You cannot rush a tree into growing tall; you will destroy it first.
My sixth-grade teacher told my parents that I was never going to amount to anything because I talked too much. If she had been interested in connection rather than perfection, she could have seen my heart through my eyes. She could have seen that I was hurting and needed to be validated and supported. Perhaps she could have realized that I had been fed sugar in the morning before I arrived at school and was hyped-up beyond my capacity to settle into the day. Perhaps she could have recognized that all that chatter occurred because no one was truly hearing me.
Intuitively she saw that I had the gift of talking, which I have been doing successfully all my life, but because she was not connected, she saw my gifts as negative. Her perfectionism caused me to doubt myself for many years and to die a little. Most teachers, I hope, are not like that teacher. Nevertheless, we are still in an educational environment today that dictates doing things perfectly, that teaches us to specialize in certain areas rather than having a wide range of development. Taking art and music out of our school system hasn’t helped this issue; it’s a tremendous challenge now.We are now putting such an emphasis on developing the intellectual aspects of our kids rather than creating a space for them to discover their innate and sacred gifts.
We are all created from a place of wholeness, but if we are always treated as broken and are driven to be perfect, we will not be able to fully self-express. We will rely instead on being nurtured, sometimes becoming needy because we long to heal ourselves. Rather than being childlike, which is essential for the creative spirit, we grow up by not growing up and remain childish instead. The wounded perfectionist is often the most needy. A whole person relies on the Creator, whereas a wounded person relies on circumstances and other people.