Perfectionism was my shadow; it followed me everywhere. If you were to flip through the pages of my early journals, you would find tangible evidence of how it had crept into my heart and stole my sense of self-worth. That was the name of the imaginary thief that had robbed me of everything good--the make-believe monster that had strangled every flower in my garden--the invisible root from which all the invasive, soul-suffocating weeds grew.
And I was the one who had invited her in.
Perfectionism was the disease that twisted my mind in knots, filling my thoughts with “nots”. It was the theme of the painful, life-long conversation I had been having with myself: "You are not good enough. You are not intelligent enough. You are not attractive enough..." It was why I had starved myself for so many years, and in so many ways, why anorexia, agoraphobia and acute social anxiety had been my constant companions. Not until I had come down with shingles was I aware of how much emotional pain I had been inflicting upon myself. Not until I was ready to release the past did I realize how brutally I had been punishing myself.
The question remained: Why?
There was a spiritual gift beneath the surface of this physical illness. With the pain came the awareness that I was releasing all the things that had been preventing me from expressing my true spirit--the layers and layers of self-created darkness I had unknowingly wrapped myself up in--the deafening noise I had allowed to silence my inner truths. Now, for the first time in my life, I was ready to stop living in fear. My silent cries had been heard; Spirit had answered my prayer by blessing me with a miracle. A new beginning was here, and from this moment on, life would never be the same.