Tuesday, May 22, 2012

That Fickle Feeling of Failure

We all struggle with it, don't we?   With our spouses, our children, our friends, our church, our pets, our families, our health, and so many more areas.  When I say we "all" struggle with it, that is, of course, an assumption.  I know I struggle with it all the time and I tend to think I am pretty normal, but it's not something that normally comes up in conversation.

I hate that feeling.  That feeling that you have "ruined" something for someone else or for yourself.  Like, for example, I wanted to make Caleb's birth extra special since his daddy wasn't here.  I wanted to take pictures of him with his daddy's dog tags or sitting in an army boot (although I'm pretty sure he was too chubby to do this one!) or and laying in camo or  something. I wanted to mesh his birth with his daddy being in Afghanistan somehow.  And you know what?  I totally, absolutely did not do that.  Nothing!  And, now he is almost 6 months old, that precious newborn stage is GONE and I've failed.  I can never go back and do that.  And, if feels bad.

I beat myself up all the time over things like that.  "I don't write my husband enough emails"  "I'm not patient enough with my 2 year old" "I never pay attention to the dogs" "I should volunteer more" "I am so unhealthy...I should eat more veggies" and so on and so on!

Why do we beat ourselves up like that?

For me, I have this imaginary perfect day/attitude/relationship and if something doesn't match up with my perfect ideal, then I feel like I've FAILED.  And, of course, it's always my fault!  But, I don't think that's right.  I don't think that failure is the correct word.  I don't know what the correct word would be, however.

I wonder where I learned to view life this way??  What part of my journey has taught me that if I'm not perfect, I must be an awful wife, mother, friend, etc.?  The thing is I'm not perfect and I have no doubts about that.  My house is never spotless and my hair is almost always a mess and I bite my nails and I don't exercise.  I am not in denial about those things and actually I accept most of them about myself...but still, I have this idea of "perfection".  I guess it's my own personal Meg-version of perfection.  Some kind of world where it's ok not to mop your floors, but not ok to miss out on the perfect picture opportunity!?

Well.  I'm just rambling now so I'll stop.  I'll just say that this is an area I am seriously going to start dealing with, thinking about, and try to start giving myself some GRACE.  Lovely glorious grace.

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