We’re All Pretenders

There are so many women I admire, that I either directly know or have heard about. They are strong and secure, confident and beautiful, talented and humble. From the outside they look organised (such a coveted attribute), fun and free. But on the inside, I think they’re just like me: afraid and unsure of what they could do if they tried. Pretending, even just a little bit, that they’re already there.

Then there are the ones that aren’t pretending, they’re just not public about it. It’s amazing how much we can presume about a person without seeing them behind closed doors. Whether we admit it or not, we all share this in common: we doubt ourselves. Whether it be hourly or daily or whatever, we all do it.

I’m sick of thinking everyone does it better than me. I’m over making comparisons, because obviously I never come out on top, and then I’m back to square 1 of being discouraged and not good enough. It’s getting a little old to be honest.

For me right now, it’s this blogging world that I have stumbled upon. I’m scared of this blog; of it’s potential to flop and become yet another abandoned hobby; or of the success and opportunities that it could lead to. More the latter than the former. What we are capable of is daunting, so much so that we end up not doing nothing.

Reader, you intimidate me but I want you here more than anything.

I don’t know if I’m disciplined or talented enough, and the more effort I invest, the more risk involved. I know I know, it’s not complicated, all I need to do is write. As long as I know the reason for my words and keep close to the Source that provides them, then I’m good.  It’s about keeping the main thing the main thing.

I find comfort in knowing that the women that inspire me in the blogosphere, the ones that look like they totally know what they’re doing and have a million things to say; they started out the same as me, and might still be there.

We are all in the same boat. Some further along in the journey, others just pushing out from the dock. We all have something for each other and none of us are there yet.

Let’s do this together, by stepping out individually and encouraging each other collectively.

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Confession: I can’t fix myself & I don’t know everything

I like to think I’m pretty emotionally stable. I process my emotions, I don’t run away (I try not to anyway) and I cry a lot.  I’ve even been known to call myself a ‘self-analysing pro’ because I can come up with a reason for every single one of my behaviours. I’ve got my sh*t sorted right?

Wrong. Turns out I am somewhat of an ’emotional perfectionist’ (self-diagnosed, of course. See previous paragraph!). No but seriously, I like to be so in control of my feelings and know exactly why I do everything that I don’t let things happen organically.

This is my greatest blessing and my greatest curse, because while I’m very emotionally ‘in-touch’ (are you loving all this psycho-babble?) I also over-think to the point of insanity and exhaustion.

When I talk to my friends I like to sound like I’ve got it all together. Then in the dark of the night I break down, because emotions and grief work on their own schedule that you can’t really control. Turns out being human has some painful disruptions, and I don’t have my sh*t sorted at all. 

So I told my over-active mind to go on holiday and called in a professional.

Yes, I’ve started seeing a counsellor; someone who has qualifications and actually knows what he is talking about; someone who can help me fix me so I don’t have to do it all by myself.

I went to my first session with a heavy heart; I was sad, lonely and running on empty. On the journey there I prayed ‘Please Lord let this be good for me, let me gain something from this because I’m spent and don’t have any strength left’. God heard me. I sat there and released months worth of tear-stained words to someone who is paid to listen to me. I didn’t feel guilty for ‘dumping’ on him, I just went for it (pray for him, poor guy!). He helped me reach some important conclusions in that very first session and I  left feeling so light I thought I might just fly.

The second session was a little harder, grittier and a hell of a lot more painful. That’s when the good stuff happens though and hey, I’m still alive. During these sessions my pain is justified, understood and accepted, but our (my counsellor’s and mine) ambition is my healing and I’m not allowed to sit in my pain and pity for longer than necessary. I must keep moving forward.

I’d rather be dealing with this at 22 than at 42, 52, 62 when I’ve caused other people pain from my own wounded heart. Have you heard? Hurt people hurt people. All of my hurt has come from hurt people, and out of that hurt I’ve hurt more people. It’s a vicious cycle, BUT I have the power to break it and it’s my choice whether I do or not. No I won’t ever be perfect but the goal isn’t perfection, it’s wholeness in Christ so that I’m not operating everyday life out of brokenness.

You might be thinking ‘gosh she is so honest, telling the blogosphere she is screwed up enough to go to counselling’. If it helps you, then heck yes I am honest enough. Frankly we are all screwed up at least a tiny bit, even if we like to act like we’re not. It’s what makes us beautifully human. 

Here’s a tip sponsored by moi: if you have faced trials in the past that you still haven’t overcome, or if you’ve never been to a counsellor, or just think it would be good for you, then go and talk to someone. Who knows, you may only need one session, or you’ll need loads. Whatever the case, deal with your pain so that it doesn’t deal with you. Also I personally think that if you’re in a relationship then it’s even more important; there is a lot of stuff that comes up when we share our lives intimately with someone, and sometimes they can’t carry our baggage. Oh and because I don’t like to leave anyone out: if you really are emotionally stable and this doesn’t apply to you, then that is great and feel free to ignore this paragraph!

All this was to say it’s nice not having to figure everything out by myself. Yes I still have to think, feel, process. However I am externalising it in a healthy environment instead of running circles in my mind. Oh and in case you were wondering, my over-active mind came back from her holiday and then handed in her notice of resignation. Turns out I don’t need her anymore, anyway!

If you can closely relate to the above and need to talk to someone about it, then feel free email me. Sometimes it’s just nice knowing someone understands and is there to listen. 

Discovering My Skill

I always want to learn lots of things and be able to do lots of different things. In the past it was based on wanting to be someone other than myself; acquiring skills that God never created me to do.

As I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin and grown up a little, I don’t want to learn just everything and anything any more. I still have a desire to be better and know more, but I want to learn specific skills that can be effectively used and applied in and through my life. Skills that can help, encourage and bless people. I don’t want to spend my precious time, energy and focus on trying to be someone else or learn someone else’s skill. I want to discover me and my life without wasting time.

But then I guess that’s how you learn and you grow and that’s how I am where I am today; by wasting a little bit of time to get to a conclusion. Which doesn’t make it waste AT ALL, it makes it beautiful life-giving experience, even if it’s hard, confusing or painful at the time. This is life: painfully beautiful.

What I was really trying to say in that ramble is that I don’t want to spend my life being anyone but myself, but it’s taking me time to figure out who exactly ‘myself’ is.

I like the way the late Steve Jobs puts it:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”