I was reading my morning devotional this morning. It perfectly summarized where I keep finding myself in my life. The title was “Take Your Time”. I tend to move in speed mode. Once I have completed one thing I am quickly into the next topic or issue. One thing I truly appreciate about the man I am dating is that he operates in a much slower manner than I do. I find myself slowing down naturally every time we are together. Now I just need to learn to slow down when I am by myself.
When we were talking last weekend he reminded me that I am much harder on myself than I am on others. I think this is because I have come to a place in my life where I am hypersensitive to hypocritical attitudes. Because of this I expect myself to be acting the way I expect others to act. If I am not displaying the specific behavior then I have no business expecting others to display it. This is not a problem. I think where I struggle is that if I decide I need to be behaving a certain way or that I need to change a certain attitude, I want me to be the way I need to be right away. Life is not about the arrival. Life is about the journey on the way. My self expectations are admirable, but I need to extend myself grace as I learn to apply the lessons I am learning- sometimes moment by moment.
Which makes it all the more ironic that the chapter in Boundaries this week was on taking responsibility for one's own actions. I have realized that I naturally tend to want to help, but that is not always helpful. Children need to know that they problems are their problems. Because I want to show them how to tie all of life up in a neat little bow often what I am doing is demonstrating that their problems are my problems. The problem with that is that I will not always be there to help them solve the issue. So I am having to learn how to expect them to solve it and give them the room to do so. Sometimes giving them room includes giving them room to fail- and I hate that. But if I allow them to mess up and to grow from there then like Thomas Edison they will be able to say, “I didn't fail, I found a way that didn't work”.
I am truly not sure who this transition is harder on, me or them. I have always done for them so we are both used to that pattern. Now we are both having to learn that I am not going to do it. I may assist—if they request-- but I am not going to do. I keep wanting to do and they keep thinking I am going to step in. But in the end not only is it better for both parties involved if I let them take care of their own responsibilities but it is also freeing. They do not have to hold back because “Mom, is just gonna come do it her way anyway” and I do not have to step in, it is not my problem.
Wow! I need to repeat that for my sake more than anything else. Their problems are not my responsibilities. I am not sure how I feel about that at the moment.