Sunday, March 28, 2010

You Can Look Back, But Don't Try To Go There

I've discovered that it's dangerous to compare who you are now to who you were then.

I've been victimized by my own negative self-talk throughout my life, and am only now beginning to realize my own worth. There have been times that I invited people into my world who confirmed my worst thoughts about myself. That's part of what happened in my marriage. I married someone who had his own self-esteem issues and a critical nature. On some level, I thought that if I could become important in his eyes, then maybe I wasn't as bad as I thought I was.

That process worked for a long time. Especially once children came into the picture I was living my dream. My boys are 2-1/2 years apart. I LOVED being the mom to those little guys. We had so much fun together as a family and in different combinations.

I worked outside the home, volunteered, fixed dinner at least five times a week, crafted, was involved in my church, played board games with my kids constantly, did all the housework and home maintenance repairs.....and now I look back wondering how I did all of that.

That's where the comparison becomes dangerous. I look for my energy and self-management skills and can't find them. They seemed to disappear right about the time I was in my late 40s.

I'm still a list-maker and I'm still fairly organized. I follow the Flylady, too. I still alphabetize my spices. However, I accomplish less than half of what I used to even though I no longer have young sons and all of their school/sports-related functions to deal with. What happened?

I was tormenting myself with guilt. Was it my health? My age? Depression? I've thankfully come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter.

Who I am now is who I am now. What is, is. Each time I check something off my list I feel good. I'm still volunteering, still working outside the home, still caring for my loved ones (even though they are now more of the 4-legged variety) and know that I have a lot more wisdom than the 30-year-old version of myself.

I will probably always struggle with feelings of self-worth. Whether it's in my DNA or I'm a product of my environment doesn't matter. Each step I take in this journey I find new strength to confront those demons and push them aside.  Get thee behind me, Satan!

I've conquered the comparison game. Not only am I unique to humankind, I'm not even like myself from years past. And that can be a very good thing.

Faithfully yours,

1 comment:

Linda said...

I am reading the most awesome book by Beth Moore, "So Long, Insecurity-you've been a bad friend to us."
Part of the dust cover reads:"Lately I've been realizing more and more that chronic insecurity is a cultural epidemic, but no one is talking about it. And it ticks me off"...Girlfriend, listen to me, Our insecurities are lying to us. It doesn't have to be this way....."
It is a great book!