Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm Breaking Up with My Self, 2012 Mission Statement

I had a truly blessed morning today.  I woke up early, ran 4 miles while having adult conversation with a new friend, took a quiet uninterrupted shower and put my makeup on without someone tampering with my brushes. I was left alone to my musings, my daydreams.  And God spoke to me in my meditations:

No more.

As in, no more self help.  I'm done with the self.  

I have a love/hate relationship with my self.  Seeing that as unhealthy, I'm breaking up with my self.

And yes, I see the irony in writing a blog about myself breaking up with my self.

But hey, I'm not perfect. *shrugs

Anyway, back to me.

Here's a little background:  In my profession as a mother, I've found that I've become jaded.  Just as law enforcement officers get jaded with life because they only deal with dirtbags 50-60 hours a week, I think mothers get jaded with life because each day is like the other.

Kids don't think, "Today is mom's birthday, so I'm not going to pitch a screaming fit in the car and kick her seat the whole 20 minutes to her party."  Mother's Day is just a plain old day because the car broke down and cleared the bank account.  Dishes and laundry and grocery shopping could all care less about your 104 degree fever.

The hours are endless, the rewards are few.  There are no pay raises or bonuses. Not to mention the view that professional motherhood is undesirable, unsexy, and boring.

It becomes very easy to start becoming bitter.  The danger in this profession is isolation.  Put bitterness together with isolation and you get one walloping pity-party. It's as if we are going to write a formal complaint to HR with a complete list of rights violated.  And as icing on the cake, add in the demeaning and false thoughts we already have in our self-talk.

This is the point I'm at in my career.  My head is constantly bombarded with lies about my worth, lies about my parenting, lies about my body, lies about my marriage, lies about my faith, lies about my image.  My inner perfectionist cannot stand the fact that I am not perfect.  I struggle with the imperfections of my children and I grieve that my marriage is not storybook.

All of this makes me itch to turn in my two week's notice.  Except that I can't. And I am only half way to retirement.

*Deep breath

This passed year has been a struggle and a blessing.  I have had to disregard all of the above feelings (and I am not exaggerating the all part) and live purely on truth.  Never have I before experienced the miraculous change in heart that comes from obeying God's Word and hanging on to His promises.

But by the end of the year, I noticed that I had compiled my own list of "truths", gathered from various resources.  All the mentors' voices, words from relationship books, parenting tactics, reminders to feel God's remarkable love for humankind, walk the talk, etc. etc. etc.

One giant checklist of things I need to do to improve my life, feel more satisfied in my job, attain the happiness I feel I deserve.

The only problem is, I will never be able to finish the checklist.  Because this endless list of "How to be a Good Mother, Wife and Christian Woman" is self-inspired.  Not God-inspired.

So in conjunction with changing my diet to sustain my physical body during my real-life marathon training, I will be changing my diet to sustain my spiritual marathon training.

No more self-help books of any kind.  Because living a life that is loving and serving and obeying sets the self aside.

It is those three things: loving, serving, obeying, that gives one a fulfilling and satisfying life that is full of joy and hope.  Not the improvement of self.  The self only serves its self.

And, you know, I don't really like my self.  Well, I love my self and take care of my self.  But because I know every detail of what goes on in my head, I find my self very loathsome.  I relate to Paul when he says that he is the worst of sinners.  I am the worst of sinners.  And no self-help book is going to change that.

Yet, I am saved.  Redeemed.  Well-loved.  God's Beloved.  Taken just as I am to be a beacon of light in a dark world.

I am forgiven. I am free from the bondage of my sins.  I am cleansed from within, and made beautiful when the Holy Spirit glows from my heart.

In His Word He regards me as cherished.  My life verse says, "He gathers the lambs in His arms and keeps them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."

He knows all about motherhood and its joys and trials.

No more checklists for me.

Instead. . .

2012.  Delving deep into God's Word and getting to know Him in a whole new way.

Because life isn't about the self.  It's about God.

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