Thursday, March 26, 2009

Be Careful What You Pray For

Everything was going really well. The problem with things going too well is that it's possible to get a wee bit smug. I was congratulating myself a little too often. The awareness of this as a problem kept sneaking into my consciousness. So, I prayed: God, keep me humble.

Boy oh boy, did He ever deliver on that one.

Ken has been changing lately, for the better. After a long struggle with issues too personal to share here, he has begun to manifest much of the potential I've always seen in him. I loved him the way he was, to be sure, but the New And Improved Ken is even better.

He has shed much of the extra weight he was carrying. His confidence has grown exponentially. He has more energy than I've seen in him in many years. He's calling everyone in his address book to plan social outings. He's thinking about signing up for advanced classes at the comedy improv theatre. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I'm happy for him. I'm happy for us. This is what I always wanted, right?

But deep down inside, in the dark corners of my psyche, some bad buttons are being pushed. Emotions I haven't dealt with in a long time are raising their ugly heads. Versions of me from the past, ones that I thought were completely uninstalled, are booting up and running their programs. I'm trying my best to handle it all, but I can't. I'm falling down, here.

I'm jealous. Jealous of his energy when I've struggled with so much illness these past many months. Jealous that he has broken through to a new level of being while I'm still plain old me.

I'm threatened. I used to be the centre of his world because he rarely took the initiative to make social plans. Now there are all these other people on his schedule and I'm not getting the same amount of attention as I used to. Yes, it's childish and selfish of me to resent that. But I do.

(For the record, I'm hardly being neglected. Ken is going out of his way to reassure me verbally, by setting time aside just for us, by bringing me flowers, by caring for me when I'm sick... Trust me, it's not him. My insecurities are the problem.)

I'm time-travelling. In my previous marriage, my first husband was the socially dominant one. Most of "our" friends were his friends. He was in charge of our schedule. I was meek, quiet, and resentful. Sure, I had fun at the events he planned, but I also sulked because I wasn't allowed to be an equal partner in the decision-making process. Ken isn't like my ex, and yet there's enough similarity in his social initiatives to throw me back into my old feelings. I'm fighting it, but it's a struggle that's not easily resolved.

In all of this I feel completely off-balance. The only thing that centres me for a short period of time is prayer. It doesn't help that I've been sick for the past week, yet again.

This morning I finally made it back to work. The phone rang before I had even caught my breath from walking up the stairs. In my flustered, frazzled state, I had a conversation with an important special guest of my workplace. I didn't handle it as gracefully as I could have. I let slip that there had been some major miscommunications between myself and my bosses, when I probably could have covered it up. The VIP was not impressed.

In the seven years I've worked here, I've never been in trouble with my bosses like I was today. One of them sent a scathing e-mail about my behaviour to the other. The second one called and told me off, not cruelly, but firmly. In the end we all agreed to take some of the blame for the miscommunications, but I had to own that I wasn't on top of my game this morning. I really could have done better on that phone call.

So basically I'm kind of feeling like a basket case this week. I'm trying to take it day by day and do my best, but I'm not operating with a balanced mind, and I don't trust myself to handle the situations that keep coming up. I'm reacting emotionally instead of responding responsibly.

But, I asked to be humbled. If there's any better reminder that I'm human, fallible, and flawed, I don't want it! I have plenty to work with here.


jennyonthespot said...

Ugh. So sorry for the job sitch :( I recently told my husband I have taken a hiatus of sorts from praying for things like that. I REALLY need to pray for patience, but I've done that before and... I need it, but don't want to go through the stuff to really get me there. I was kidding, but I wasn't. I have actually told God, "I want to pray for you to help me be patient, but I don't think I can handle it right now thankyouverymuch."

I am proud of you for seeking honorable things. It's tough stuff. May find encouragement in learning and victories :) And hope that sickness goes!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

{{HUGS}} Sorry about the work deal. I hate when my heads not in the game and I don't handle something right. Hopefully things will even out for you soon. And don't start with me on insecurities, OMG.

NicoleB said...

Oh dear, you have it big again :(
Do you talk to Ken about your feelings? I bet you do, just wondering.
Let the feelings happen, let them come up, accept them and from there you might be able to work with them.
That's how I dealt with a few minor issues *coughcough*
Don't take them too serious, that's just what they want.
Accept that they are there and tell them that you know what their plan is.
Then remember the joy you feel for Ken, hug him and see what happens.
Writing things down and pray is a good way to start working on them little bastards too.
Remember you have already grown. You are not the same girl any more like in your first marriage.
You now know that those feelings are there and you have realized what they are and what they are trying to do.
Best wishes to you!

Jameil said...

i wonder what i've asked God for that brought on my current state... i've been reading more devotionals lately.

Claire said...

Oh, mand, that's a toughie. I'll pray for you dearest - He will help you work it out.


Scarlet said...

I'm going to pray for you to be strong and that God fills you with His wisdom because self-doubt and thoughts of past hurts don't come from God. Another thing, I pray your health improves and when it does that you get out there and find whatever it is that makes you happy and make your own plans. You deserve to be happy and in the game...not on the sidelines. EVER! :)

LL Cool Joe said...

Don't underestimate the emotional upheavel of a Wedding causes either. It opens a whole can of worms I think. Memories, the future etc. A life long commitment to one person, especially as you've been married before and you are now a Christian, is a MASSIVE step. You are bound to be questioning every aspect of your relationship. Added to that, the changes in Ken, that although you know are great and good, put you in a slightly different position than you once were. Any dynamics like that, however small, need adjustment. That's not always easy.

When you become a Christian, it's no secret that you don't chose the easy road, you chose the rocky one. Trust in God, and he'll guide you. :)

unsigned said...

Sounds like you had a bad day. Don't worry you're doing great and everyone knows it. Just keep going and be yourself. Your true self. Everything will work out just fine.

Kate said...

The fact that you know all these things about yourself and work on them is humility in and of itself.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Interestingly, I have a similar dilemma with Sweets. When we first met, I was his world because he was new to this city. And then, at my encouraging, he started to branch out. And I felt a little left behind. Shame on me for not fully embracing his happiness, right? My point? I think it's only natural that we feel the way we do. Life is always changing and just because it gets a little better for someone else doesn't always mean it's getting better for us. I think a small change in expectations will do wonders for both of us.

And as far as your work situation goes? Everyone behaved badly and that stinks. But, there's nothing you can do to change it. Stand back up, brush yourself off and keep marching forward. I'm pretty sure your bosses will quickly remember why you're such a great employee!

Keera Ann Fox said...

Sometimes, when you're finally in a good place, the universe seizes the opportunity to let you move to an even better place. Like when you've got the main house decluttered, and now it's time to tackle the attic.

So my take on this is not that you needed humbling, but rather that you just needed a reminder that the attic still needed attention (as it were) if you are be completely done with your past. It's not a failing on your part that it is happening now; it shows you're ready for it.

San said...

Such a heartfelt post, Spark. I relate to it on so many levels. Marital dynamics change, at least when a marriage and the people involved are growing, but such things bring their own challenges.

And workaday relationships are fraught with challenge. All of those fluctuating moods and words spoken too quickly. Learn from your mistakes, but cut yourself some slack too. NO ONE behaves perfectly all of the time. Forgive yourself. Forget and move on.