Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Of course it happens slowly. It can't happen any other way. 

If it happened quickly ... we'd notice. But over time, little things creep in and we give just a little to make room for them. It could be saying yes to too many projects, or letting the housework pile up, or taking on just one more extra-curricular activity for the kids, or buying just one more trinket. 

But one leads to two, and two leads to more - whether items, hours, or days. And before long, we look around and wonder how it all happened.

It's creep. Sly, seemingly innocent concessions we make. 

I do this more often than I care to admit. I get overwhelmed and wonder how it all happened, when "all I was trying to do was..." And so it goes. I want to be seen as a nice person (hm, sounds like fear of rejection to me), so instead of saying "No" when someone asks me to do something I would just as soon not do, I say "Yes" ... instead of setting that boundary.  Boundaries are hard. Enforcing them is harder. So I give in. Even if giving in is bad for me. 
Got this drawing HERE

After a while, I become obsessed and driven by what this one and that one wants, and the stress builds - and I start getting burnt out. The alarm bells start to ring. Eventually, if I ignore them, I get resentful of the people I'm trying to help. And the bells get louder.

The alarm bells didn't always ring for me though. I just wondered why I was so tired and unhappy all the time; after all, if people would only show a little appreciation, I'd be fine. Right?
When I first started to embrace a lifestyle of looking after myself as one of the people with whom I was in a relationship (there's a thought!) and healing from past hurts, I'd catch myself doing this, spreading myself too thinly for others' benefit (or so I thought). I used to berate myself that it took me longer than what I thought was healthy, to realize I was doing it. The cycle would be three-quarters of the way through before I would figure out what was happening, and stop. As time went on, though, I noticed that I was catching myself sooner and sooner. And I was practicing my new behaviors of saying how I feel instead of stuffing it down inside somewhere. Not every time, but more times.

This is progress. This is not perfection. 
Thank God perfection is not my goal anymore; it used to be. I can give myself permission to fail. Not that I try to fail, but if I do, it's okay. I guess I accepted the notion that the only perfect One who ever walked this earth got nailed to a cross - and I'm not Him.

What a relief.

This lifestyle - this one day at a time, first things first, let go and let God philosophy on which it's based - is actually pretty good. I'm generally happy most of the time. Oh, I get flustered over things that occur, the weather, circumstances, just like everyone else, but I don't beat myself up about not being able to do it all and be superwoman any more. 

Well, not much. ;)

And that creep phenomenon? Thankfully, it doesn't get as far as it once did. 

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