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  • Writer's pictureAmethyst Landing

Letting Go of Perfection

If at first you don’t succeed, you’re running about average. — M. H. Anderson

To me, Kobe’s game was perfect. But that was Kobe, and it was a game.

I spent fruitless, anxious years pursuing perfection, and they ended at the bottom of a bottle. The line from the Big Book, “spiritual progress, not perfection,” is repeated so often it can sometimes seem trite to the ear. However, for perfectionists (and there are legions of us in recovery) how important it is to remind ourselves of this truth if we want to stay the course. Another line is “easy does it;” fortunately, we can take all the time we need.

Our goal isn’t becoming overnight sobriety sensations. It can be steady progress instead. We should expect—and accept—failures along the way and be encouraged by the growth they bring. Rather than ruminating about what went wrong and doubting your progress, just ask yourself, “Am I a little more spiritual than I was a year ago? A month ago?” If the answer is yes, we’re doing great. If the answer is no, you should look at why.

Our disease pushes us to be perfect. But in recovery, we learn that we are free to be what we are—just human. Even the world’s fastest runners are average in most other areas of their lives. This is okay. Remember, “spiritual progress, not perfection.”


I’ll not be ashamed of how average I am. I’ll remember I’m average—and that’s good.

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