The Roller Coaster Life
I think we could all agree that (as women especially), we constantly go back and forth between feeling like we're not enough and feeling like we're too much.
Can I get an amen?!
We end up feeling stuck because our best doesn't seem to be enough, and at the same time our best seems to be too much for some around us. We start to wonder if we're fighting a losing battle. Our weaknesses feel like they disqualify us and our strengths feel like they alienate us.
We end up living the roller coaster life--rising with the praises and affirmations of others and down with the criticisms and insidious slights of others.
That's no way to live, and I propose there is actually a better way.
When I was navigating my early 20's I couldn't have fathomed living any differently than what I just described. If you're familiar with the enneagram, I'm a 2 winged 3 (helper and achiever). In short, I'm tempted to find my worth and identity in my ability to help and be needed by others. I MUST, I repeat, MUST avoid failure and rejection at all costs; as these are the biggest enemies to my self-worth.
This makes relationships tricky to navigate. Some personality types are self-governed (typically found in more introverted personality types), I, on the other hand, am "others-governed" because of being more extroverted as well as being a 2/3 on the enneagram.
I'm tempted to look to others to validate my worth which often sounds like: "Do you need me? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Did I do something wrong?" The list goes on. Talk about the battle between being enough or too much! I was perpetually stuck in that crazy cycle.
So, how did I / do we break the cycle?
Well, let me ask you a question. Who is the most influential person in your life? Or who's opinion holds the most weight in your life?
We could think of relationships like weighted scales. On one end are the opinions and perceptions of others, and on the other end are the opinions of whomever you've decided to be the most influential person in your life.
It's not that what other people think or feel about you don't hold any weight, but rather they just hold less weight than whoever holds the most influential place in your life.
We run into some options when we think about who we are going to award the all-important place of, "the most important person in my life". It could be your mother, father, sister, brother. It could be your best friend, your boyfriend, your husband or yourself.
The only problem with these options is that, well, they are all human, and therefore flawed. Their opinions are skewed by their own frailties, and although they may love us, they can never love us perfectly or see us perfectly.
This causes us to look for something divine. Something that transcends our temporal world. That inevitably leads us to God. What does he say about me? What does he think about me? Who does He say that I am? Am I enough to Him? Am I too much?
Song of Solomon 4:7 says, "You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you."
What?! Not too much or not enough? Altogether beautiful, without any flaw. We can't imagine the quality of love. Slowly but surely the weight of other's words and perceptions starts to weigh less and less, and God's thoughts start to weigh more and more. The scales starting looking different, and we start looking different.
That is how we begin to break the cycle. To the degree that God's thoughts are the weightiest thing in our lives is the degree that we start living free and secure. Take inventory of your scales today. Which thing or person is holding the most weight. As you begin to believe God's thoughts of you more than you believe the thoughts and opinions of others, you'll start to think different, feel different, and LIVE differently.
Meet the Author
Barb Hill // @barbs_hill
Barb Hill is an east coast native who recently relocated to Nashville, TN. She is a therapist, writer, and worship leader who lives in Franklin, TN with her puppy named Nash. She works as a trauma counselor at the Refuge Center and an after school counselor at Rocketown working with teenagers that are gifted in the arts. At any given time you’ll find her at some coffee shop catching up with a friend and planning her next adventure. Connect with Barb on her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.