It’s a funny thing to think about live moving around me. A few years ago I was sick. Not quite bedridden for months. My husband was amazing and stepped in, taking responsibility for meals and groceries and laundry and bedtime routines for the kids. My biggest responsibility was to keep the kids fed and safe while he was at school every day, and to keep an eye on our finances to make sure everything got covered. I struggled a lot during that time realizing that he could do it without me – a realization that came back in a bad way a couple years ago. I was struggling with crippling depression and for a time I thought my family would do better without me. I trusted he could take care of them, of himself, of everything without the extra burden of dealing with my sadness and lethargy and needyness.
It’s hard to find your place in the world when confronted with the fact that it functions fine without you.
On the other extreme, I tend to have an overblown sense of responsibility. Generally I blame it on my mother, but really I know that’s a cop out. When I’m in charge of something to any degree, I get insecure. I want people to like me, and so if I am in any way able to make someone’s experience better and I don’t, then it’s on me and my fault. This leads to a lot of pressure I place on myself and a lot of guilt. It also makes it nearly impossible to take constructive criticism in the way it’s intended.
Yesterday my husband reminded me the extreme reaction I have is in part because of a position I was in years ago. One of those things I thought I’d moved past but apparently is still lingering in the background. He told me this after I called him home from work because I was crying and couldn’t stop and I knew I was over-reacting but couldn’t make it all make sense. I forget sometimes that there’s other things to consider – experiences and thoughts and habits and wounds and countless other bits and pieces that make me who I am.
So what’s to do then? Being involved and part of things is important. I need to be connected to stay healthy, to exercise my gifts and to serve the people around me. Part of things, but not too big a part, or the weight of it crushes me and I somehow believe it all comes down to me, that i am the most crucial element.
How quickly my pride moves from one extreme to the other.
I’m taking some time now to get some perspective. To step back and observe and see what happens. A reminder that the world still turns, and a chance to see where there’s a spot for me to fit into it. The right spot where I’ll fit and feel comfortable and not be crushed by my own expectations.