Sunday, March 18, 2012

Finding my fit

I go around trying to dot my I’s and cross my T’s by doing everything I say I’m going to do and showing up for my friends and family when and where I am needed.  A lot of times it feels like I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to fit myself to everyone else’s schedule.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed.  When I do, I’m at a high risk of quitting everything.  What happens is I get to thinking people are disappointed or angry with me, because I can’t meet all their expectations.  Before long, I get swallowed up by guilt and shame.  Guilt and shame have been the two most paralyzing and dangerous emotions I have experienced in my life.  Enough of either one, and I fall into such self pity, resentment and fear that relief only comes at a great price not only for me but for others as well.  I wallow.  I hide.  I lie.  I lash out.  I self-destruct and take you down with me.  I have endured this enormous, destructive cycle countless times in my life.  Coming out the other side is neither easy nor guaranteed.  I DON'T HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY ANYMORE.

The truth is that most often I am only guessing that people are disappointed or angry with me.  Even before I get to that, I admit that I am usually the one trying find time to spend with all the people I love in my life because they bring me strength and peace and joy.  So long before I find myself in a world of hurt, I have told myself lies like I am not in control of my own actions or that people have put me on a pedestal of sorts and expect me to be everywhere for everyone.  I have thrown out my own truths and put other people’s opinions of me over my own.  I have forgotten humility and have placed myself at enormous risk.  What people think of me and how much time I give to them decides whether I am a good or bad person.  I've given others all my God given grace that allows me to have my own human experience.  When I embrace my perfectly imperfect humanity, I get to love freely and give generously.  When I don't, I am bitter and alone.  Today when my thoughts get noisy with self-deprecating and berating messages, I can pause and ask for some help and some courage to get off my crazy making cargo train to crappy town and find my right place in this world.  Feet on the ground and eyes wide open, I can go from there and do the best I can, expecting no more than just what that turns out to be.

A long time ago, an elderly man told me this, “We don’t have to fit into shoes that are too big, just our own.”  Now that makes sense and takes the shame and guilt off my heart.  I can only do as much as I can do, and I’m the only one that knows my limits and my intentions.  I answer to the truths I hold within and I can be accountable to others without shame if I fall short of my commitments at any point.  I'm only human after all and I have discovered nobody has mistaken me as anything more... EVER. :) 

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