While this quote makes me smile for some reason, it’s so obvious that a naked man offering an item of clothing is ridiculous. You can’t offer what you don’t have. Neither can you trust someone who does so.
Social Media perfection is much like this African proverb because you can’t be what you aren’t which is perfect. If she sounds too good to be real, she probably is. If he sounds fake, he probably is. Everyone you see as you scroll through social media wakes up with stinky breath and struggles with something.
While we certainly don’t want to air our own or see everyone’s dirty laundry, this obsession for perfection is sending us down a path that is harmful.
The Direction of Perfection
The perfect picture. The perfect post. The perfect persona. The perfect plate. Pinterest perfection. We have become a culture that is consumed with the appearance of perfect.
The direction perfection sends us down is the slippery slope of self-absorption. Perfection, or the appearance of, becomes the idol we chase after. An idol is anything that either disproportionately consumes your thoughts, actions or resources, or that take your eyes off of God.
If we’ve set our eyes on the prize of perfection, constantly hustling for picture perfect, are we really winning anything? Or have we lost our way?
Beware the naked man who offers directions for he has no place in which to keep a compass.
The Deflection of Perfection
My three-year-old grandson has the art of deflection down to a science. He gets in trouble for something or is being asked to do something he doesn’t necessarily want to do and he immediately changes the subject or diverts attention to something else.
To deflect is to bend or turn aside; turn from a true course or straight line. It is a coping mechanism people use when not wanting to reflect on the reality of something. It’s used as a shield so others will not see one’s true nature.
The deflection of perfection is seen when we draw attention to the good and wonderful things we are doing while never acknowledging any bad behavior. If I can get you to stay focused over here, you won’t pay attention to what is going on over there.
Be wary of anyone who is always put together, always very spiritual sounding, always talking about the good things they do. It could be the right hand is distracting from what the left hand is doing. No one is perfect.
Don’t buy a shirt from the naked man.
The Deception of Perfection
Somewhere along the way we’ve exchanged the idea of striving for excellence with having to be perfect. Excellence leads to great and honorable things. Perfectionism leads to fear of making mistakes, paralysis of analysis, and feeling judged.
One energizes. The other criticizes.
The one who masquerades as an angel of light has invited us to dance with him at the ball of perfection. We waltz with worry over others liking the real us. We foxtrot with fear that others will find out what frauds we are. We do the hustle to be heard and the salsa to be seen.
But at the end of the night, we’re exhausted. Our feet hurt from shoes we never should have worn and our mascara has run under the mask we’ve put on to hide our true identities.
Beware the naked man who asks you to dance because, well, that’s nasty.
When perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun and fear is that annoying backseat driver. (Brene’ Brown)
Either get in the driver’s seat or get out of the car but let’s stop driving down the destructive path of perfectionism by being brave enough to simply be ourselves.
Fiercely for you!