That's all I can say. UUUUGGGGGHHH. Let's start with the obvious stuff. She's gained some weight again. You can tell, of course. EVERYONE can tell. Plus, her hair is starting to get frizzy around the edges. Seriously, it's about time she do something serious about that. Plus, her shirt is old. Getting a little frayed around the edges. Not taken care of. She can tuck it away, but people can tell. Of course they can tell. She doesn't take any pride in herself. She's cutting corners. All of it shows. Of course, the new jeans helped. Sure, looked better in those jeans, maybe it's not so bad then.
But no, that's just the visible stuff. That's just the stuff you can see in a millisecond's worth of observation. Because did you hear that earlier? She snapped at her kids today. She was getting stressed because she felt too many people were pulling her in too many directions, and she lost her ever-loving mind. So she yelled. At a 5-year-old, for frick sake. Real mature. Garbage. Worthless.
Then there's that job. That wretched job. That thing that is somehow the source of all her pride and all her insecurity. That thing she devotes both too much and not enough of her time to. That she ditches her kids for, and then later, ditches for her kids. Because in the end, she's not good enough for anyone. She's not enough for anyone.
She's not enough.
Not good enough. Not thin enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not hard working enough. Not patient enough. Not kind enough. Not gentle enough. Not fun enough. Not enough enough.
A couple weeks ago, I was, ashamedly, singing around the house. The song started off with the idea that regret could be something that plagues a person, "every single day of your life". And my husband, offhandedly responded, "Psh. What kind of person has regret every single day of their life?"
I stared at him. I stared at my husband of 11 years like he'd just started speaking Klingon.
What? Wait WHAT??
ME kind of person! That's your answer! This person right here next to you! I feel regret! EVERY DANG DAY I feel regret! For what I eat. Or don't eat. Or ate yesterday. Or last year. Or what I said. Or what I did. Or what I didn't. Or... how did that come across? Or was that the right choice? Or because that was probably the wrong choice. Or how did I ever make that choice??
Regret is my place. Regret is my home.
A couple days ago, I shared a frustration with y'all. I shared a part of myself that carries great insecurity, because it is a part of me that is absolutely BRIMMING with Not Good Enough. Because obviously, a better mother would love serving dinners to her family. A better mother would enjoy every possible second with her children. And as some of you have instructed me, a better mother would have more adequately trained her children. Touché, my friends. Touché.
So we're clear: I LOVE my kids. I LOVE my husband. I LOVE the life and the work that God has gifted me with. I love it all, but I also fail it all, and I am constantly overwhelmed with a giant heaping pile of STOP TRYING YOU'RE JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
So what's the answer here? Ooooooh you're not so bad. And also, you're not so fat! In fact, you're a great blah! You're an amazing blabitty boo! You can do it! You persevered!
No. It's not the answer. Of course it's not the answer, it's stupid. Because what does it help? Maybe I'm beautiful, maybe I'm not. Maybe I'm a great parent, maybe I'm wretched. Truth is, not everyone is thin. Or smart. Or funny. Or nice. So is it worthwhile? Should my stability rely on that chick in the mirror?
Truth is, maybe my mirror is dark. I've been told that, for sure. Maybe I see myself as worse-than. Or maybe not. Some of you seem to think I'm worse than I even possibly imagined. Which. Dang. Thanks for the introspection, sister friends. You are some friggin eye-openers. But just the same, a bad mirror is not the real source of my problems.
The real problem comes when I spend all my time, all my energy, all my emotion, on that stupid chick in the mirror. On whether she kept it together for a few hours today. Whether she has developed noticeable wrinkles or a turkey neck. Whether her weight went up or down since yesterday. Whether she was nice enough. Or seemed smart enough. Or worked hard enough.
It's not about me. I'm not worth it. And more than that, I can't even handle it. This can't all be about me. I am not beautiful. I am not ugly. I am, as it turns out, just not the whole point of this story.
I have met a God who matters so, so much more. Who holds my heart, who teaches me to grow. And who is working so, so very hard at shattering that damn mirror.