I spend a decent amount of time frustrated with myself. I’d argue that 99% of it is justified, but there are others who would disagree.
“Why do you spend time frustrated with yourself?” You might ask. It’s a logical question and I’m glad you asked. Lucky for you, I’m in the mood to share.
I was taught at a younger age to be observant. I was told to analyze behaviors, patterns, and actions over someone’s word. I became, in my opinion, proficient in doing so. I took an interest in psychology and the nature of why humanity is the way it is. I say this to say, not only do I observe the world around me, but I observe myself. I would argue that I observe myself the most.
This isn’t a brag. It’s a curse most days if I’m honest. I’d rather live in ignorance of my shortcomings; especially the one I believe I recently discovered.
Here’s my confession: I want to be heard and respected. I want to be seen and loved. When I feel as though these needs are not being met, I recede into a refractory and defensive heart posture. Simply meaning, I become angry and my mind begins building walls around itself to protect me from perceived threats. In this state of mind, I allow my pride to vindicate my need to receive that which I feel is being held from me. I live in bitterness and at this point I’ve realized it’s instinctual.
I won’t share details for the sake of being “professional”, but I believe this took on it’s most vile form at my last place of employment. The work culture being what it was and my desire to be validated being what it was made for a deadly combination. They say you can’t truly heal a wound while being consistently exposed to the weapon. Now that I’ve moved forward, I’m beginning to look back to identify poor behavioral patterns and perspectives in order to grow (up).
I have burrowed into the crevices of my soul in an attempt to find respite from the fear that I’ll never be good enough. I have a fear that no matter how hard I work I will never be good enough to gain respect. I am afraid that no matter what I bring to the table of talents, they will be looked over for something shinier. I am terrified that no matter how much I’ve grown, it will never be enough to outweigh some of my bad days.
In response to that fear, I have learned that I instinctively work myself harder, punish myself longer, and expect more out of myself than I can possibly give or achieve. Why? Maybe I’m not doing something right. The solution must be found in whatever standard they have for me so therefore I have to do better. I need to be better. If I were good enough, they’d say so and I wouldn’t be having this internal dialogue. Therefore, I’m not good enough.
Unfortunately, that inner dialogue has only resulted in sustained frustration, increased bitterness, depression, and distance from the Lord. These are not healthy ways to mentally cope with rejection. I know this and now I seek the answers.
None of this is meant to be received as a ploy for empathy. I will always treasure people’s experience, but don’t take this as a cry for attention. I needed to process this so I can find a way to, prayerfully, let go of destructive behaviors.
I have been battling in recent days and have learned that ultimately this is a pride issue deeply rooted in my heart. This isn’t an issue of not knowing my “self worth”, but rather knowing it far too well. I don’t need more of myself. I need more of Jesus. So to Jesus I must run. I don’t know how to start tearing down these walls other than to pray and to trust. I won’t blame my past experiences, people, or even myself. What good does that do? I simply look to Jesus and ask that, if you read this, you pray I have my eyes opened.
Thank you for letting me share.