Every few weeks or months, many times after a time of change or excitement I’ll find myself in a phase that is extra unsettled. Naturally anxious and fearful as a person, I find all of my emotions and thought processes emphasized, almost like a constant sugar high, when I’m in a phase like this.
When I am at work I feel fidgety and when I’m at home I feel distracted.
I somehow find something to blame it on, hormones, poor diet, lack of sleep, and so on…but to be quite honest I think it may simply just be due to my own racing mind.
You see, I am in consistent search of a state of evenness in life.
A balance of habits, convictions, health, choices, relationships, etc. It is a kind of OCD tendency that impacts the way I interact with the world and life in general. My mind is constantly balancing out actions, words and choices. It rushes to think of what people’s expectations might be of me so that I can fulfill them and won’t be a disappointment. It fixates on thinking of all of the possible outcomes of a decision so that I can always strive to make the best and wisest choice. It aches at knowing that I could have failed someone or at something and having to know that there is no way to fully stop myself from doing it again. It thrives on summarizing life events and phases because of the complete and succinctness of it, which I crave, but which makes me feel the need to hurry days, events, timelines, and countdowns so I finally have all the information to summarize and it results in my being very bad at taking a deep breath, letting go, slowing down and enjoying rest.
I am naturally someone who continues to move forward on things, I feel many times that I am at my best when I have a project or a responsibility to complete or achieve. But many times when it’s all said and done I find myself exhausted and confused. It is very sad to me that many times the quietest moments in my life are when I feel the most lost and most tired, instead of gaining clarity in the peace and rejuvenation from the rest.
This desire for evenness effects every area of my life from my Christianity to my work ethic, even my marriage, or perhaps especially my marriage. I found this quote the other day and it described my initial thoughts on marriage incredibly well,
‘For a season, we viewed marriage like it was a game. A competition. If I do this, you should do that. Meet me in the middle here, do a little more there. If you do 20 things, I’ll do 20. That sort of game. But the true work is done when one of you can’t get to the middle. When it’s up to the other to go the extra mile. Maybe that ratio is 90/10 for a season…Don’t view marriage as a scorecard, someone always loses that way.’
My desire for evenness in a marriage made my exceptionally aware of not wanting to feel gullible or taken advantage of. In the past I’ve had a problem with being too willing to do things on my own, even though it was the responsibly of others, because it was just easier to do it myself, I didn’t feel confident enough to say no, or I was afraid it wouldn’t be done right. This fear, if you will, convinced me that a 50/50 marriage must be the correct balance I should be seeking each day. Well, long story short, I have since had better instruction, and experience, in this regard and am happy to say that my views of marriage evenness reflect a more realistic, and Godly, perspective these days.
But back to that initial desire (obsession?) for balance.
I, many times, feel like the odd one out in regards to this perspective, like an anomaly, or most unusual blend of person. Uneven in fact. It is difficult to be constantly seeking evenness in life, and yet feel consistently uneven in my attainment of it.
I am a thoroughly self-reliant person, also stubborn. I prefer 9 ½ times out of 10 to do things on my own unless I see a very ‘even’ reason to allow others to join me or help. Due to that my mind is constantly at work to think of the most even ways I can associate with life, because I want to make sure I am still always in control enough to keep the balance I crave.
My desire for rightness in life is extremely complicated due to my humanity and by conversation, screens, choices, influences, etc. I am forever in search of absorbing information and perspectives from those around me, conversation is one of my absolute favorite things. Listening and talking with other people never ever gets old, because I am forever seeking more information so that I can understand things correctly and evenly. However, my desire to understand more is not necessarily paired with a fantastic ability to process information, so many times I will actually find myself overwhelmed with the amount of information that I naturally seek out.
Because of this, something that immediately resets my mind and aids in my perspectives during a time like this is ridding myself of information access, like Facebook and the news. When I cut out busy, and many times frivolous or overwhelming information, it reduces the sense that my attention is needed on so many different things. The, what I feel to be, pressure of constantly getting the latest update, whether good or bad, about the world, people, and belongings is far too much information stimulation for my mind more times than not.
Another way is music. Music can remind my racing mind that everything is alright in a way that few other things can. It pulls my mind to a halt and lets it settle for a moment on a melody that can soothe the anxiety my thoughts inflict on me time and time again.
My husband is an incredible anchor of reality in phases like this. His physical presence and reassurance has saved many a depths of despair moment on my part. 🙂
And finally, my Jesus. Giving control over to Him may be the hardest thing I have to do over and over again in life. I know He provides complete freedom and rest for my mind and my heart and it is the challenge of a lifetime to surrender my need for controlled balance to one who asks that we follow by faith. When I think about how I feel in times like this in comparison to what Christ asks us to do, pray, trust, believe, and so on, it actually becomes very simple. I just always feel the need to complicate it so that I can feel like I was a part of the solution.
And there you have it, an incredibly therapeutic stream of consciousness take on my psychological tendencies and peculiarities. I’ve written, read, and re-written this post over two days now, considering the subject, accuracy, and idea of making this entry public. In the end, like I normally do, I’ve decided to post it because I think it’s worth it, for me, and maybe for someone else.
I am not ashamed of myself, I am not ashamed of how funny my mind processes information or of however it is that I got to be who I am today. I believe that being honest with people is one of the greatest gifts that we have as a community and realizing that we are all in this together, right down to the way our minds work, can be one of the most liberating aspects of relationships.
Maybe someday I will decide that these thoughts are best kept private, but for now I feel a safety in admitting my inadequacies and idiosyncrasies to both myself and to others because I think it provides a firmer foundation to build on.
And with that, Happy Weekend to you all 🙂