Spiritual Direction Calgary: Proud of perfectionism?
The realization has been growing for me for a while now…
The longer I work in spiritual direction, Calgary women (at least the majority of them) seem to have a very distinct commonality: So many of them seem incredibly driven. Driven to succeed, driven to parent perfectly, driven to have the perfect marriage, driven to look perfect, to perform and win and succeed….
For sure, there are some women I see for spiritual direction who come in desperate to really know God in the deepest places of their heart
Others, they are just driven… Driven even to be spiritually perfect.
After all, at least in terms of spirituality, it’s an eminently noble drive – right? Or, maybe it’s more of a spiritualized perfectionism disorder…
Not even psychology is agreeing with perfectionism any more…
Paul Hewitt, PhD, does not have much patience with researchers who argue that perfectionism–the need to be or appear perfect–can sometimes serve as a healthy motivation for reaching ambitious goals. “I don’t think needing to be perfect is in any way adaptive,” he says.
Hewitt should know. In more than 20 years of research, he and his colleagues–particularly psychologist Gordon Flett, PhD–have found that perfectionism correlates with depression, anxiety, eating disorders and other mental health problems. This summer, several new studies were published that help explain how perfectionism can contribute to psychopathology.
“In the literature right now–this astounds me–people have said that self-oriented perfectionism is adaptive,” says Hewitt, a practicing psychologist and professor at the University of British Columbia. “People will make that claim, and they’ll just ignore the fairly large literature that says that it’s a vulnerability factor for unipolar depression, anorexia and suicide.”
Healthy counselling in the area of spiritual direction starts with two foundations:
(1). Humanly speaking perfection is a lost cause. Give up now.
(2). Because, spiritually speaking, you are already perfect. Learning how to rest in and live out of such can change your life.
Spiritual direction Calgary – not just another formula for getting your act together…