I’m noticing a trend in
our society –I mean, myself. A trend that in my short life has done much to ensnare me in guilt, to overwhelm me in decisions, and drown mean discouragement. This trend is two-fold. Both sides work together to stop forward progress and peace. I want to address both sides–badges–in my next two posts. I call them badges because strangely, although I don’t like the outcome of living them, they seem so shiny and attractive at the time. I feel like they are my gold star of achievement.
The first is the badge of honor of being busy. I have had seasons of life where I truly am swamped with externally imposed deadlines. School is a great example of this–or work assignments if you are not your own boss. Needless to say, life will always have these external, time sensitive pressures that we can’t wish away with the wave of our hand. That’s ok. Sometimes these pressures squeeze us into sitting down and doing the work. I could now park here and talk about time management, energy management techniques, stress relief, and how to harness or focus. I love talking about all these topics and as a personal coach that helps women find balance and calm.
However, external non-controllable deadlines are not what I’m going to address. I’m talking about the glorification of busy and then the subsequent panic that creates the illusion of busy.
Now, back to my story….Yes, whole seasons of my life have been busy out of my control. But, I wonder if I went back and applied what I know now–how much of it really WAS in my control after all. Let me explain. I have had time to breath. I have had moments with nothing pressing to do. I have even had free time (although as a mom, free time isn’t what it used to be!😊). I would hazard a guess that half of yiu almost judged me as not as busy as you (ie: she doesn’t know what it’s like….). Am I right? But think past the judgment. I would venture a guess that you have witnessed those ebb and flows in your own life too.
Pay attention: what did you do in the easier times? If you are like me, you started feeling guilty. You started inventing relevant tasks for yourself and self-improvement drama. You felt like you should be doing more. Maybe you felt like you are being selfish or even *shudder* not doing or being enough. As those feeling-thoughts began to swirl, you began creating your own stress cyclone. You began to reduce yourself and your value down to the number of tasks and responsibilities you had or the number of “hats” you wear. Sound familiar? Yikes! It does to me too and reminds me of a dark place of feeling like I’m failing.
Everyone take a deep breath at this point. We are going to shift perspective here. All of the internal pressures to DO more or BE more–who is doing that to us? We are. Fill in your name. Drink in that thought. When it comes to the badge of busy, internally I have done that to myself. I am not the victim here. I don’t say that as a slam that once again I messed up. I’m saying it to give hope.
I have the power to release the guilt and panic of proving my worth to myself. From a calm and clear place, I have the ability to choose intentionally what I want to do—when to say yes, no or even not right now. At that point of taking ownership, I can breathe when I need to, work hard and push when I want to–but do either from a place of freedom. I have found that when I’m free to choose, I actually accomplish more but do it with joy and determination. Cool, right?
Now, as far as society’s perception that busy equals success (and not busy equals lazy)–well, I can’t fix that. I CAN shift my own perception and give others the permission and tools to shift their perception too.
Let that inner voice be kind. Save your energy for the real battles that you don’t get to choose and the hard work for the commitments you DO choose. Learn to breathe and BE ENOUGH. Just the way you are.
Stay tuned…the Badge of Perfectionism coming soon…..