Monday, May 27, 2013

Control Freak!

I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago how God was prompting me to be more transparent. Well, I’ve been kind of falling back into my old self-controlled routine. I still need to work on giving up control. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to become a basket case, always appearing to fall apart at the seams, and unloading all my emotional garbage on people I love (or stranger’s unfortunate enough to cross my path). But I need to allow myself to be more transparent. I need to not bottle up my concerns or frustrations…because they poison my body. It’s necessary for me to let people know when I feel overwhelmed….which is frequently. It’s important that I don’t always appear confident….because sometimes I’m not. It’s important that I stop and release that control before I unknowingly hurt myself and those around me. Sometimes it’s important I just LET THINGS GO!

I look back and see all the times I used the word ‘I’ or ‘me’. Yup, it’s all about me! I know it’s not, but sometimes those of us that are such control freaks forget to take care of ourselves, and every once in awhile we have to be reminded that we are important. We need to pause from trying to be all things to all people and stop and try to look after our own needs and desires. Looking after ourselves improves our emotional health, and energizes us to be more capable of meeting the needs of others.

Frequently we keep ourselves so busy doing for others that we fail to see that what we are doing for them are failing to meet their needs or desires. God tells us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. So often we get so busy that we feed the naked and clothe the hungry. We have the best of intentions, but we’re running in so many directions that we aren’t seeing that the hungry are still lacking food, and the naked are still unclothed.

It’s almost comical how when I get overwhelmed, the first thing I remove from my ‘list’ (oh, you better believe I’m a list maker) is my own wants and desires. I think that I’m helping others by completing all the necessary tasks. But at what price? I am exhausted, frazzled, angry, overwhelmed, and resentful, and I take it out on those closest to me….the only people I allow to see the cracks in my façade.

Years ago I wrote an article about the importance of fellowship. I wrote that I hoped that we got so busy chatting with neighbors on our porch that I didn’t have time to make supper, and we were forced to throw together some sandwiches. Those of you that know me know what a huge stretch that is. (I only recently started purchasing cereal) I got a nasty response from a woman berating me for shirking my wifely and motherly responsibilities. She actually said ‘how dare I’. There’s one in every crowd. My husband laughed and said told me that nothing would make him happier than to sit around and fellowship with friends and for me to really relax and let my responsibilities rest.

See, I fool myself into thinking that getting everything done and keeping everything in order is what makes the people I love happy. I feel like I’m doing my job, and taking care of my family if I feed them well, make sure the house is clean, provide clean clothes and hold things together. But sometimes they feel neglected. And I think to myself ‘I’m giving it my all! What do you want from me?’ But I completely miss the mark. They aren’t hungry. They aren’t naked. Those aren’t the needs that I’m failing to meet. Do you know what they told me makes them happy? What is the most important responsibility that I’m not getting done? What do they miss most about from me? Hearing me laugh.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I am so much like you it was scary to read. I am still trying to figure out if perfectionism and control freak are one in the same. It does get overwhelming sometimes.

Don't beat yourself up too much though. Take a deep breath and smile. There's always tomorrow :-)