Mornings are the worst for me. I don’t know exactly why, but if there’s ever a time where the end zone of my brain is missing any defense, it’s before I even have time to wake up. I know not to make any decisions in that first hour of being awake, the devil loves to get in my head then.
But this morning was extra tough. I had missed my early alarm and felt like I’d already wasted the entire day. Getting out of bed and staying there seemed like equally bad ideas and honestly looking back at yesterday, what did I really do? What did I really bring to the table other than short-lived excitements about things I wouldn’t follow through on.
As you’re reading you might be thinking, that sounds a little harsh Em, don’t beat yourself up. But how often have you been the boxer and the punching bag? It’s easier to tell other people they are great and not repeat the same things back in the mirror.
But I think when it comes down to it, every morning where my brain spins through it’s list of ‘do better, be betters’, it’s really just because I’ve let disappointment call the shots. I’ve learned a few things about disappointment-namely why and what happens when you disappoint yourself. One of those things being that without knowing it the D word can quickly become the root of lots of lost hope.
When I started digging in disappointment about a year ago I found myself investigating it from the pillar I’d placed myself on. My high hopes for life had transformed into complete trust in self, and it’s a long drop from that tall pedestal. It’s not that I meant to not trust God, it’s just that somewhere along the way I started believing you had to be successful and impressive in order to deserve love. So I started slaving away at that ends, in the hope of one day God scooping me up and petting me like his favorite kid.
But that’s not how God works. My try-hard mentality from high-school wouldn’t bring me any long term happiness now. What might be the true detriment in believing all of this, is that it starts to leak out onto your people. You start believing the one’s around you who’ve stuck it out, who’ve shown up time and time again, the good ones-you start believing they don’t deserve your love because they just aren’t quite impressive enough.
Or at least I did.
The only antidote, if you’re in as deep as I was. Is reality. Real love to be specific.
It happened for me one day driving back home. I was sitting in traffic and it’s a good thing because when the text rolled in I lost it in my seat.
You’re not impressive to me Emily. You can probably guess who sent that one. (Shoutout to bae). But as harsh as it looks the next line said, But I love you. And for a minute God had to use someone with my number to get across exactly how he feels.
Shauna Niequest in her book Present Over Perfect says:
It is better to be loved than admired.
It is better to be truly known and seen and taken care of by a small tribe than adored by strangers who think they know you in a meaningful way. We know that’s true. But many of us, functionally, have gotten that math wrong in one season or another.
I so had the math wrong.
If you get it, or you’ve been here, you’re okay. Just keep reminding yourself of the real equations, not the one’s where our efforts equal love, but the one’s where love fuels every effort.