Still breathing

I’m going to be honest (I mean I have always been here on this blog), 99% of the time I feel like I’m not good enough. There is that random 1% where I do something that I’m like yay! Go me! But in general, that’s not the case.

Because of my personality, that means my inadequacy makes me try even harder. I try harder to be a better friend, to be better at work, to be craftier and funnier and better and more in control. And I get frustrated.

I’ve always compared myself to other people. I’ve written about that before. On the enneagram I’m a 2w3. (Go ahead and read about that freak show in stress and that’s what I’ve been dealing with perfectly. Because let’s face it, I’ve been in stress for a hot minute.).

I struggle against a perfectionistic, controlling nature too, as if we needed to throw any other issues into that tangled web. It’s pretty much a trifecta for disaster. But it all boils back down to comparison, being as good as other people, if not better, and I’m not.

As I feel the season of life shifting a bit, I am recognizing the issues and striving to better cope. I’m learning to breathe, and for someone like me that’s so hard. This week has been all about just breathing and just being. No plans. No agenda. Just life on the lake. It’s been so freeing in a weird way. I’ve been eaten alive by mosquitos and not gotten much sleep, and my soul is loving this life. I’ve let go.

I hadn’t even checked my work email, until a little bit ago. The world exists quite fine without me. And I realized, as much as I tried to find self-worth in making myself important, this week has been nice not to worry about anything. To completely check out. I feel like the realization that I’m not that important is actually going to make my life better. I realize that sounds weird but for a person like me it’s freeing. I don’t have to be all things to all people. If I don’t do something, someone else will do it and it’ll be fine.

And I might not have to be in control all the time either. (Though I’m not completely sold on that idea yet.). I always get so upset when anyone throws a wrench in any plan I have, no matter how minor. I plan my life out completely and have a good idea of the game plan for every situation, always. You want to change something? We might no longer be friends. (Just kidding…kind of).

But this week I’ve had no plans. I planned to go to the lake. I came to the lake and that’s where the planning ended. What do you want to do? I don’t know. Sit here and stare at the lake until I decide to do something different. It’s been weird and amazing. I’m just breathing and going with the flow.

Literally this afternoon we decided to go eat somewhere, which meant we drove around looking for somewhere. It ended up a process of driving around the entire lake and ending up in a restaurant (recommended by diners drive-ins and dives no less) like 30 minutes from the lake house. But we took the 2 hour version of the trip courtesy of my brother who did not have a game plan leaving the house. (Yup. He’s amazing like that). And it was fun. (And the food was good).

I think the secret is to just breathe. Inhale and exhale. In with the good. Out with the bad. And let it go. I’m learning to do that. I’m not good at it yet. But it’s a process. Besides there are very few life and death decisions anyway.

This trip to the lake has been about that. Just breathing. Just being. Reconciling what is with what I thought would be. And being thankful for all the good while acknowledging the bad. Letting go of the need to be perfect and have the perfect life. Realizing that I don’t always have to achieve anything. Success is different for everyone. I’m not in a competition with anyone. None of us make it out alive anyway.

My life may not look like yours because God has called us all to different things. Part of the beauty of life is found in the differences. This year has been tough, but with God’s help I can be tougher.

As we wind down at the lake, I am ready to return to life. I want to make a conscious effort to find pauses in every week to just breathe. I want to stay focused on the important things and exhale the things that don’t really matter anyway. I continue to pray that I find a way to matter in my world, that God uses me for his glory. I continue to look for a way to “minister” whatever that looks like in my life, using my gifts and talents for the Lord to encourage those around me. But most importantly I want to keep my focus on what’s important and let go of all the things that aren’t. And if I’m only better than the person I was yesterday, I want that to be enough.

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