Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prove Your Love-- Confessions of a Hypocrite, Volume Two

I've had ample opportunities lately to do some soul searching.  In the quiet moments when my heart gets heavy, I've tried to let God speak to me about what He wants me to "do" with this hurt.

And right now I think He's telling me to get over myself.

Let me give my full disclaimer now: the following words are for me, not necessarily for you.  
If you fall into one of these "categories", cool.  Whatever.  
Deal with it as you need to, and move on. 
 More likely than not, it's not for you to deal with... it's for me.


You might remember from this post that I confessed that I am a needy friend.  I have an air of "expecting" people to respond a certain way... to call at a certain time... to love me a certain way.  A lot of those responses came from true and honest beginnings: over the years, I have been the recipient of people caring for me in the way I desire to be cared for.  But what has happened is that I've transferred those feelings of gratitude for that love to feelings of entitlement.

And you know what's happened?  I've been disappointed.

The last 2 weeks were a glaring example of this.  People have come out of the woodwork to love on me about Mary's illness and then later her death.  For this I am grateful.  Yet at the same time, I can honestly acknowledge that when certain people didn't come out of the woodwork, I was hurt.  Really?  Because it's about keeping score?

Here's a perfect example: it just so happened that one of my besties, Christy, was heading to Asheville on Tuesday.  I was trying to juggle who had E when and how I was going to get her to Asheville on Tuesday.  Perfect solution.  When I talked to Christy (who stayed on speed dial last week... well, let's be honest... all weeks) and she said those magic words "what do you need me to do?" I said "bring Elizabeth home."  Not only did she immediately say yes, but she changed her schedule around so that she could make it more convenient for Dan and could be the easiest for E, too.  After delivering E to my mom's house on Tuesday (when she told me that E sang "Rah Rah Carolina-lina" for waaay too long for a State Fan's liking), she said those magic words again... "what else do you need me to do?"  The next night, Wednesday, I enlisted her services again.  She and her sister arrived at Mom's house with cookie dough and a bottle of Shiraz to cry and laugh with me in the darkest hour.

If I ended the story there, you might think I live a warm, fuzzy Sweet Valley High kind of life with long-lasting friendships.  Which I do.  When I allow myself to accept the love that is offered to me.

Instead, in the dark moments, my head gets clouded with the "Why haven't I heard from ___?"  or "I'm surprised ___ hasn't offered to help."  Really?  REALLY?  Because I am that important?

Dan and I have had lots of great conversations about how easily I get my feelings hurt and it all boils down to this:  I will continue to get my feelings hurt when I allow people to fill my needs.  Only when I rely on God, and not others, will I be truly satisfied.  And you'd think I'd have mastered this by now- because it's been my biggest stumbling block since, oh, I don't know, 1987.

Apparently I'm going to continue to hurt from it until I internalize it.

So to those of you who called, texted, sent cards, flowers, meals, kept E, prayed for us, posted on my wall, commented on the obituary?  Thank you.  You truly do speak my love language.  I've felt wrapped in His love through your physical acts of grace.  And those of you who haven't?  Please don't rush out now and do it... that'd just make us both feel awkward.  You know, like the year I got someone's Christmas card in January only after they received mine?  Really?  Like we both didn't know you weren't going to send me one.  Anyway, those of you who are now questioning if how you responded was enough?  It was.  And whether my heart can get over itself long enough to fully say thank you is my issue, not yours.

I was encouraged this morning to "Be strong and not give up."  I'm working on it, I promise.  In the mean time, I feel certain I'll have the occasional pity party again.  And I feel certain that some of you will be invited.  And some of you will be expected to know to show up even if you weren't given an invitation at all.  That's how I operate in my own strength.  Apparently I need Someone Else's.  I'm not going to give up on this one yet.

For now, I'll leave the need to have someone "Prove Your Love" to Taylor Dayne.

She's got better hair, anyway.

Further disclaimer?  Often times when I post a "This is Why I Suck" kind of post, lots of you run to my rescue and try to convince me, through your comments, reasons why I don't.  While I appreciate that, there is no need to defend my selfishness today.  Yes, I know that the loss of a loved one is a time I should be surrounded by love.  I think most of us would agree with that.  So, on one hand, I know that I have lived a kind-of-okay expectation with my friends.  However, my confession to you is that my heart is often uglier than it appears, and there is no need to pat my back for that. :)  Thanks... this is why you don't suck.


Kristen said...

You and I are the same person except you have a better grasp of this than I do. And, you put it into words so much better than I ever could. Thank you for your confessions. You make me feel that I am not alone. Let us work on this together. (((HUGS)))

sarah, the real blog reader said...

Um, I kind of do the exact same thing. So you're not alone. *hugs*

Leigh Anne said...

Becky... so much of this blog post, I could have written myself. Thanks for putting into words for me (you've always been so good at that!) and helping me learn a little about myself (and YOU) at the same time. Much love, as always.

Sara Lester said...

Proud of you!