[[copingmechanisms]] "any effort directed to stress management, including task-oriented and ego defense mechanisms, the factors that enable an individual to regain emotional equilibrium after a stressful experience. It may be an unconscious process."
Good ol' Webster never seizes to provide.
So... now what? Why did I begin with that definition?
Well for starters, I am a social worker.
The very essence of my career is to provide for those who can't provide for themselves whether that entails physically, financially, emotionally, or spiritual. [[yes, bport students I am not afraid to include spirituality whether or not Barb&Ken despise it haha]] When in a situation of lacking (in any area) lot of those people turn to their coping mechanism to basically get by... to survive, to somehow deal with the unfortunate circumstances and daily heartbreak of being human.
Yeah, yeah I know you all already know this- so let me get to the point.
I am hear to publicly announce my coping mechanism no longer works.
God has unraveled exactly what it was I put my hope, strength and affirmation in.
It has been quite a journey with it.
It did not just begin and neither it is about to end.
I am in the in between of who I was and who I aspire to be.
I strive to be great. I can't say I am a perfectionist because I know I am flawed and have always enjoyed that about myself. I am not competitive because I don't mind if other people are getting glory.. as long as I will eventually also. I just want to be great, I want to get praise.
And the reason figuring out this was a coping mechanism was so hard because none of what I was doing was "morally" wrong and neither was I bad at it. I am a good overachiever. I achieve things and to the world [[it's good, I'm good- we're all good]] It's not like I dealt with my 'issues' by snorting coke or selling my body etc etc. No, maybe not but I was still just as crying out for help as much as they were.
... But that is not how God intended it to be. Am I meant to be great? Yes, but for His glory not mine. Am I meant to achieve? Yes, but not for my benefit but for others. Am I meant to do great things? Yes, but on His strength, not mine. Am I meant to get praise. No, no I'm not. I am here to serve not be served.
So now what? I know what my problem is and I know I cannot lean into that comfort zone anymore. I must allow myself to breath, to know that I can still be loved, accepted, and liked by people *without* performing, without over extending myself, and without achievements.
I hate to use the the cliche term- they will like me for me... but they should and I know a lot of you already do. Now to apply this to every facet of my life. School, work, family... *sigh.Now to just cope with the fact my coping mechanism is gone.. huh, that is going to be interesting. Yet at the same time I am excited to be -me- I am excited to see how much better things can be without wearing myself out. I am excited to see what God can do with this surrendered.
I am just... excited.