us to get the ‘right’ thing, the perfect look, the supreme feel -just scrambling for heights which aren’t even meant to be climbed in the first place. Attempting to correct or deal with something that ‘seems’ defective or flawed.

In the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Paul Hewitt explains that are three kinds of perfectionism components;

“Perfectionism is about to attempting to correct or deal with a defective, flawed, not-good-enough sense of self” Paul Hewitt

Self-Oriented Perfectionism – Which includes behaviors such as setting exacting and exacerbating standards for oneself and then measuring them with stringent and often berating censures. Paul continues to evaluate that this kind of behavior also includes a motivational concourse. However, in order to attain and achieve perfection or else to avoid failure, can and does lead to anxiety and depression to say the least.

Other-Oriented Perfectionism – Setting beliefs and high expectations for others, followed by stringent evaluations. The report suggests that kind of behavior can manifest itself into lack of trust and feelings of hostility towards others. However, on a slightly positive note this dimension also alludes to facilitating others’ motivations and abilities.

Socially Prescribed Perfection – This entails the subject’s belief or perception that significant others have unrealistic bars and standards for them, and there is an unsaid pressure that is exerted for perfectionism. Now the loop hole in this case is most often than not it is not reality and simply a perception which ultimately manifests itself through anger, dissatisfaction, cynicism and anxiety.

You know life really isn’t meant to be a mathematical equation where 99 will always come before 100.

A conscious effort to better ourselves and attaining perfection has a very thin line in between and we don’t even realize when we cross the border and turn our own expectations into demons. The demon that urges us to draw the straightest line, make the most luscious hollandaise sauce, perfect the finest embellishment, adorn the rightest posture in yoga and the list goes on and on.  And in all probability when we do fall a tad bit short, that same demon, demonizes us even further.

Why do we have to castigate ourselves for falling short?

Humans are not meant to be perfect creatures, what if we don’t have to carry this heavy appendage? – for starters we would definitely breath better. This incessant desire clouds our mind, and the moment self-acceptance trickles in, the heavy cloud dissipates rather quickly.

Simplicity, really is in self-acceptance, plugging our little gaps with patience and time, reducing self-directed reprimands, holding our wrong selves with gentleness. Perhaps setting achievable goals and patting ourselves irrespective of failure or success.

Oh! and by the way hollandaise sauce doesn’t reheat very well, so when I did reheat it for the final serve, family had to resort to a rather liquid emulsification of egg yolk and butter…ah well, what to say!

Feature Photograph : Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany