perfectionism, and, what to do after finishing the book

Finding balance in our relationships

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melea
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perfectionism, and, what to do after finishing the book

Post by melea » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:07 pm

Hi,
I'm new here - I recently finished a study of HDDMFB in my group in the art of womanhood organization. It was such a powerful experience, one that brought me so close to the Savior, and helped me to see that I do have addictions even though I have always been the 'model mormon girl.' I used to think that perfectionism was actually a superior trait, not one that was destructive to me and my loved ones. Now I know different. It has been such an eye opener.

My question is this: what do you do when you have finished the course of the book? I feel such a let down since I finished it, and although I have tried to continue to study and capture from the scriptures regularly and make my prayers as powerful and feel the spirit like I did then, it has been very difficult. I have tried to pick up another inspirational book to keep focused on Christ (Jesus the Christ, What it means to know Christ, etc), but it has not felt the same. I miss having the wonderful, thought provoking questions to go along with my studies. And I miss meeting with others and having that encouragement and sharing. I know that prayer and scripture study are things I should desire for their own sake and to know the Lord, but when I don't feel him as near as before, I get discouraged and am not as excited to do those things. I also, as a recovering perfectionist, tend to judge myself harshly against my good days, so that the more I learn and grow and have good experiences, the more discouraged I get when the following day is not like the one before. I always think, 'I will never be the same again! I have learned now!' but then I sink back in to old habits, and instead of letting it turn me to God for help, I first tend to beat myself up until I feel far from God and it is hard to get back.

I find that when I am in this place of frustration, my 'fix' is information. I devour conference talks, scriptures, inspirational websites, etc, along with mindless information, and just keep frantically filling my head trying to make me better, until my brain just is a jumbled mess. I know I just need to be still and quiet and focus on one thing, but for some reason just being alone with myself and quiet, or being alone with the Lord, is scary. I know he loves me, but actually accepting his love and accepting myself is a different story.

Even when I was studying HDDMFB, I found myself wanting to share what I was learning in order to validate it (I guess that is codependency) - I knew what I was experiencing was valuable whether anyone else saw it or shared it, but when the opportunity to meet with others and share was over, my excitement for the inner work I was doing dwindled some. I still hunger for the beautiful feeling of companionship of the Lord, but I guess I must also still hunger for the praise and validation of men if I need others to notice what I am doing.

One question I have had as I have realized i have this information fix, is, what does abstinence look like for a perfectionist, and what would it look like in someone who uses information to get her 'fix'? Should I stop reading all these things, and just quiet my mind? Should I stop reading everything except scriptures? How can i overcome the fear of quiet and being with myself? Any thoughts?

Tricia V
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Post by Tricia V » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:19 pm

For a lot of years, I didn't watch or read the news. I haven't been as observant on that recently, and when something happens, I find out about it. But news should be, on a larger scale, like food: something necessary when it really is necessary, and not something I should be swamped in 24/7.

But I'm not sure that's what you meant.

Our conference a couple of years about was on the theme "Now is the time" (2005). What I got out of preparing a workshop for that was not the old "seize the day" Franklin planner idea of time, but focusing on Now and releasing the past and future.

Grace shall be as your day.

Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

Other ideas: You could read the source of the 12 steps, the A A big book, and the Book of Mormon, the other source of He Did Deliver Me from Bondage. In the case of overachievers, it can be good to slow way down in scripture study.

I'm an underachieving style of perfectionist, so... yeah. But working the steps, really working them as if your freedom depended on it, is a lifelong pursuit.

There is also the codependents anonymous book, which I own but haven't read all the way through.

Also, I go back over He did deliver me from Bondage over and over.

There is also the online meetings, and these forums.

Anyway, welcome to the wonderful world of recovery.

Mary S
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Post by Mary S » Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:13 pm

Hi Melea,

Can you describe to me what it was/is about HDDMFB that you found so inpirtational?

Much Love,

Mary S

melea
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: UT
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Post by melea » Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:08 pm

Mary,
There were many things, different things in each chapter, but the main thing that was so wonderful about studying the book was how it gently brought me to the truth about what I can and cannot do, how a relationship with Christ is more needful than all the great deeds in the world, and it invited and paved the way for me to experience the Lord's closeness and feel the truth that he is My savior and friend, not the distant judge. It gave me a new perspective on the Savior, his love for me and my need for him. It was a wonderful experience.
You would think that remembering those sweet moments with the Lord would be enough to keep me praying continually, but I still have difficulty forgiving myself when I slip up, and I still have trouble sometimes trusting in his love as I should and it makes the heavens seem like brass when i pray. I am going to go through the book again because the daily questions and readings helped soften my heart so I was able to recieve and feel him near, and since I have not been studying those things so faithfully it has not been easy to do that. Hopefully at some point I will gain the discipline to continue to study without being told every day what verses to read and what questions to ask myself, and just let the spirit teach me. BUt for now the guided study is so very helpful.

Alysia

Colleen H.
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Post by Colleen H. » Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:26 pm

Alysia,

One place to get involved in an interactive (well, sort of) experience with capturing and sharing from HDDMFB would be on the forum for that very purpose. It hasn't ever really been utilized like it could be. I'd love to drop in there and "hear" your reflections and capturing.

I've done some there and it's been a real blessing to know that somehow I was sharing. Then I get distracted (I am SO distractable it's a total hoot.)

I noticed that Phil shared with you about the POL series. They provide 28 exercises on each step (up to six, so far.) And some of them are multiple layered--with several questions or prompts to respond to.

So glad to have you in the fellowship of HtH!

Colleen

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