This year has been gloriously rough. I went into this year thinking..."I am the crap." True story. Full disclosure: I've been through some really dumb not fair stuff but I've always survived. Maybe not the least psychotic when I did...but still survived and could post Facebook pics with a ginormous smile on my face to prove it. I am ONE COURAGEOUS BRAVE CONQUERING CHICK. Which allowed me to believe I had come to the crossroads of being a tiny bit superior and All-knowing. Boom.
I really truly believed all this about myself. Don't get me wrong I don't walk around town thinking to myself how incredibly awesome I am...it's more of a subliminal knowing that shows up in glances at the less knowing, thoughts of "bless your heart" to the less evolved, and "really? You didn't know that?" to the less educated. Yep. I admit it. You don't even know you're doing it until someone calls you out and even then you privately think "They know they are wrong and the poor dear now have to blame you for their insecurity and inadequacy." Don't look away you know you do it too.
My mom says I'm a "runner". When people get too much I like to cut my losses. (Nothing like all my awesome FB posts huh?) She's counseled me loads of times in the last 10 years about sticking power...about entitlement...about my bratiness...and when it gets where I can no longer deny it...I shake my head and say..."I know. I know."
I'm incredibly high minded with ridiculous aspirations...for everyone. It's exhausting quite frankly. Which takes us back to 2014...
I really breezed into this year full of thoughts that I was TOTALLY evolved....totally secure....totally surrendered to God with no idolatrous notions...I TOTALLY HAD THIS. Life would come and go...but my inner peace, fortitude, and Zen never would. Wrong. Oh. So. Wrong.
This year has JACKED ME UP. I've had to confront myself with the same freakin' lesson. Over and Over Again: People. Programs. Promises. Academics. Family. Friends. ARE NOT YOUR SAVIOR NOR ARE YOU THEIRS.
I am utterly and completely capable of failing. Big. Time. And by failing I mean the snot nose...roll around in Oreo crumbs with dirty hair failure. Sad part is the failure leads me further into the entitlement: "If THEY can pass that exam WHY THE CRAP DIDN'T I?" "I'm doing MORE than anyone in this family and NO ONE GETS IT."
Don't mistake...I am pretty humble...I'm a hippie at heart. I do regard everyone the same. BUT. Inwardly...I feel I have the upper hand. Some would say this is "self-esteem". I say it's suicide. Because "I am better and bigger than ____ (Insert your demon)" is really, truthfully "I am better and bigger than God and His sovereignty. My self-reliance is total idolatry that continues to kill me one unlearned failure at a time." Which leads right back to the subliminal thought process: I am better, stronger, and have more to offer than others. Which is always rooted in SHAME, INSECURITY, AND DISPLACED WORTH.
Hence, why I continue to go right back to my feelings and reactions and allow them to determine my days rather than go back to the source of all there is and allow Him to guide my days.
I've mused on this lately (yes...I know...shocking that I muse) and I've determined this cycle leads to two major lessons that I continue to have to re-learn:
1. If I continue to rely on others and their approval, encouragement, and acceptance to determine my worth and the outcome of my day...I WILL BE FOREVER MISERABLE. If I only celebrate life when there are no fights over the budget with my husband, when my friends call to remind me how INCREDIBLY AWESOME I REALLY AM, or I make straight A's on all exams...I WILL NEVER. EVER. EVER Have a good week again. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Because this...this is life. And I can't speak for yours but mine gets downright torturous sometimes with all the responsibility and chaos. But life also surprises me day in day out with snippets of divine loveliness that can only shine through cracked places...If I keep waiting to be happy because everyone in my world is...I will be waiting until His glorious return. No. Thank. You.
2. If I continue to "live in my feelings" I'm going to run, destroy, hide from, or shut off relationships, opportunities, experiences, and God ordained lessons. I've started a new mantra for myself. I say it multiple times a day: "Amanda: Your feelings lie to you. ESPECIALLY RIGHT NOW WITH YOUR LOAD. Don't listen to them. Listen to God and otherwise BE FREAKIN' STILL." I have already recited it three times today (Don't you feel so superior to me now? I'm here for ya babe). Because here's the reality: Whether my feelings are correct, fair, or not correct...dwelling in them and allowing them to control my mind and choices do nothing but paralyze my days and my life. Placing them in perspective and realizing that some things won't or can't change for whatever reason (I mean do you see exams going away in Nursing School? Or families never needing more money? Didn't think so.) allows me to table them, accomplish what needs to be accomplished, and sets myself and others free to dwell in the present and allow the situation to unfold. And furthermore...who do I think I am to think that what He has supplied is not enough? (OOH. That was good yawl. Shaba)
What I mean by unfold is this: LET GOD BE IN CONTROL. When I dwell in my mind and try to solve everything...I take God out of my equation and place _____ (Insert person, place, thing, desire) in the place of God. Not cool. Not helpful. Incredibly self-destructive. I ought to know...I've taken this test at LEAST 50 times in the last 20 years and apparently I need to go back and study the material again.
Longest story ever short: If you started out thinking you're the crap only to realize you're not and "WHAT?" You're not alone. Don't look at all my FB posts and think I have achieved internal enlightenment, a divinely unique perfect marriage, two blissful cherubs that think I am the best mother ever, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, and a perfect dent less derriere....CAUSE I HAVEN'T. AT ALL. You're in good screwed up company. All we can keep doing is showing up. Telling our partners "You're right. I'm not better than you. I'm wrong." Studying harder when we overshot our intellectualism and failed the exam. Crawling back to God when we literally placed someone else on a pedestal in his place. Climbing into the word to reveal the stillness in the chaos. And pie. Lot's and lots of Key Lime Pie. It's the only way.
Grace n Peace,