Projection Perfection

I broke my husbands heart yesterday.

No, I didn’t lie to him, or cheat on him. I didn’t dishonor him, unless you call crushing everything he loves- dishonoring.

We were parked at a business hooking a trailer up to the truck, when I wandered back to a beautiful row of thick sunflowers. I was admiring the giant blooms and trying to avoid the many buzzing bees who were ravishing the plants. I wanted to see if the seeds were dry enough to remove for planting later, so I was intent in concentrating on my task.

What I didn’t know, was that while I was lost in the beauty of the yellow and greens, and knowing this beauty meant one thing- FALL! Which meant winter- sigh……..; he was quietly taking pictures of me.  When he sent them to me later, I was aghast. Not being dramatic, I really was shocked to see my backside.

These pictures were everything I hated about myself and what had “become” of me the last few years. 

These pictures were also everything my husband loved about me the last few years.

Me: weight gain, low energy, finding enough gives to give a damn; trying to keep my hair colored and cut and weaved and somedays -even brushed. Trying to transition back from “skinny jeans” to “mom jeans” that were now suddenly “in”, but still look like crap on an older Mom. Oh, and my damn quarterback shoulders.

Him: the woman he loves, quiet beauty in nature, noticing things he would never notice, in my “zone”, peace, reflective state, low maintenance (sometimes).

As I told him to not send me anymore pictures, I could feel his energy drop. He took those pictures in love. His love. I crushed his intent-To remember my peace, my tranquility among nature at every opportunity.

Isn’t that the pits? We don’t see in ourselves what others see in us. We want to be different or at least better. We kick ourselves for not being what we think we should be. Sometimes, as in my case, we even despise ourselves. Coincidentally though, we also WANT others to BE something different! We want them to be what would make US feel better, instead of who they are.

Where is this dissidence coming from?

A need for perfect order in our lives? To fill some invisible hole of deficiency?

It sounds a bit crazy. Everyone wanting something else.

I heard somewhere that perfection is a form of self-harm because it is never attainable, thereby it ALWAYS knocks us back into a cycle of not achieving and subsequently hating ourselves or doubting our abilities or the worst:

Questioning our worth. 

Our worth, is not only being measured by what we assume others want out of us, but in our own however-messed-up Richter scale of perfection.

The trouble is: with perfectionism, the goal post is always being moved- by ourselves.

Photo Credit

My issue, with my picture is more of a self esteem/ body image concern, but it still rages: 



For society’s standards, we will never be good enough. That’s why we must find our own place; in peace with ourselves. We can start with moments.

Moments when every thought, every picture that appears in your mind of how it should be, can be recognized for what it is: an opportunity to change it to thoughts of:

  • Good enough
  • Smart enough
  • Pretty enough
  • ‘Skinny’ enough

I may never see myself as my husband sees me, but I can find ways to love me exactly how I am, so I can then love others exactly how they are.

Matt Kahn describes it “perfectly” haha…

"In every moment, you and everyone else is always doing the best they possibly can. If anyone could do better — they would. When anyone can do better — they will. While spiritual teachings can give greater focus and attention to heart-centered choices, they are not to be confused with rules used to punish yourself with. Instead of ridiculing yourself with unrealistic ideas of perfectionism, most moments of healing call for a deep level of self-forgiveness where you are able to truly forgive yourself for any misjudgments in perception and reaction by truly accepting yourself — talents, flaws, and all. No one is designed to do this perfectly and it’s for such an important reason. It is to guarantee that in en route to realizing how conscious, liberated, and heart-centered you already are, life creates moments to intentionally burst any bubble of perfectionism the spiritual ego tends to hide in. As the spiritual ego gets down on itself for not “nailing it”, you are able to embrace such a part within you, allowing your love to further set free the aspect of self who only knows how to be rewarded with praise, honor, and accolade in exchange for doing something “right”. Let your journey be insightful, illuminating, clarifying, and sometimes, as messy as it's meant to be. No matter the roads traveled and the choices made, everything is made right in the end.

Confessions of a Spiritual Perfectionist

by Matt Kahn
Matt Kahn

Published by

Samantha Waters

A unique perspective on the world from a small town girl turned big city nurse. Now a grandmother to 6 gregarious, resplendent boys and 5 endearing, magical girls, she strives the make the world a more understanding, pleasant place to experience this intense thing called life.

7 thoughts on “Projection Perfection”

  1. Wow! I’ve had the same experiences with my husband as well. The other day, sitting on the couch, I looked at him and told him how handsome he was at that moment, he returned the compliment, and I was appalled, because I was dirty from work, hair all a mess and I was sore from scraping paint all day. I couldn’t see in myself, what he saw, yet I could see the beauty in him, while he was dirty from working all day, etc. You hit the nail on the head here. Thank you!

  2. This is so incredibly true. I also had an experience like this and I need to apologize to my fiancee and take the words back: I was playing the piano, she was working on a puzzle and watching football and she took a picture of the scene and posted on FB. All I could see was the size of my backside, not the love and the pride she was demonstrating. I would much rather have her love and unabashed adoration than a skinnier backside.

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