An Inward Journey
I can do it all! I can eat all the right foods without exception, workout six days a week, work four jobs to make ends meet, say yes to all the commitments being asked of me and go through all the hardships of life with a smile on my face. This was the mentality I carried with me for far too long. What I didn't realize was that once the pendulum swings hard to one side, it comes barreling back to the other.
Due to this type of past, I have really been focusing on my feelings that are tied to shame, guilt and judgement. Let me tell you...it's the majority of the feelings I attach to thoughts and actions! My experience with these is always directed at the self, never others. I can give grace and understanding all day long to others, but the moment I need to give myself a little empathy it all goes out the window. Can you relate?! My shame, guilt and judgement show themselves in the "bad" food choices I make, the decision to not workout, telling others no and in my career (or lack there of). I constantly make myself feel inadequate and wrong for doing what I need. I usually apologize when I tell others no and always look to my husband to approve of my feelings. I am pretty sure that he might kill me if I ask "Am I wrong to feel that way?" or "Don't you agree?" one more time. Now most might assume I am a very insecure person by this constant need for approval, but I have always felt fairly confident in who I am. Where the problem lies is in my people pleasing and perfectionistic ways. Have you ever felt the need to do it all?!
What I have learned this year is that I was placing my identity in all the wrong things. I have been keeping myself busy, as I always have, as a way to avoid the deeper issues. This is why I have taken a big step back on doing less. Now I know this might sound familiar. If you have been reading my blogs since the start, then you'll remember how I have stated before that I am going to slow down. The thing is, like I have addressed, I am VERY stubborn. While I have pulled back, I have also managed to recommit and fill my schedule over and over again. At the end of the day, God is even more persistent. Now with the onset of severe fatigue from medication side effects, I am finally listening. I am finding more stillness in his word, slowly getting better at saying no when needed and taking time for me. Let me tell you...it's hard! I am doing my best to give myself grace and not my typical go to of judgement. I know I will not get this right all of the time, but what matters is that I keep trying and making progress.
Maybe you don't struggle with shame, judgement or guilt like I do (Please teach me your ways)! My guess is there is something in life you struggle with...maybe you struggle saying yes or live in pure unorganized chaos. My challenge to you is to find your area of struggle and discover the root cause. Once you can identify that, you can work towards improvement. We all deserve to be at complete peace within ourselves. God is calling us to that peace. Lets remove what is preventing our surrendering to God and put our trust in Him! It sounds pretty nice if you ask me!