I realized that I allow others, some of whom I don't even know, to have way too much emotional stock in my life. I've spent the past couple days spending time evaluating my relationships and praying for guidance. It's been fantastic, really, because I don't feel like I'm on an emotional high, like coming home from summer camp or knowing I get to eat chocolate in the near future (that was a lame attempt at a joke, please laugh.). Instead I feel this settled peace for which I've been longing for quite a while. As we grow older and get married and have children, our bodies and minds and emotions experience changes and transitions that are unlike anything we've ever experienced before. And, to assume that we can simply cruise on like normal is untrue. We have to keep adjusting our lives and keep adjusting ourselves to fit into these new roles and these new experiences, or we find ourselves worn out and a bit lost.
I am a chronic people-pleaser and have always tried to fill that unnecessary role in my family and in my relationships. I will wear myself out in the desperate hope that I am earning someone's approval, all under the deceptive guise that this is how we, as followers of Christ, are supposed to act. After all, the call to love unconditionally is a high one.
But, there are different levels of love. I am not perfect so I doubt I will ever attain the ability to truly love unconditionally, but I at least recognize how to keep my own love in check so that I am loving those in my life at the appropriate level for which they should be loved. God receives the most of my love as much as I am capable of understanding how to love God. My family and friends receive the next biggest chunk of my love, based on the mutual investment each of us makes. I realize that it is in my nature to over-invest. And when the few that I over-invest in only give me a small return, I feel defeated and that I have done something wrong. When really, I've misunderstood by not loving them at the level for which they need to be loved. I need to take it down a notch. It doesn't mean I don't love them or even that I love them less, it's that the investment those relationships get needs to be at a lower level to keep our playing field even. Or I will continue to over-invest, not be nourished in return, and will find myself exhausted and empty.
And over-investing is nobody's fault but my own. That's a bit hard to swallow.
The speaker this weekend was a certified counselor and I was able to eat breakfast with her on the last day to discuss a plan of action for this stage of my life. Ironically, I had walked into the weekend thinking how great it was that I had no issues and that life was gloriously glorious, even though I was a bit tired. In the midst of my hurried schedule and over-expended exhaustion, I had been a bit blinded by my own well-intended ambition. There are things in my life that need a bit of readjusting. And now I feel that I know how to do that.
So. Where does that leave blogging? Well, I will, of course, continue to blog. You will hear stories about Cub smearing his face with yogurt or falling out of bed and I will continue to share with you the ups and downs of being a mom. Nothing will change in that respect. But what will change is what you do not see--the person beyond the screen. Nothing huge, but definitely necessary.
And now I look back at this massive expanse of words and wonder if any of it made sense. Or, if you made it to the end at all. If so, Bravo! If not, I don't blame you. It's long. With no pictures.
So, friends, have a lovely day. I mean that.
It is really a lovely day today.