This time last year my aunt died. Two years ago my nan died. It feels strange to write, but these were the first deaths I grieved in a way that feels… healthy.
The word petrichor is as beautiful as nature itself. It combines the Greek petra (stone) and īchōr, which in Greek mythology is the “ethereal fluid that makes the blood of Gods immortal.” Petrichor describes the sweet scent of freshly fallen rain, a smell somehow grounding and expansive.
As clouds gather before a storm, there’s tension in the sky and tension in our bones, as if we’re intuitively hardwired to sense an incoming downpour. After a storm, the air changes. The clouds clear. Petrichor fills the air, and we’re hardwired to enjoy the sweet scent of relief.
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Perfectionism is defined as a “combination of excessively high personal standards and overly-critical self-evaluation.”
This episode focuses on perfectionist tendencies with emotions. Beliefs such as “I should always be happy,” “anxiety is weakness,” or “normal people don’t feel so low” fuel feelings of frustration, shame, or hopelessness.
In truth, common concepts of healthy emotionality is skewed, in favour of positivity and fear of so-called negative emotions.
I unpack emotional perfectionism and it’s various guises (self-oriented, socially prescribed and other-orientated) and offer applicable solutions to move towards a place of acceptance and self-compassion.