I don’t always like Josh. I mean, I love him every day but I just don’t always want to be in the same room as him. He just does stuff that annoys me sometimes ya know? Like ask me where to find a pair of scissors after we’ve been living together in the same space for over 4 years.
But there is no way on this earth I would ever go anywhere. I come home to him every single day because I am quite positive that he is the only other person on this planet willing to put up with my hormonal mood swings, inordinate number of food aversions, and preoccupation with tidiness, just to name a few of my most charming qualities. We are both imperfect but we realize that and have learned to work around each other’s quirks.
So why in every other area of my life do I expect uncircumstantial perfection? It was actually a counselor I had in college who brought it to my attention one day. I was seeing her for body image issues and she pointed out to me that I tend to view things from an all or nothing point of view. I am either fat or skinny, good or bad, smart or dumb, pretty or ugly, fast or slow, productive or lazy. There is no in between for me.
And I have alluded to this before when I talked about my body image issues here and here. And I think a lot of the feelings of inadequacy I’ve been having this summer originate from this basic flaw in thinking. I will never have the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect body, or the perfect personality because these things don’t exist. At least not in the way I believe they should.
So, all there is to do is change the way I believe. Because the longer I go on struggling and worrying, the more of this life I am missing out on. I am literally missing the forest for the trees. How can I be upset with myself after completing a 5 mile run? Because it was done at a 9:30 pace instead of 9:00?? And this thought process is not limited to fitness, no I use it in other areas of my life as well.
But when I step back and look at how ridiculous I am, I feel instantly embarrassed. When I am old, of course I want to look back at my life and feel that I was successful in my pursuits. But not at the expense of my mental well-being. Here’s the kicker: when my mental-well being suffers, so does my performance. And when my performance suffers, so does my mental well-being.
For various reasons this summer, I have worried myself in to an emotionally unstable, nauseous, isolated, sleepless cry baby. Yup…a cry baby. And it’s reminds me of a story:
Years ago, my family and I were at a restaurant for Sunday lunch. All the sudden, through the window, I notice Josh and my brother-in-law walking somewhere together outside the building. I asked the table “Hey, where are they going?!”. No one had noticed them leave together or knew where they were headed. We had just arrived so I couldn’t imagine what they were up to. We all proceeded to throw out our best guess as to where they were going, but no one knew for sure. Finally, someone spoke up and if I had to guess, I bet it was my dad. He said “Hey here’s an idea…why don’t we just wait for them to come back and then they can tell us where they went.”
This is such a metaphor for me. I try too hard to control and plan and manipulate things in my life. I spend all my time guessing what’s going to happen. But here’s the deal: I have never been the one in position to make such decisions. When I step back and ask God to take care of me, and then actually let him do it, I tend to be a much more peaceful and content person.
So today I choose to be content. To know that I will be taken care of. I will treat every aspect of my life as I do my relationship with Josh-It’s never going to be perfect so just be grateful for what you’ve got. I don’t want to be the person who wastes their life away worrying about the minutia of life. There are much more interesting things to concern myself with.
A theme song for all this:
Change Your Mind
by Sister Hazel on the album Fortress
Did you ever think
There might be another way
To just feel better,
Just feel better about today
If you never want to have
To turn and go away
You might feel better,
Might feel better if you stay
I bet you haven’t heard
A word I’ve said
If you’ve had enough
Of all your tryin’
Just give up
The state of mind you’re in…
Chorus If you want to be somebody else,
If you’re tired of fighting battles with yourself
If you want to be somebody else
Change your mind…
Have you ever danced in the rain
Or thanked the sun
Just for shining- just for shining
Or the sea?
Oh no- take it all in
The world’s a show
And yeah, you look much better,
Look much better when you glow
what ya say
We both go and seize the day
’cause what’s your hurry
what’s your hurry anyway