As I read blogs and understand how other people see themselves, relate to the world, build relationships and get their work done, I find out so much about “us.”
How similar we are…
And how different…
One thing I’m not good at…I’m not good at living in the now…
I’m constantly remembering a past event and marking it…”I remember when such-and-such happened. I’m not going to let THAT happen again!”
Or reaching for a future event…”When such-and-such happens, then I can take a rest.”
In its own, way, this kind of thinking is a driving force…it keeps me from the bad and propels me toward goals. It keeps me organized and mindful of the details. It helps me to pay attention to things going on around me and judge a situation for positive or negative content.
On the other hand, it keeps me from taking risks that would have great reward. It keeps me “inside” myself with new people. It keeps me on my couch watching events, or in my studio documenting events, but does not get me into the world experiencing events.
A great example: my life group. I’ve got an amazing life group! They are truly the most STUNNING group of women – beautiful and willing to share and be open to one another. And me…I have to FORCE myself to connect.
Why? Because I’ve pre-judged this experience…I would not call myself stunning…I would call myself awkward…or large…or loud…or something not quite adequate to the challenge of sitting in a room discussing my spiritual search and the answers I’ve found with so many gorgeous women...
And why? Because somewhere in my past, I’ve made a false connection between beauty and not having any “real” problems…Somewhere, I got the impression that I can’t belong to a group of real beauties because they are a level above me and I cannot possibly relate to them…Somewhere, I have marked an experience that says, “I’m not a beautiful and my problems are too huge for this group.”
Now, let me say, I believe every girlfriend I have is beautiful. And with each and every one of them, I’ve forged meaningful relationships…but these relationships I have are hard won and have existed for many years…I was not prepared to be matched with a group of 9 gorgeous women, all leading amazing and diverse lives, and then be called to be honest about my feelings and impressions and spirituality and life.
As easy as it is for me to strike up a conversation and get to know people, this level of involvement isn’t usually part of the bargain…there is just no shallow stuff possible here! I cannot hide behind small talk and current events conversation while feeling out the situation, if you know what I mean.
Now, when I say I want to grow, I mean it. When I say I want to leave these things behind, I mean it. But as I’ve written before, when so much of one’s definition of oneself depends upon the baggage carried, its difficult to find the core of your being without all those suitcases.
One really amazing thing about my life is that I’ve learned that God puts me RIGHT where He wants me and no where else. And a further amazing thing, my husband can usually vocalize this concept with great candor and caring for my fragile feelings.
And so, when I said, “God, what are you doing!?!?!?!?!?!” He said, “Putting you RIGHT where you need to be!” And, of course, Scott echoed this by telling me that this is the perfect time and place for me to deal with this issue – this nagging feeling that I am not as beautiful as other people, this issue that I’m too something and not enough something else.
If you have read the Eldridge’s book Captivating, you will recognize this concept…too much and not enough. After reading that book, I realized just how many women in the world struggle just as I am..
I read somewhere…I cannot now remember where…that if you are still struggling with God, you have not yet reached the end of yourself…
That is so true…and I am unequivocally not at the end of myself.
But I heard some more words that I’m putting on as my mantra today:
I'm gonna stop lookin' back and start movin' on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here
Go out on a ledge, with out any net
That's what I'm gonna be about
Yeah I wanna be runnin'
When the sand runs out