Monday, February 25, 2008

Perfectionism Strikes Again

Well, Stu returned from his trip on Saturday night and we all had a very good day on Sunday. I went to church and Stu worked on the fence. Quigley was out in the yard with him for much of the day, and quite mellow by evening. Though we did have visit from Mr. Hyde for a few hours this afternoon, most of today was good in a lot of ways, too.

Quig's finally starting to get "sit". Food definitely motivates him. I can wipe him down with a cloth, put him in the crate for varying periods of time with almost no fuss (especially in the morning) and there was almost no humping. Biting has reduced to him putting his teeth alongside my arm/hand rather than on it. Mostly... At least I've sustained no new wounds for the last two days.

Even so I woke up this morning -- as I've awakened for far too many mornings lately -- feeling tense, anxious, and out of sorts. Not wanting to get up and face it all. Since I'd already figured out that I really was going to give it to God, and not be trying to solve things and that my husband was going to play a big part in it all, I couldn't see why I was anxious and tense. But after sorting through some things and talking to the Lord, He finally showed me what was at the bottom of it: some ridiculous, unvoiced, unrealized standards that I had laid upon myself and Quigley both. The old perfectionism again. Not only did I have to do everything right when it came to training/living with him, but he had to, too. This is completely irrational, I know.

But we are all irrational people. Ecclesiastes says the hearts of men (in their flesh) are full of evil and insanity all of their lives. What's weird is that this standard can be there lurking behind and in my motivation, and it took me so long to realize it. My sin nature had taken control yet again in demanding that I do everything right. Or Else.

Who wouldn't be tense with that kind of demand? It's impossible to fulfill and I knew it, even if I wasn't thinking about any of it consciously.

I've been through this so many times (albeit with different scenarios) that recognizing it was a relief. I just acknowledged how ridiculous it was to think I was going to do everything perfectly, and even more to think that of a 13 week old puppy. Once I did, the tension dissolved. It's so freeing to know that it doesn't really matter if we fail or not, especially in something like this. We're still perfect in God's eyes and that's what matters. Not only that, but I know that He is here, part of this process, knowing everything before it ever happens, and having His plan already in place... I may not know what I'm doing, but He does.

So, while I don't expect that Quigley is going to be the model puppy from now on, nor that I am going to make all the right decisions, being able to fail has brought the peace back. I can fail, Quig can fail and God can still make it right. In fact, I know He is working through all of it, just not in accordance with any pattern or "plans" that I can see. Which is pretty much how it is most of the time, these days.