Knowing Me (and Maybe You)
In all likelihood, the person I have recently been butting heads with is 100% unaware I have been butting heads with them. Not because the head-butting has occurred in a strictly figurative sense (because it has), but because it has happened so indirectly that many people would need a detailed map in order to arrive at this disagreeable destination I’ve been pacing back and forth in for the last couple of weeks. Including the person who has been managing to push all the right buttons when it comes to some of my insecurities and doubts.
Here’s the thing: When I feel like I’m unqualified for or simply not up to a particular task, it’s the smallest of hops for me to make to reach the conclusion I am the worst ever at whatever thing I’m struggling with at that time. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work due to circumstances beyond my control? Well, I’m the Worst Admin Assistant Ever! Having troubles getting into a good writing groove/routine? I am the Worst Writer Ever (Don’t Even Trust Me with the Grocery List)! Are other commitments taking away from housework/time spent with family or friends/church involvement? I am The Worst Housekeeper/Wife/Daughter/Sister/Friend/Christian That Was, Is, and Will Be!
(My insecurities can be sooo dramatic.)
But then I see other people who, when their insecurities pop up, quickly whack them down with their alter ego Super-Duper Confident Person! There are no problems in their world! All is going well! Life is totally tickety-boo! And if you’re having problems you’re simply not approaching thing with enough confidence/gumption/can-do attitude! At least I feel like they’re tacking on that last part along with all the exclamation points.
But I realized my struggle was not with any particular person – not really. See, I had an epiphany/reminder this past Sunday:
We all have our insecurities. We all have things we struggle with, that we hope no one will see us struggling with. And sometimes in our insecurity, we can do a mighty fine job of stirring up the insecurities of others.
That’s what was happening to me in my however-indirect interactions with the person I referred to above. I just know it to be true. In dealing with their insecurities, they were (however unknowingly) stirring up the already bubbling pot of my own doubts and questions and fears. And when I realized that, my irritation went down to almost zero. I no longer felt like I was “less than”. Nor did I feel as though I was “better than”, either. Instead, I could see where we were simply two people who were, frankly, doing a not-great job of hushing those pesky negative voices we’ve all heard piping up at our lower points in life.
It can be a delicate balancing act to find that spot where we’re acknowledging where we do need to change, to learn, to grow, to let go while also seeing where we truly are good at something and in our sweet spots. I’m not The Worst _____ Ever, nor am I All That (and Then Some).
(Does any of this make sense? At the time of putting this to page/bits and bytes, a piece of pumpkin pie with a generous serving of whipped cream was calling my name …)