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This is a Poem about Perfectionism by Ginelle Testa

This is a poem about perfectionism. Grows in proportion to my reaction to it. Looms in size, threatening to consume my fingers and my inspiration.

This is a poem about perfectionism. A hushed whisper in my ear. Put a disclaimer on all that you do. All that you create. All that you aspire to be. Because it’ll never be enough. Why would it be enough?

This is a poem about perfectionism. Push against it, and the whisper booms. Contorts and squeezes. Spits fire. You are going to fail. Don’t even try. If it can’t be perfect, it should be nothing at all.

So, I wrote this poem. This is a poem about perfectionism. Instead of pushing, I whisper back. Okay. I give up. There's room for you here, but you can't have it all.

The light returns, illuminating the truth of the different parts of me. Perfectionism is a paper dragon. Masquerading as a fire-breathing beast. All along, it was the shadow threatening to burn me down.

But, when I tap into the light, and lean into the breath. I see that there are no disclaimers to be given. What we create is mine to hold, Not yours to engulf in flames and to tear down.

This is a poem about perfectionism. Because, you see, perfectionism and I are old friends. We do this dance where I forget that I am the lead. Perfectionism and I, we both get scared of dancing, and we freak out. And when we freak out, we are like gasoline on each other's flames, Threatening to burn us all to the ground.

So, instead, we’re learning to live side by side. Because, inspiration is another friend of mine, But, they’re sensitive to fire and rage. Inspiration won’t play when guns are blazing.

They'll only play when perfectionism has dialed down the heat, And settled into its rightful place, Which is side by side amongst fear, joy, and passion. Then, I'm able to return to the coolness of my breath That anchors me to hold all of the friends who make up my inner workings. And we acclaim to make room for all of me, Because, after all, this is a poem about perfectionism.

by Ginelle Testa

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