I am just going through your book The Persuit of Perfect and I think I get what you are saying only it is so easy to get caught by the dichotomies that we use to explain the difference between the Perfectionist and the Optimalist. As you do mention no one seems to be either of the two extremes. ie the perfect perfectionist or perfect optimalist.
In fact, I think that it is this approach in thinking, using dichotomies that gets us into a bind. “Reality” and “fantasy” for example, when life is more a nuance in between these two concepts.
“Accept” and “reject” is another dichotomy I have difficulty with. I have written a self published book/manual called Rethink Perfect: The Upside of Uncertainty and in it I emphasise that I don’t think that we need to accept anything, only what we find to be acceptable to us.
I find that anger, falls into this category of not being acceptable from me or from others. Understandable, yes, but not acceptable. I don’t think that I can justify anger in any circumstance but I can understand how and why it occurs.
In this area of thinking, I find I am not in agreement with you on Acceptance on page 44, especially the acceptance of the emotion of anger. Anger is understandable but simply not acceptable to me.
If anger is acceptable to me, to some degree and in certain circumstances, then why would I need reduce it? I am sure you can see that by saying anger is acceptable, that I can justify my behaviour and the losing of my cool because of external forces.
In your chapter “Accepting Emotions” you mention “…fully accepting reality”. When someone or myself loses our cool, this may be “a reality” but, to me it certainly does not have to be “the reality”. I have spent the last 26 years learning to understand where anger comes from, all because I have not accepted such behaviour. I suspect it may take the rest of my life to further understand this and other unacceptable behaviour.
I actually think that, like creativity, anger, starts with a spark, but in this case it needs to be extinguished as soon as possible before it becomes a full blown bushfire.
Any feedback appreciated.