I have about a zillion and a half things to tell you. I will try to keep it brief, so I’ll just give you a couple of small updates on things I’ve mentioned before and then maybe when my thoughts are more congealed in my brain I can talk about some of the things I’ve learned.
First of all, thank you to all of you who have been thinking of, praying for, and/or sending good vibes to me as I’ve been working through my anxiety struggles. I had a major breakthrough on Monday and am now standing in victory.
Secondly, I am almost done with Cog’s horns on the cross-stitch pattern. I will be finishing that today as well as starting the next piece (Rick’s arm, I think), so yay on progress. Also yay on having the sense to stop when I did last night because cross-stitching for hours in the light that I did really did oogy things to my eyeballs and I really don’t want to go blind.
Now, on to the meat of this post.
As many of you know, the past few months have been a rough patch for me. I felt for a while like I lost a lot of the things that make me who I am, and without them I felt like I didn’t know who I was or was supposed to be or what on Earth I should do. About anything. I often felt paralyzed by fear of doing the wrong thing or being the wrong person or all other kinds of some such nonsense.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot. Or, to put it more truthfully, I’ve re-learned or learned to live by things I already knew. I might talk about some of them in another post someday (actions vs. intentions, relationship vs. tasks, true humility, true identity, etc.) but they are not the main point of this post.
The main point is this:
I’m done being timid. Bring it on, world.
This realization has been slowly building in me, finally bursting into life in a confusing explosion of emotion not unlike when Giselle realizes she’s angry at Robert in the incredibly adorable movie Enchanted. Except instead of a handsome soulmate, Robert is a bunch of preposterous, mostly untrue and crippling things I’ve let myself think or feel and Giselle is normal me, only more pretty and adorable.
It’s like I finally got fed up with all of these lies I’d been telling myself. I let myself feel so wretched and let myself think I couldn’t do even simple tasks. I let telling others how I feel and setting simple boundaries seem like a giant mountain to climb and let looking at jobs be overly depressing because every listing had at least one thing I didn’t already know how to do. I let myself feel under-qualified for all of them, as if not already having all of the skills needed meant there was no chance I could be a capable employee.
Worse still, almost hilariously so, I started blaming the good things in my life for my inability to do other things. I have been incredibly blessed with many, many things. I can write really well, I can sing nicely, I am a good dancer. I am to varying degrees funny, intelligent, quirky, nerdy, charming, witty, creative and pretty. Outside of personal traits, nobody super close to me has ever died, I have a wonderful home, a loving family, amazing friends, plenty of books, an education and up until recently have always been consistently employed, for long stretches of time at each job, too. Life for me has been, all considered, very, very easy.
And I started blaming some of my blessings for my problems. I was still grateful for them, but it was like I was angry for being so lucky. I ran into problems and moaned, “GEEZ. If I hadn’t been so ridiculously blessed all my life these probably wouldn’t even BE problems.” As if my always having been employed had cursed me with an inability to get a job on my own once they stopped falling into my lap (which is not really an accurate description anyway). As if my never having had a major life crisis before now had made me woefully inadequate to endure a life crisis now (when again, really, this is not even a crisis). I mean, sure, I didn’t view it in exactly those terms at the time, but looking back, that is essentially what the thought process was. What an absolutely ridiculous way to think.
With that mentality slinking into place, it was only a matter of time before inner Giselle went off. I was not raised in a family where self-pity is acceptable. Thinking the way I was did and still does seem disgraceful to me. Am I under grace for those times when I am weak or struggle or get twisted up inside? Yes. Can I forgive myself for thinking that way for a time like I did? Yes. Does that mean it can continue? No, no, nope, no, no, no, no. I am blessed. I am a capable human being. The blessings I have are not some kind of life-atrophying shield meant to soften me up for hard blows, they are people, experiences, objects, values, skills and knowledge meant to build me up and help support me as I face the blows that come up (as well as all of the wonderful things that they do and bring to my life, because there is a LOT of that).
I am tired of being anxious or thinking I can’t do things or that I’m not good enough. 2 Timothy 1:7 says we have not been given a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am ready to stop being timid and be bold. To do things that are scary or intimidating because they are worth it and I am not alone and I can do them.
So here’s to more writing. To more dancing and singing, reading, boundary setting and the leaping of obstacles. I’m ready to learn more things, to reclaim gifts that were slipping away, to do things that challenge me and to grow because it’s fun. All this time I’ve been thinking this is a great chance to be excited. Well, here I go, and I AM EXCITED.