Monday, January 31, 2011

Today I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

I had a phone conversation last week that sent me emotionally into a tailspin.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday my dreams were filled with hurt and anger, and during the day, while trying to be strong and stay preoccupied, I was an emotional wreck.

The phone conversation was simple enough, and not far from many conversations I have had in the past 10 or so years of my life.  However, this one was made different by a realization that my confidence and strength teeters on the validation of this one person.  I was in the car and as our short conversation (or argument, if you will) ended, my past flooded into the present and I began to realize how all my emotions are centered on a toxic relationship that has remained unchanged during my adult years. 

I quickly realized that all of the "I'm not good enough's" and "You are not thin enough" and all my attempts to be "better" were an indirect result of this relationship.  The person in question has never once said any of these things to me, not that I can recall.  But I'm not sure that person has truly believed the opposite of me either.  If I have been told "I'm proud of you" it wasn't often enough and if I was told "You are beautiful" it wasn't in true sincerity to make me believe the words. 

After our phone conversation on Wednesday I wanted to scream out. I wanted to say Just listen to me for once.  Hear what I have to say!  My life is important too, you know!  I matter.  All of these thoughts and emotions flooded the walls of my body and I just felt like my insides were bursting through my skin.  My body heated in anger and then sank into sadness.  Why don't I matter?  Why can't I be good enough?  Why won't they love me?  Why won't they care? It hurts.  It hurts so bad and in a deep place inside my soul that is so hard to reach.  My heart is broken. 

My disappointment released itself on my husband, the closest person to me.  After episodes like Wednesday's I look to my husband to grant me the validation I so desperately seek from this other source but can never quite find.  Something as simple as picking out a book at the bookstore can turn into a mess when I don't feel he thinks my decisions are worthy.  When any of my choices are questioned I become defensive because all I really want is to be told that I am good just the way I am. 

Only recently have I connected the dots between my disappointment in one relationship and the anger I feel toward my husband at certain times.  This week solidified what I had been guessing at for several months.  These two events are intertwined.  I don't want to begin to blame one person for my marriage trials.  It is my responsibility to harness my disappointment and anger and release it in a healthy way.  But now knowing that these events are connected can hopefully help me to better guard my marriage from anger that is sourced externally. 

If I took this new realization and did nothing with it I would be failing my marriage and this other relationship.  Despite the challenges and toxicity of this relationship in question, I obviously love this person very much and deeply yearn for a healthy and strong relationship. 

If there is one thing I can take away from this week it is that I am good enough.  Maybe not good enough to some, but good enough to my Father in heaven.  His love never ceases.  And despite my failures and my angry outbursts and my disappointments and struggles, he is always there.  And he is telling me you are good enough because that is the way I made you.  He loves and he cherishes and he forgives and he forgets.  When searching for validation and encouragement I should look no further than him and not seek it out from earthly relationships. 

We are all human and we all sin.  I have learned this week, when I look to others to confirm my worth rather than my heavenly Father, I am setting myself up for disappointment.  I am being selfish.  I have placed high expectations on a relationship that I know cannot fulfill them.  This person is facing huge challenges and struggles and the battle they are fighting pales in comparison to my daily need to feel worthy.  It is not fair of me to hold these expectations in our relationship. 

I know that the only change I hope to see in the world is through me.  It is not my responsibility to change others. 

1 comment:

  1. Just as I believe that God gave us muscles and ways to exercise them, I do believe he gave us patience, endurance, self-control, love and etc and just as many ways to exercise them. My lust for other human acceptance takes over my life so often. It is as corrosive to my optimism as battery acid. My husband is so loving and supportive ALL of the time, but one wrong look or small conversation of discontent from someone else can send my Jenga-esque life tumbling down into a pile of junk. We must stop. Now. God made us in his likeness and looking around we're all very different, noone is the same. I am just as important and beautiful as the next person. I believe God will give you more ways to exercise your qualities, so hold on and be ready to squelch the unbelievers and stand firm in the promises of the Almighty Heavenly Father! Love ya girl!