I feel like a fake. I haven’t arrived even close to the face that I portray. You see, I can use big words. I can talk about the right path to take. I can begin doing the right things. But I have never consistently done the right things. I freeze. My whole being goes into a sort of suspended animation, a hibernation of the soul. During those times, I sit on my couch, watch TV, and give up on trying hard. This is my usual existence. I do almost nothing. Other people help me clean. Or the mess stays. Other people feed the family. Other people help with laundry. And I sit.
Okay, usually, I do the laundry myself. And the dishes. I even prepare food for the helpless ones in the house. I cover diaper duty and midnight feedings. But boy I’ll tell you that I stick to doing just the bare minimum.
I get stuck just like my car. In a traffic jam, the car has gas, is in good working order, and is fully capable of accomplishing its purpose of providing transportation. Like that traffic jammed car, I am always capable of doing what’s right. However, I find myself doing nothing. In my stupor, I can see that there is a lot to do, but I just don’t move. My heart mourns the mess. I weep inwardly at the critical things that I know people are saying about me. All along, I want to find the magic switch that will activate me again. But I don’t know how to reach it.
Every so often, I come out of this state of utter motionlessness and I begin to live like the real me. I cook, clean, play, smile, and do. For a while. Then, someone mentions the change. They might mention how bad things were with me before. How much better it’s all going. They might say that I MUST be able to realize now that it’s not so hard. Right? As I nod and smile, I get offended. It’s not hard? I’m firing on all cylinders. I’m literally doing my absolute best. I’m facing burnout every second of my life. I’m exhausted, and it’s easy? No, it’s not. Seriously, it’s not.
Or they might say, “Good job. All you need is this now…” And I’m thinking, “How?!!! How can I possibly fit one more item into this already full agenda? There’s nothing left. I have no more of myself to give!” At that moment, I feel so discouraged. Then, I stop and decide that since my best isn’t good enough, I’m back to the couch.
On the couch, no one tells me I look too fat. They don’t say I need one more thing. They leave me alone. I’m at peace. Well, no. I’m in torment. But Satan and I call a detent. It’s over. I can at least rest. Sort of. It’s not fun, comforting, or even restful. But it’s familiar. It’s my home base. My den of shame. Shame that feels like a well-worn garment. I’m used to it. I can handle it. I can live there.
But something happened. Satan broke the detent. He touched my kids again. And suddenly, I’m up on my feet. I’m putting on my running shoes, handing someone my purse and keys, and I’m ready to fight. He’s going to be sorry. I’m in it to win the entire war this time.
Am I going to make it? I don’t know for sure. It’s one foot in front of the other right now. I’m trying NOT to fire up all cylinders. I’m ignoring the comments about how I need to add one more thing. I’m running it this time for myself. No people pleasing. Not even asking opinions. If they give an opinion, I toss it out as soon as it comes at me. It’s my race, my fight, and my time.
This time, it’s all about God and me. It’s about yanking my children out of the enemy’s hands. It’s about moving forward one step at a time to where I can be a better mom and a truer version of me, and I’m not stopping until there is no way to move at all.
At the moment, this looks like waking up to a BeachBody workout and following the program with my coach. It looks like washing the clothes but limiting myself to 2 loads a day. I’m doing the dishes, but I refuse to go back to that sink 10 minutes after I finish. If someone drops in a stray dish or a stray pile, I will deal with it when I can. I am being reasonable, and I’m avoiding the excessive loads that made me feel like a martyr in the past.
I am getting up and trying again in every area when I get it wrong. It looks like being as kind as I can, which might not be kind enough. But I’m giving it my best effort. And I won’t back up a step, even just to work up a momentum.
I’m not giving up one single inch of ground. Join me. And if I fail, don’t stop walking. Who knows, maybe I am really a fake. Maybe I’m going to land on the couch as soon as I get home. But it’s going to be because I gave it a sincere effort to change permanently. I saved my strength. I did as much as I could without burning out. I really tried this time. If I fail and I don’t allow you to lend me a hand, ask God to help me out, and you keep moving forward, alright? Amen! Let’s go!