Again today's thankfulness comes with real life as well. I guess that is how it works for me. I hope though it helps you see my heart. For too long I hid my heart away, afraid of what I would see and what others would see if I truly allowed myself to be who I am without holding back. So today I am thankful for:
I am not talking about the freedom I have to write whatever I want or the freedom to worship how I choose or the freedom to vote...(I am thankful for that too) NO I am talking about the freedom to BE who I am...who God created me to be. For most of my life I lived (and still do occasionally...well let me be honest...I'm still battling this urge) with the fear of rejection/inadequacy. Now you might be saying we all do. Yes, you are right, but mine was/is affecting my relationships with people and God in an unhealthy way. Here are some signs of my sickness. (This is a lot of reading, sorry)
-I have difficulty saying “no” when people ask me to do something, even when I know I should not do it.
-I feel I need cover up for irresponsible people in my life because I don't want them to suffer. I'd rather "fill in and help them" then see them get consequences. It's my job to assist them.
-I understand that it is my job to fix, manage and hold my family/relationship together.
-I work hard to be thoughtful and nice to others and get angry when they don't respond or reciprocate my efforts.
-I worry about how I make people feel. It directly affects my own feelings.
-When I get in close relationships, I change to try that please that person. I often "read" people to figure out how I should act.
-I don't like being alone. I need to be around others all the time.
These two don't seem to go together, but trust me they do.
-I am afraid of people. I need to isolate.
-Being "good to myself" is equivalent to selfishness
-Other people's needs always come before mine, even if it I have urgent needs and they do not
-In the areas of my life where I experience approval, I often become over-involved. In the areas of failure, I detach and withdraw.
-If something is not perfect I see it as a failure
-I become defensive when others point out my imperfections
-I often measure myself in accordance with other people. It leaves me feeling as if I'm "better" then others sometimes, and "worse" then others at other times.
-I feel very inadequate when people seem to "have it all together." I tend to avoid friendships with those type of people.
-Deep down inside, I don’t really like myself and don't want people to know the "real me"
-I tend to blame and criticize people and circumstances for my feelings.
-I have a hard time leaving relationships, even if they are unhealthy
-I have a difficult time asking people for help, even when it's necessary.
If I could double bold I would.
-I feel sometimes that if I don't do it myself, it will never get done right
-I find it difficult to speak what I truly feel or ask for what I need.
My sickness is called codependency...It is bondage, lose yourself kind of bondage. This previous year I experienced what it would be like to be healthy....it was freedom like I have never felt before.It is a freedom that comes from resting in Christ and His love for me. He accepts me for who I am, sin and all. I have more to say, but I will leave it at that.
Just kidding...real life. This week I am co-leading a group of people who have this same sickness...fear, worry and inadequacy fill my mind and heart. Help me Jesus, to rest in you and allow you to work in me and the people who have in our group. I realize that I can't do it all, but you have me in your hand and will give me all that I need to show them to you. Remind me that it isn't about me or how good I am or how well I speak, but only your saving grace.