Saturday, December 18, 2010

Under Pressure

There are times when we can put so much pressure on people to fill us up.  We want our family, our spouses, our co-workers to anticipate our voids, needs, desires, and baggage from our past and daily life, then miraculously fix it.  But here's a thought, if a human could possibly fix it, don't you think we would have figured it out by now and fixed ourselves up real pretty like?  I mean, we are the strongest of the strong, right?  So, if by some tidbit of a chance that a human could do it were possible, WE would have been the people to figure it.  But here we are- unfilled, broken, unkempt children with snot on our noses and skinned-up knees. 
Then when people actually can't fill us up (and we're surprised by this?) we find the one person that is working their ace off to show us love and just drain the life out of them.  We make them feel inadequate for not being able to do the impossible.  It's really a shame, if you think about it.  Think about the implications of this in our lives- how much pressure we put on our parents, our siblings, our spouses, our friends- and how in our desire to find meaning we are driving all those people away.  I honestly cannot imagine the pressure I've put on my husband to fill me up.  He outdoes every other husband I know and, still, I ask for more out of him every day.  Jesus, change me.
I've thought about this in relation to being a teacher before.  People almost expect you to be perfect when their children are involved.  You are expected to make the right choice EVERY time, to never have a bad day, to be prepared to the nth degree, and to know how to handle any situation at a moment's notice.  You can never, EVER have a spelling, syntax, or punctuation error in your newsletter or else.  (After reading this blog you know I've been raked over the coals for that one.) And you better never send home another child's work in someone's Thursday folder or you're in volation of FERPA, mister.  It's almost as if there are people, then there are teachers.  Teachers are not people, they are beings made to interact perfectly with young minds.  It's suffocating, really. I've talked several times with colleagues about this very feeling, but never, ever did these two ideas meet until today.
So that's the thing I'm learning.  People are human.  Humans aren't perfect.  And even on our best days we can only offer the best of our humanness, which is still less than 100%.  I'm learning I can't rely on a set of people to make me feel adequate or loved.  That is not their job. That is not my job.  That is His job. 
And I don't know exactly where this fits in, but it's important too.  Even when you offer your human best to a person or a group of people, it doesn't mean that they're going to get that and respond accordingly to it.  They don't know supernaturally that you are putting all your stupid little eggs in a basket and tossing it to them.  They don't know to catch it and keep them safe.  And if they do, sometimes they still don't choose to cradle your eggs like a Home Ec project you're depending on.  Sometimes they drop them on accident, sometimes they throw them on purpose. 
So I'm also learning that I need to be aware of the people around me.  To begin to train myself to see people as humans, not "Amanda filler-upers."  To not distance myself from people who truly do love me because they haven't met my unrealistic expectation.  To not expect so much from my husband, but to fill him up with God's love.   To purposely love people with God's love, not the "best I can do."  My best is not enough, His is. To not be so involved with myself that I end up with someone else's egg at my feet.  I never want to do be that person again.
God is good. He teaches me, even in my hurt. When I'm venting to Him in anger and sadness, He is still, in love, molding me into something better than before.  I want to learn to rely on His unending, always pure, love.

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