Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Gift of Anxiety

This time of year seems to pull it out of us in so many ways.  Even the best intentions and plans and meaningful activities can pull us in so many directions that we feel tired and frustrated and down.  I know our calendar has pulled us in multiple directions since December 1st.  We've had so many activities, performances, trips, and once we threw in a terrible head cold, it has all become one big, enormous mess.

I was feeling particularly low about a situation last week.  I was angry at myself as how I had handled it, angry with the individual who was also involved in it, and then angry at myself as I should know, react, and do better.  I've been extremely anxious and full of unhappy feelings.

Shame, shame, it knows my name.  

The first day I prayed, confessed, asked Him for forgiveness and overall I felt that I should move on from the situation.  I felt that revisiting this situation with the person on my terms would only cause more hurt feelings and strife.   I had a sense of peace about it.  

Until I didn't.  

Until guilt and shame rose up again inside of me.  It gnawed at my guts.  It embarrassed me.  It made me feel like I was nothing.  I was so ashamed.  I was unclean.  I was a terrible person.  I was full of sin. 

Pride, oh pride.  How you refuse to let me go.  

How I refuse to be or do something wrong.  How letting myself down is far worse than letting others down.  How I beat myself up over the most minor things.  

After wrestling with these thoughts through the weekend, I finally sat down with my husband and told him the whole situation.  I didn't even want to tell him.  I was so embarrassed, I didn't want him to think less of me.  I didn't want to admit (out loud) that I had done something wrong.  But I did--I told him what happened, what I had done wrong, how I was feeling, and asked him for advice.  And, essentially, he told me what I felt in the beginning:  Leave it alone unless there is a time that it is easily worked into a conversation with this person.

Even with the renewed sense of peace in this situation, I still feel badly.  I still feel residual guilt.  I still feel unclean.  I still feel anxious.  

It has stolen my joy this week.  

But this situation has made it even more obvious that I desperately need the One who came over 2000 years ago.  That I must rely on the Savior--Who was born so we could be cleansed of these terrible sins.  That I must let go of self-reliance and become reliant on the Creator of the Universe.  

That I cannot do it myself.  That I cannot take care of everything myself.  That I cannot be in control.  That I'm not the one that can fix it all and make it clean again.  

This season I hope we all recognize the daily need for the Savior's birth.  That it wasn't to save the people from that generation 2000 years ago, but for our generation as well. How we need Him in our conversations, in our circumstances, in our day-to-day.  How we need Him in the mundane and in the office.  How we need Him in family gatherings and in the uncomfortable.  

I wanted to fix this situation with this person because I wanted to handle things on my terms, not His.    

Instead, I feel like He's teaching me more by letting Him handle it for me. 


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