Guaranteed to let you down

Checkmark

Tick, tick, tick.

That was me yesterday, competent and confident in my productivity, sure of my accomplishments, article written, revisions submitted, meeting led, yearbooks distributed, email sent. Tick, tick, tick.

I should know that skipping along on the flimsy wings of accomplishment will trip me up. It happens every time.

Yesterday, it was a bill I found, forgotten, overdue, interest accrued. I can’t even remember what it was for. Somehow, nothing makes me feel more defeated than discovering an unpaid bill. And I have shame issues with money, too (what else is new?), so it happens more often than I’d like to admit, because I try to avoid dealing with money.

Suddenly I’m snapping at the kids to head outside, I’m turning off the afternoon music, I’m yelling at the dog. Annoyed, my own failings itching under my skin, everything I had tick, tick, ticked off my list now forgotten in shame and embarrassment. How could I have been so stupid? Again?

Almost right away, defense mechanisms kick in and I start seeking chocolate, or caffeine, or food, some sensory experience that will swallow up this uncomfortable prickly feeling, but then in grace (and only grace), I stop, breathe deep. (I am practicing resilience so that one day I can say I am resilient. One day, the healthy responses will be the default.)

Identify the source. Acknowledge the shame. Speak the truth. Breathe in, out. In, out. Seek quiet, read a chapter, write it out. Let it go.

And then, see how I’ve been setting myself up for this all day long. When my accomplishments define my worth and value, my failures will do the same.

If I base my worthiness on success and failure, on striving and living up to some image I have, I will let myself down every single time. Even if my failures don’t put me flat on my face (but they usually do), shallow and short-lived worthiness are a pale reflection of true value, and I know it.

Worthy despite my failures, I recite. Worthy despite my accomplishments. Worthy now.

And in the language of the One who loves me best, Completely loved now. My loved, accepted daughter now. And then the trees look greener and the weeds look smaller and my bills and the kids and the whining and the dinner unmade, it’s fine. It’s all fine, it’s my best and it’s beautiful, it’s nothing and it’s everything, it matters and it doesn’t. I am loved. And that is the only thing that needs to be true.

  • http://www.messymarriage.com Beth

    I love this message, Kim! It’s one that women in particular struggle with–myself included. I wish it wasn’t so easy to fall back into this kind of thinking. And I’m so glad that your learning to rebound with the Truth. I’m working on that too and enjoying the stretching it provides. Great post!

  • http://www.waystationone.com brian miller

    When my accomplishments define my worth and value, my failures will do the same.
    bang…that is spot on and a hard truth you know…they both will come….i can relate esp to that one thing throwing off the day…thanks for this one…smiles..

  • http://sarahkocischeilz.wordpress.com Sarah

    Friend! This — “Identify the source. Acknowledge the shame. Speak the truth. Breathe in, out. In, out. Seek quiet, read a chapter, write it out. Let it go.” — I copied and pasted for the future. What a beautiful, God-breathed pattern for moving past day-to-day struggles. Beautiful. Thank you.

  • http://beinghappygirl.blogspot.com/ happygirl

    Worthy despite my failures, I recite. Worthy despite my accomplishments. Worthy now.

    I need to recite this, as well. I know the feeling of being frustrated and mad at myself when I make a mistake. I try to be kinder to others than I am to myself. I’m working on self-love without over-indulgence. Such a balance. :)

  • http://www.pohlkottepress.com tara pohlkotte

    oh, kim…”When my accomplishments define my worth and value, my failures will do the same.” um. i may get that tattoed on me. yes. i’m with you here. fighting against myself to see real value. real worth.