In today's world we are inundated with expectations of how we are to perform. I noticed a recent list of books to help us with this. Here are just a few:
Make Your Bed, Atomic Habits, the 48 Laws of Power, How to Win Friends, Never Chase Men Again, No Excuses, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich.... and the list goes on and on.
If you're lucky, you can listen to one of these books while you are trying to look perfect, work out, make lunches (don't forget those little notes), clean up the kitchen, throw in a load of laundry, walk the dog, and get everyone out the door on time- and make sure you do all of this with a smile on your face. Now, I'm not bashing any of these books, in fact I've read several of them, and may even interject some of their wisdom into this blog. What I am noticing however, is that I have become a slave to my to-do list. By 11:00am, I am already feeling defeated and behind schedule. I battle the high expectation of how I am supposed to look, interact, perform, and produce; and I often fall short.
I decided to write this blog because I am tired. I'm tired of feeling like I'm not enough. I'm tired of being defeated, ashamed, rejected. I'm tired of feeling like I've disappointed people, I'm not working hard enough, I'm not a good enough parent, partner, or person in general.
Why do I feel all of those things? Because of comparison. When I compare myself to others, I will never be enough. But, you know what? Comparison is the thief of joy! God did not create me to compare me with anyone. He created me to be perfect just the way I am. He has a purpose and a plan for my life-that does not involve running myself ragged and feeling exhausted and ineffective.
When I stopped and looked around, I began to see that many of us are stumbling through our day like the walking wounded, hoping no one else can see our true feelings and struggles. I feel like there needs to be a place where we can be honest about that, and support each other. The world can feel pretty isolating right now, and most of how we interact with other humans is through social media. Again, in rushes the need to compare ourselves with all of our virtual friends with their perfect lives.
In order to try to combat these feelings of running on empty, I decided to PLUG INTO THE TRUE POWER SOURCE. For just a few moments each morning, I plug in and touch base with God. I talk to Him about my day... my anxiety, my frustration, my concerns, my feelings...and lay it all at His feet and ask Him to help me. Before I grab my to-do list, I'm going to seek God's plan for my day and ask for guidance, wisdom, patience, and direction.
I completely support the campaign that "I am enough", but I've drilled down into that a bit. When I say, "I am enough", the implication is that I could be better, but I am good enough. Again, this makes me want to compare myself to others to see how I'm doing. Sure, I can say that I'm smart enough, pretty enough, productive enough, good enough... but the truth is I'm not. As long as I am comparing myself to what the world says, what all the books say, what the media says, I will honestly never be enough. This is where all those feelings creep in.
But, I found the GOOD NEWS! Even though I will never be enough, I am loved by the GOD that is ENOUGH. He is enough; pure and simple. When I walk with Him, put my trust in Him, give my cares to Him, give praise to Him, and know that He sees me as His precious child those feelings of inadequacy begin to melt away. He wants to take my exhaustion, my sadness, my worry, my frustration, my anger, my loneliness and my feeling of inadequacy and replace them with JOY.
Lord, help me to pause, and find a moment to lean into you before I leap into the day. Help me to reflect on how I'm feeling today, and to honestly and humbly ask for your help, your direction, your patience, your grace, your joy, and your love. Give me energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and patience. When I feel like I am falling short, help me to pause, breathe, and whisper your name, "Jesus". May this be a silent prayer for whatever I need to continue on.
Help me to remember that YOU are enough. You have everything I need, I just need to ask.
"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, The LORD is my portion; Therefore I will wait for Him." Lam 3: 22-24