The Big Bad Perfectionist. {Poem}

Via Rebecca Lammersen
on Dec 9, 2013
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We all have a big bad wolf inside of us. A beast who lurks behind the happiness and success in our lives.

My big bad wolf is my perfectionism. I hate him. He stalks my every move and haunts my thoughts, but I refuse to let him destroy me.

The Big Bad Perfectionist

Am I going to keep this perfection, or kill it?
My biggest fear?

Life will fall apart.
Unraveling like the power cord to my computer,
Refusing to stay wrapped together.
It’s not flexible enough to coil, too strong to be contained.
Life would tumble to the ground like that if I let it.
Unwinding, knocking down everything around—
The people I try to please.
The house I keep so tidy.
The schedule and structure I line up like dominos.
Fated to crash into one another with the gentlest push.
It’s all bound to fall.
It’s meant to.

What am I so afraid of?
What would be wrong if the cord stayed unruly?
Or the house wasn’t clean?
Would I be able to live?
Would I be able to love?
That’s really the question, isn’t it?
Would I still be able to love?

Love doesn’t know the structure I’ve given her.
In fact, I think she’s petrified to come in.
She doesn’t know how to walk the linear course I’ve created.
She gets lost.
She gets confused.
She gets messy and disoriented.
Maybe I’m doing it all wrong.
Maybe, what I thought was necessary to make space,
Is causing the biggest cluster fuck of all. 

I’m destroying my chances, this I know.
I’m going to lose everything I’ve never even gained.
You can’t gain love, but you sure can scare it away.
It’s always there.
You don’t even have to try.
It’s just there, but if you ignore it,
Or try to block it out,
Or give it rules,
It will run far away.

I’m tired of living in the cold unkempt shack of my mind.
It’s so lonely.
It’s so sad and cluttered and rushed.
It’s everything opposite of the life I’ve moved into.
There is a place, the spaciest of space,
The cleanliest of homes—
My heart.
I want to live in there.

It’s like walking on a freezing blind night in winter.
Walking past the houses all lit up.
The warmth from the lights,
The smiles on their faces, you know?
All the people standing inside toasting, or hugging,
Or sitting with their clinking silverware and pot roast.
They look so happy and untainted by the real weather and life outside.
The life everyone avoids– that’s what I’m standing in.
It’s the life everyone avoids because they should,
And they do, because we all have a house with a light on.
That’s where I want to be all the time, but I forget.
Some of us just forget about it.
We get comfortable in the discomfort.
We get used to not seeing,
to being cold and wet and miserable and dizzy.

I’m tired of the night.
I’m tired of the dark and the ugly.
The need to pay attention to every step I take,
For fear of the danger lurking in the step beyond,
The one I can’t see.
Every sound startling,
Every blemish, a contamination.
I don’t want that life anymore.
I don’t want it.

I want the days where I throw down my bag,
No desire to unpack it, at least not right then.
The imminence, that’s what get’s me.
Like I have to do everything right then.

I rush through the joy.
Instead, what if,
I laugh my way through the rush?
But no, I clean up the celebration.
I throw out the expressions of love.
I destroy the creations.
I wipe up the mistakes, as though they never existed.

What’s wrong with allowing life to be long and slow and
Messy and imperfect?
Where we mistake the good for the bad, or the bad for the good,
or however we want to see it?
What’s wrong with blowing it all off once in a while?
What’s wrong with letting love swirl through and knock everything off the shelves?
What’s wrong with the dirt? 

I ask myself that with every wipe up,
and dish clean and laundry load.
What am I trying to clean?
Why do I feel so dirty?

I feel like a spill that’s sticky,
That was never cleaned up on time,
And I’m trying to make up for it.
Scrubbing it away like it was never there in the first place.

I’m damaged and dank and crusty and smelly.
My skin and hair wreaking from the inside out.
Like an animal, a predator.
I’m mean and rigid,
Controlling and big.
Big in the bad wolf way, not the other way–
Like, a rainbow or a sunset or the ocean. 

I’m the big bad wolf stuffed into her little red coat,
Hiding, but I don’t fit in it.
I feel like people are starting to see it or, they already have.

I’m busting through the seams of sweetness which I try to cloak myself in;
It’s only temporary.
I’m too big and bad.

Who would want to love a wolf?
I don’t. I wouldn’t want to.
So, I try and try to clean him away,
That wolf who wants everything to be perfect.

Go away wolf and leave my little house with the lights on and the love on.
Will you get out of my way? So I can stay?
I want you to go away, and if you do I’ll keep the mess,
Because I’d rather have the mess than the alternative–
You and the sterile, eyeless, heartless black outside.
I don’t want it anymore.

If all it took was a huff and a puff to blow you away,
I would have done it a long time ago.
Is that all it takes?
Is it?


By Rebecca Lammersen


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Image: Madalyn McLeod Johnson/deviantart


About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, an intimate, boutique style yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to swim. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. For daily inspirations, check out Rebecca's website. Visit her yoga studio website and peruse her articles at The Huffington Post. You can also find her on Facebook. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!


6 Responses to “The Big Bad Perfectionist. {Poem}”

  1. "I’m tired of living in the cold unkempt shack of my mind.
    It’s so lonely.
    It’s so sad and cluttered and rushed."

    ^ We're next-door neighbors, Rebecca. So even if it's cold, cluttered and sad, we're not really alone. We can look through a window or peek out the door and smile at each other. And someday, we'll be able to step outside and hug.

    A gorgeous, inspiring and incredibly smart woman once told me "you're not alone." I don't want to sound too ballsy, but maybe it's my turn to remind her. <3

  2. Amber says:

    "That’s really the question, isn’t it?
    Would I still be able to love?

    Love doesn’t know the structure I’ve given her.
    In fact, I think she’s petrified to come in.
    She doesn’t know how to walk the linear course I’ve created."

    Thank you. <3

  3. AmyVT says:

    So beautiful, so true! Perfectionism, subscribing to outside expectations, what society tells us is successful and desirable, can cause our true self to wilt and never be fulfilled.

  4. Jenna B. Wiser says:

    Don’t worry. Your wolf will go away. I’m sure you are lonely and I honestly don’t know how you have put up with your wolf as long as you have. It sounds like you have some doubts which is understandable. You are no longer alone. Time will prove it! It’s real, it’s not going away ever, and your wolf is only temporary. You control your life and your choices always. Don’t forget that!!
    PS. When it comes to relationship/feelings and what’s real, I google “the notebook fight scene”. Go watch it now. It helps make my feelings crystal clear fast!

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