Today was one of those days when you just want to crawl into a hole and smack anyone who comes near you. It started with a painful dentist appointment then continued into a very stressful day at work. My frustration level reached a point where I found it hard to contain my urge to whine (even internally) about several things before the day was over. I kept trying to see the positive but it just kept getting overshadowed by the negative. It is unusual for me to fall into that kind of pit of self-pity, but I am human too.
We all endure times when we feel like everything we touch is a problem or everyone that comes to us wants something. They say confession is good for the soul so…here it goes. Stick with me for a few moments, because I promise this is going somewhere. Sometimes I get frustrated with people who take me or what I do for granted. I get tired of people who slip into a place where they stop trying to do anything for themselves or figure things out on their own before asking me to solve their issues for them. I get drained sometimes by people who think just because I’m nice or truly WANT to help them that it gives them license to continually load me up with stuff to do. It hurts me when I work so hard to do things for others, professionally or personally, and after a while, it just becomes the status quo. I don’t do things so that people will pat me on the back or say thank you, but once in a while it might be nice for someone to realize that it truly does take effort to pay attention to the needs of others and that once in a while, I need something too. It hurts my feelings that people think it’s a compliment or a sign of gratitude if they don’t have something negative to say. I realize it IS a good thing, but don’t think I feel happy because you didn’t tell me I was doing less than satisfactory work professionally or personally. More than that, don’t think that your silence makes me think I’ve done anything right or good. Sometimes I need to hear it too. I’m not superhuman and I don’t know everything. Just because I’m calm doesn’t mean I’m not at my breaking point. Sometimes I’m calm so that you can feel more stable. Sometimes I’m strong because you need me to be. But sometimes I need you to stop what you’re doing for a few moments and see me. Sometimes I need you to understand that just because I don’t complain doesn’t mean what I do is easy.
Everything I just said is true. I don’t often feel that way, and I certainly don’t normally say those things openly, but today I felt it was important. A few days ago I posted about the gratitude meltdown I had a week ago…and today I somehow lost sight of it. I let my circumstances get the best of me and crumbled a bit under the pressure of life. I let my frustration show and even vented a little about certain things that were under my skin…and I am sorry. Yes, I’m human, but I didn’t feel good about it when I was doing it and I certainly didn’t feel good afterward. There was some measure of relief in saying some things out loud, but then I immediately felt guilty for doing so. It isn’t wrong to feel what we feel in life; what’s important is how we respond to it. I did not choose the best response – not outwardly or inwardly. I gave up and was ready to quit everything. What a shame.
So in this season of gratitude, I find myself feeling the need to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for forgetting how much I am loved by people who never say it. I’m sorry for not appreciating the fact I have a job when so many people in this country are struggling to find work. I’m sorry for whining (even internally) about being taken for granted when I should be honored that people feel comfortable to come to me. I’m sorry for not speaking up and being honest about the fact I need things too sometimes. I’m sorry for taking my frustrations and making them someone else’s fault. I’m sorry for not stepping back and taking a breath and reconnecting with the spiritual things that ground me when I start to lose perspective. I’m sorry for not being grateful for the countless blessings in my life. I’m sorry for considering walking away from several things just because I feel like it’s the only way to finally be heard. I’m sorry…you deserve better.
It’s ok to be human and to realize we all stumble sometimes. We can have a day (or even a moment) of great clarity and gratitude and then have it stripped away by letting circumstances hijack our peace and contentment. It happens…but we don’t have to stay there. We have a choice. We can choose to take a breath and recenter. It doesn’t mean the feelings will always go away but what we tell ourselves during these times can be so powerful. It is important to hold on to the truth when your feelings are swirling around you. Talk to yourself – yes, out loud if you have to – and remind yourself of the truth…even if you don’t feel like it. It can transform you.
I am grateful. I am blessed beyond what I could ever deserve, and when I focus on that truth, it brings me to my knees. And even when I feel as though I am leaking like a sieve, I have a spiritual Father who keeps pouring more and more blessings into my world. It is not only enough, it is exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or think…and I will continue to follow what I feel led to do, even if it means giving all to a world that is so willing to take. It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world does because I’ve been given so much that I cannot help but give. It is not up to me to decide who gets to take or the manner in which they take. How I give is between me and God. How it is taken is between others and God. And the sooner that is burned into my heart, the less often I will have “one of those days.”