I think sometimes, the hardest person to be honest with is myself. Anyone with me?
I would consider myself a pretty honest person. I guess you could say I’ve been blessed with a pretty strong conscience that sends flares off to the rest of me if something’s not right. I desire peace with the people around me at almost any cost, which isn’t always a good thing for my own well being. But it does continue to manufacture a good sense of honesty in relationships, since I truly do care about the people in my life and want to keep our relationships strong.
But just like people say that “You are your hardest critic,” I think the same principle can apply in the realm of honesty. Sometimes I just can’t admit certain things to myself, particularly in this current season of life. I’ve always had a lot of energy and have been a go getter. I like to stay busy and have great purposes to embark on each day, even if that just means loving on my kids and taking them where ever they need to go. I love creating and checking off my to-do lists. There’s a great feeling about falling in bed feeling accomplished at the end of each day. I’ve never had a struggle with putting my family first while finding a little time to get crafty and still getting a bit of enjoyment out of working a part time job too.
Until now… because the part time jobs have increased and the responsibilities in my life have pretty much doubled since I lost my partner in this whole parenting thing a few years ago. And I’m still telling myself that I have more time in my day to accomplish things than I realistically do. It’s pretty obvious in the growing stack of books I have told myself I will have time to read that end up just sitting there collecting dust. In the craft kits and the scrapbooking pages I say I will get to and never do. It makes me frustrated and gets me into trouble – with myself – every time.
The other day I started looking into this October challenge where you write each day of the month. It looked so fun and enjoyable for me, and like something that would be the hard kick in the pants I needed to get writing more often again. Until I remembered that I actually did this challenge a few years ago, and it was haaaaaard. And now there would be so much more keeping me from fulfilling the commitment than there was last time. So, I considered it, checked out the sign up page, almost bought the cute hoodie for the participants – until I thankfully had a streak of honesty jolt through me. There is no way you can do this, I told myself. Click that webpage closed now, before you end up disappointed with yourself for something else that’s totally unrealistic right now.
So I did. And I think I actually felt better than if I would have signed up and then failed at it. Why do we tell ourselves that we can do way more than we can? Is it the culture we live in that strives on busyness as a marker of success? Is it our pride that wants to feel good about ourselves? Or have others look at us in admiration? Or maybe it’s just the struggle we all have between what we want to be our reality, and what truly is our reality.
Sometimes reality doesn’t look all that pretty. Believe me… I know. It may look like long lonely nights and busy, even longer, days. It may look like sticking with a not so interesting work project until it’s completed when you’d rather go read on the couch. It may look like choosing to be content with the clothes you already have that might look a little outdated, rather than go check out that sale at the mall on newer and cuter clothes. It may look more empty than full.
It may not seem all that fun.
It may not look all that exciting.
There may be a billion other more interesting things that seem to be calling to us. But reality often means faithfulness to the current tasks and the current season, as “not fun” as that may feel some days. And that can, in fact, be much more rewarding in the long run.
When I can be honest with myself and admit that certain things are a “No”, for now anyway, my days go so much smoother. Maybe I won’t get everything done on my to-do list. Maybe it will be two years before I actually scrapbook another page. But honesty with myself allows me to know beyond a doubt who I am called to be in this moment of this day.
And that, my friend, brings fulfillment and joy.by