The Detox Diaries: Confidence

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Gentle Reader,

I’ve been working on memorizing a few passages of Scripture, one of them being Proverbs 31:25 -

I am clothed with strength and dignity. I laugh without fear of the future. (NLT; personalized and emphasis mine)

That’s what I want. I want to be in the moment and enjoy it without any fear of the near or distant future.

Matthew Poole, on this verse:

She lives in constant tranquility of mind, and a confident and cheerful expectation of all future events, how calamitous soever, partly because she hath laid in provisions of a rainy day, and chiefly because she hath the comfortable remembrance of a well-spent life, and, which follows thereupon, a just confidence in God’s gracious providence and promises made to such persons.

A just confidence in God’s gracious providence.

Yes.

Grace and peace along the way.

To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.

The Detox Diaries: Assume Nothing

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Gentle Reader,

What sent me to therapy initially was the problem of messy relationships. I definitely had a part in making them messy: lack of good boundaries, an unwillingness to say “no” and overresponsibility. People pick up on things like that. If they sense that you already believe that their happiness is your job, they will make their happiness your job. Simple as that.They will put the responsibility of the relationship squarely on your shoulders and then will complain when you fail. Or maybe they won’t complain, but you will end up resenting the heck out of them.

My therapist and I spent a lot of time talking about relationships and how to take back the power of “no.” That small word packs a huge punch. In saying “no,” I differentiate between myself and someone else. I claim what is mine and step away from what is not mine. I draw the proverbial line in the sand. This far and no more.

She warned me that there would be consequences to putting that “no” into practice, but that they were consequences I could deal with. They would show me what my relationships were really made of. It might be painful in the short run, but that “no” would be rewarding in the long. Every proper, healthy “no” would enable me to say a proper, healthy “yes” elsewhere.

There were consequences. There was fallout. A lot of it was easy to handle; slight adjustments in relating to others. Some of it was difficult and involved conflict. But I didn’t die or anything. Just kept moving forward.

And yet I assume the worst.

Every time.

It used to be that I would assume the worst and say “yes” to anyone and anything, just to try and avoid whatever I thought might happen. Nowadays I say “no” with regularity but do so from underneath the table, hoping to ward off some of the blows from the storm that I am just positive is going to come. The illogical logic in this assumption straightforward: If I assume the worst and the worst happens, then at least I’m prepared for it.

Except that’s not ever how it works. And I’m also miserable in the meantime, but, hey. Whatever.

I said the logic was illogical.

Do you have any idea how exhausting it is when everyone’s happiness is on your shoulders? We could talk about how this is a bizarre form of pride, because it is. I’m not avoiding the reality of that. But, as I said before, when people take advantage of your vulnerabilities and burn you on many occasions, it’s difficult to avoid thinking that it’s going to happen again.

Honestly? I assume that most people are angry with me all the time. And It’s just so frustrating to never feel safe.

I need to make a choice.

I choose to assume nothing. Given my current mental and bodily states, it’s going to be monumentally difficult to assume nothing, but if I keep on down the road on which I find myself today, I will wind up in a very dark place. I don’t want to go there. There isn’t a single relationship I have, not even my marriage, that’s worth it.

More importantly, sacrificing my relationship with God and my sense of identity on the altar of people-pleasing isn’t worth it. People are fickle. They are impossible. There is only One who can meet the needs of all the people in my life, and that One sure ain’t me. I’m not rejecting relationships; I’m just rejecting relationships as the be-all, end-all focus of my life. I can’t let them twist me into a pretzel. That happened before and it is far, far too painful.

So, if someone is mad at me and chooses to sulk or give me the silent treatment instead of being honest? If someone is bored on a Friday night and expects me to provide entertainment? If someone wants to say mean things about me to others?

Her problem. His issue. Her choice.

Not mine.

Grace and peace along the way.

To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.

The Detox Diaries, Five Minute Friday Edition: Exhale


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Gentle Reader,

Five Minute (it will be in a few hours) Friday.

Linking up with Lisa-Jo.

Tonight we: exhale.

Go.

Inside the mind of the anxious, stream-of-consciousness style:

It’s so hot and I hate the heat and I wish we had central air. I’m worried about this barbecue that Chris is throwing tomorrow. It’s supposed to be so hot and there’s not shade at the park in our neighborhood and we don’t know how many people are going to come and what if we run out of food or don’t have enough to drink? I shouldn’t care but I do because…I don’t know why. Everything is too much right now. So busy. So overwhelming. Packed carts and shelves at work and stuff just keeps streaming in, stuff that people want right now. Is Benny doing okay? That dog attack on Saturday was so scary. I’m afraid to take the dogs for a walk by myself now. Chris is running some kind of saw in the garage and it just pierces straight into my brain and I want to throw something. I am annoyed. Seems like all the time. Not for any real reason. I know what is happening in my body and why I feel like I do but that doesn’t make it easier and how I long for Jesus to just take this from me! I am scared to ask not because I don’t think He can but because I think He won’t. This concerns me less for me and more for others; how will they interpret it if they pray and I am not released? Not healed? I think about making people happy. I want them to have a good time. That’s why I’m worried about this barbecue. I sensed the Spirit telling me to “choose to have fun” instead of stressing out, but I’m not even really sure what that would look like. Is it really so simple? Can you just choose to enjoy something and refuse to worry?

I feel like I am taking more and more in and just want so badly to exhale.

Stop.

Tell me, dear reader. Is it really that simple? The question is a deep one for me. I suspect that I can, in fact, choose…but I worry about the consequences of that choice. I see patterns. I see the interconnectedness of every decision. And right now, I feel darn near paralyzed.

Edited to Add: We’re not supposed to edit our Five Minute Friday entries, but we are supposed to visit as many of the other bloggers as we can and provide feedback. After entering this piece to the link-up, I read Hannah Boning’s entry and it was exactly what I needed. Please, go and check it out!

Another Edit: God is truly ministering to me through the words of all the fabulous, gorgeous and talented bloggers who are participating this week. He heard the desperate cry of my soul and sent the words that would soothe the pain. I am so, so grateful for these sisters (and some brothers!)

Grace and peace along the way.

To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.