Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Something to Prove

The past two years has been a whirlwind journey into self-discovery and there have been many changes in my life as a result: particularly in my relationships with myself, with God, and with others.  Even with all of that, though, there are times when I slip back into old mind-sets and ill-conceived beliefs.   

One thing that tells me that I'm cycling into a pattern of self-destructive behavior is when I catch myself trying to prove something to someone else: either what I think they should do, how dysfunctional they are, how much I was hurt, or even how 'normal' I am.  

It amazes me how many times I slip into that "something to prove" mentality and how it just goes back to the basic things that I struggled with when I was a child - selfish competition with siblings, power struggles to be the favorite of a parent (knowing that there was no way I could be), herculean efforts to impress the  "in crowd" while sacrificing my identity - and how behavior like that lets me know that there is something amiss in the maintenance of my spiritual condition.

I slip back into those patterns more easily when I'm tired - which is another sign for me.  Exhaustion usually means I'm not looking after myself the way I need to. That I haven't set the proper boundaries for myself.  

When my conscious contact with God is in good shape, when I'm living from the inside out, feeling my feelings and letting them identify problem areas in my relationships, life just works better for me.  I fully enjoy those times.  But when I'm tired, or find myself spiraling downward, that's also an experience from which I can benefit if I will stop, take stock, and roll the entire mess into God's lap, knowing that He will make sense of it all, make the crooked places smooth, the valleys high and the mountains level, and my life will - well, for lack of a better expression - get back to (the new) normal: where I'm no longer scrambling to be the best, look the best, do the best. Where I can rest in His love.

That's when I no longer have anything to prove - and can just be peacefully grateful that He loves and accepts me just the way I am.

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