Do you know that silent frustration can be just as harmful as the frustration we easily express and see?
As I was combing through, or more like diving through, my bottomless pit of shoes this morning, I could feel the onset of frustration about my inability to find a mate to each shoe I picked up.
In the midst of my frustration I whispered, “I Can’t”, as a sign that my search for the right shoe was not only nearing its end, but that my time and efforts spent searching for mates were in vain.
Then it hit me! What hit me, you say? Keep reading and I’ll fill you in, love.
Similar to my search in my box of shoes, is our journey through life. Sometimes feeling as though our search for happiness, fulfillment, love, careers, opportunities and mates is a just a bottomless pit. It can seem as if the search will not lead to positive results and in the moment, out of frustration and dismay, you feel defeated and whisper, like I did, “I Can’t”.
This was me at a very dark time in my life. I was in college as a full-time student AND a mom to two toddler boys. I was lost, hopeless and just trying to survive in more ways than I can count. I was trying to survive my full-time college workload; my never ending duties as a mother; as well as manage (or hide) my emotional pain.
There came a time when I had to simply look at my pit and began crawling out a little at a time. Can I share with you how I was able to do that?
1. I committed to rewrite my story.
I know. This can be a little confusing but let me explain. When I was in the pit, I thrived off being a victim. Many people around me didn’t know that about me and heck, neither did I until I was able to climbed out of my pit. The way the “victim” mentality showed up for me was through a sense of entitlement. I felt that the people close to me where obligated to help me, after all, why wouldn’t they? Didn’t they see me as, a young, single mom trying to do better with my life?
I had to take a hard look at how I viewed relationships. It was definitely an humbling time. I’ve heard it said that if similar issues keep recurring in your life, it may be time to evaluate yourself. In this case, it was my attitude and sense of entitlement.
Once I did, I developed a greater appreciation for the people that were around me. The funny thing about this is that I was able to open a little more space in my heart to be able to give myself grace. My demanding perfection from others also meant I was placing those same expectations on myself. HOW TIRING AND DISCOURAGING!
2. I had to face myself head-on.
The next step in re-writing my story involved me facing myself. I had to learn how to sit with the ugly parts that I hid from others. I have to admit. This was hard! I cried the real hard ugly cry that we don’t want anyone to notice. I literally did a brain dump of all the negative stuff I felt about myself.
It was unreal at the amount of ugly things I said to myself like, “you’re stupid”, “no one loves you”, “you’re going to fail”, “you’re a mistake”, etc.
Friend, this was just a few examples. I had 2 pages worth, front and back.
Have you ever did a mental inventory on what you think about yourself? Try it. You’ll be amazed at the things you find out.
3. Separated my thoughts into categories
After I finished crying my eyes out. I gathered my composure with tears still in my eyes and made a decision to do something about all of this stuff.
Yes, we can easily get sucked into the negative parts of ourselves and stay there. This is why people stay stuck in negative cycles. It’s something comforting about remaining the victim. It’s self-affirming to know that others think the same things about you as you feel about yourself.
You know what else?
It’s NOT TRUE!
As I separated my thoughts, I came to the conclusion that the things I felt about myself, where really LIES! I’m a Christian so I knew exactly where those lies came from. Satan, himself!
I got out my resource Bible and started searching for truth. I discovered that although there was a hint of truth into some of those lies because of my choices or situations that happened outside of my control, most were simply not how God (or others) thought about me at all.
4. Practice. Rehearse. Practice. Rehearse.
Once I found out the truth about what God thinks about me. I discovered that there actually was a bottom to the pit I’d created and I could choose to come out of it at any point of time.
I chose to climbed out a little at a time by choosing to believe the truth over the lies.
This required daily practice. I rehearsed God’s truth over and over. I told myself truth over and over ESPECIALLY when lies would still come up.
5. Find friends that support you.
Friend, we were not created to exist in this world alone. In fact, Love and Belonging sits right slap in the middle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to this theory, one can achieve the next level without the previous level being met. In this case, in order to move on to building healthy self-esteem, you need genuine support from others.
I realize not everyone has people in their lives that will support them. That is why I offer FREE 15 minute consultations to motivated women like you!
Well, back to my story, because I’m certain that you’re interested in knowing whether or not I was able to eventually find a mate to a shoe and carry on with my life, right?
Sure you are!
After my brief moment of discouragement, and I do mean BRIEF, I realized that the shoe that I was searching for was not in the box at all.
It was next to the box and had somehow escaped from its original location (perhaps it got thrown out in one of my past shoe diving escapades).
I know you’re wondering, “what does finding her shoe in the mess of a closet have anything to do with my life?”
Let me offer this encouragement in closing.
Sometimes our lives’ are a mess, like my box of shoes and closet (but we are not talking about that so stay focused).
In our search through our mess of a life, we run into all kinds of things that do not seem to match who we are and are way past their expiration date.
We can keep searching inside this created mess of a box called our life or we can choose to empty the box, organize it, and throw out anything that doesn’t belong.
Otherwise, we can carry on pretending that the mess does not exist.
One thing is certain, how long you stay in the frustration, ultimately lies in your hands. A little life organization or re-organization is needed from time-to-time. You may discover that what you were searching for was never inside the box! Let’s break free from those things that hinder our progression in life.
After all, whether or not you remain in the pit is completely your choice.