Perfect is Ugly.

comments 5
the godless side / the post-God side

God was perfect.  Jesus was perfect.  And the message, over and over again, was that I




But in order to be worthy of heaven, worthy of standing in the presence of god, worthy of LOVE,…..we had to be.  Perfect.

Over and over, I learned that there were two ways of life — perfect, or not.  No in-between.  Pass or fail.

And how can we live that way?  Always worried, never enough.  Never perfect.

As you may have picked up from previous posts, anxiety and depression still plague me as an atheist, but contrary to the thought of the religious, they are not a result of my leaving faith, they are a result of my having been a part of it in the first place.

Though I have left faith, faith has yet to leave me.  Residual effects of belief in the atonement litter themselves over my emotional state and my psyche.

And breakthroughs happen, but we must be diligent in pursuing them.  Not let the anxieties win, but instead confront them, analyze them, dispel them and thus cast the demons of religion out of our lives, one by one.

And this one, this demon of perfection, is an ugly one.  A strong one.  The lie that:

“Something cannot be good unless it is perfect.”

Or phrased differently,

“I am not good unless I am perfect.”

And am I perfect? Hell to the no.  I never have been.  But instead of having the blood of a god I killed to rely on to make me perfect, I am left alone.  With the death of belief in me, so did the only help I had in being perfect.  But instead of denying the cross when I denied faith, I picked it back up again because I deep down I still believed *someone* needed to bear it.  Carrying the cross of perfection was the only was I could be good.

But fuck that.  Good is beautiful.  Imperfect is beautiful.  Good is enough.  Good is BETTER.  It is authentic.  It is real.  I am enough, I am beautiful, I am imperfect and that is GOOD.

Fuck the cross and the god who bore it for me and taught me I am nothing without it.

I stand against that lie in the name of TRUTH.  And I know that all that is true, and good, and beautiful stand along with me.

The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.


  1. Carmen says

    Except that Yahweh is far from perfect. In fact, if you read the Bible it gives the impression that Yahweh is a genocidal maniac. Jesus wasn’t perfect either (if he actually existed as a real person, which is doubtful.).
    Reality is anything but perfect, nor are humans meant to be. There’s no such thing as perfect, nor should there be.
    Anything I have read of yours suggests you are a wonderful human being – intelligent, sensitive and questioning. Sounds like an ordinary person to me. :). Just right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh you are SO right. I was referring mainly to the fact that we were taught as Christians growing up that god was perfect — so I’m referring mostly to the teachings and the belief, not to the reality of the YWHW in the bible.

      And thank you so much — I so appreciate your encouragement 🙂 ❤


  2. Violet says

    I have to agree with Carmen. While religion totes god as all-powerful perfection, the fact is, he had his own son tortured and killed. Who wants a dad like that? To call that perfection is seriously misguided.

    My theory is that people with perfectionist tendencies (like myself) tend to fall for religion hardest because it strongly validates our black and white world views. Religion only serves to loop us further into the very toxic and damaging cycle of perfectionism. The religious will tell deconverts the fault lies within themselves, not in the faith…that the blood of jeebus cures all perfectionism. That’s shortsighted, contradictory bullshit which is filled with huge amounts of denial. Religion takes perfectionism to the extreme, and magnifies this undesirable trait in those already possessing a tendency toward it.

    You will heal, but it takes time. I don’t know where you’re at now in your life, but you might not get full healing if you’re still attached to the religious life and participating in it’s rituals, even if it’s just to please family members you love. The real healing can begin when you cut the toxicity of religion out of your life and find a different path that feels right to you. Distancing yourself from it will help lessen your triggers, and make it so you’re not constantly bombarded with the message you’ve failed god, your family and friends, and life in general.

    I can’t completely escape my devoutly religious family, but I shut down any talk of religion around me and will not under any circumstance participate in any religious activities. The only exception is that if I’m over at their house for dinner, I’ll sit at the table if they say a short prayer before a meal…but if it gets in depth I’ll get up and go elsewhere until it’s finished. Setting firm boundaries and not allowing myself to be roped into their religious world has helped me a lot, though to be honest, those relationships are still very, very strained, even after 4 years as a deconvert.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I relate so very much to you!! You’re so right, about perfectionism and religion. It breeds within us, like a cycle reaffirming our perfectionistic tendencies.

      I’ve left everything religious in my life, we even moved states away to distance ourselves so my exposure is very limited — like yours, only to respect the family prayer before a meal (which is SUPER rare because I rarely see my family, talk about boundaries and dysfuncational people). Very very strained relationships, 4 years a deconvert as well. So similar.

      It was only after leaving that I was finally able to confront all the shit religion bred in me. And though I’m 100% a deconvert, I still have deep-seated processes in myself I need to “deconvert” from, including perfectionism, anxiety, etc. But being aware of all this in huge in the process of healing.

      Thank you for your support and relatability. It means the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Violet says

        “And though I’m 100% a deconvert, I still have deep-seated processes in myself I need to deconvert from…”

        That statement of yours really speaks to me, and I have deep fears that I will never overcome my indoctrination. While I cut religion out of my life, I still (4 years out) continue to catch myself with automatic thoughts, hidden anxieties, and other unhelpful attitudes which are the result of hard-core indoctrination. The problem is I can’t identify these damaging thoughts easily…it’s exhausting to constantly monitor my own inner dialog for religious bias. Therapy can help but that only touches the tip of the iceberg. I can’t face the idea that this will be a life long struggle, but perhaps I need to accept it will be exactly that.

        I had a very rude awaking this week regarding my toxic religious family and my tolerance of saying grace before meals. Last week I discovered they were insisting that my 7 year old son *lead* grace before meals when I’m not there! I have expressly told them that my son isn’t to participate in grace, but that he can sit quietly and respectfully during it. A bitter argument ensued and now I don’t know what the hell to do. They continuously violate my boundaries and push religion on my son…these aren’t harmless grandparents, they are the people who indoctrinated me with an iron fist when I was a kid! My husband thinks I should calm down and let my son experience some religion from them, but I’m not so sure. The hell just never ends, and I never know what decision is the right one. 😦

        Thank you, Teal, for your blog and for openly discussing the many hard things we face as deconverts. I’ve been reading your words for years and it’s been a relief to know I don’t face these struggles alone.


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