Not a weakness, but my strength

The last few days have been hard… more like really hard. I had a complete meltdown in front of my husband and son…. including lots of crying and saying I didn’t feel special. Looking back I feel like a complete and utter fool. I cried many times yesterday. My eyes just erupted with tears at a moment’s notice. I hate the feeling because it reminds me I am vulnerable, I am weak, I need others. Although I know this feeling well, it doesn’t mean I like it.

As I cried to my husband last night, the feelings coming forth were all too familiar. They were not new and I hate them. I hate feeling like I am not enough, or that I am not doing a good enough job. I have felt these feelings and years ago I realized there are not going away… and I must constantly work to process and overcome these feelings. I manage most days, but nothing like being on week… I can’t even remember… of a pandemic, to make you remember every little vulnerability and weakness.

I picked the word “enough” as my word of the year in January.  It was a fast, but an intentional word choice. If I am honest, I have spent most of my life not feeling like I am enough. I am a “recovering” perfectionist and struggle not to find my worth in what I do. When others tell me I am fantastic, I question their sanity. I drive my loved ones crazy with this insecurity…. if I am honest I drive myself crazy.

I spent the last few weeks doing presentations for parents and staff about making sure they know they are doing a good job and their worth is not determined by what they do in a pandemic, yet I hold myself to a different standard… a standard that I, nor anyone else, can ever fulfill.

I really think we keep ourselves so busy in life, so we don’t have to face these aspects of ourselves we don’t like…. well at least I know I do. Who wants to admit they walk around the majority of the time feeling they are not enough… I know I don’t! My busy schedule causes me to avoid these feelings… these feelings that don’t go away… these feelings that are always around regardless if I acknowledge them or not… these feelings that remind me I still have work to do… not busywork… but the internal soul work which is hard and complicated.

Over a decade ago I read a book by Sue Monk Kidd titled “When the Heart Waits.” There is a quote from the book that has come back up for me: “Avoiding pain, rather than having the discipline and courage to confront it and live it through, only compounds suffering in the long run.” For some of us, I do believe there is pain so deep, we will always have to confront the pain and continue to work. This work is not a destination, yet it is part of the journey… my pain of feeling my worth will always be connected to my mom’s death. I don’t want it to be, but I must be honest and say the two are so intertwined I can’t face one without facing the other.

As the business of life has slowed and I now am forced to once again face pain and vulnerability I have spent half a lifetime avoiding, I am reminded I am strong enough, I am courageous, and I am loved by so many to face whatever is in front of me. I have to accept the fact that I am enough and continue to accept it each and every day. I have to accept to admit and face such reality is not a weakness, but yet my strength.

One response to “Not a weakness, but my strength”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I read “When the Heart Waits” in 2003 and 2018. It has been a major influence in my growth and transformation as a human being. It often seems as though we teach what we have to learn. It remains true for me at 71 yrs. of age. You are more than enough! Be well!

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