Seems there's often a battle going on within me about the woman I want to be and the woman I actually am.
You see, I have this vision of the woman I would like to be all the time. I'm her some of the time. But then "something" happens. Like, say, someone leaving something somewhere it's not supposed to be ... again. When that happens, like it often does in my house, the woman I want to be high-tails it for safer ground, and an undignified, blow-things-out-of-proportion woman shows up.
Where does that woman come from, I ask you.
I've realized she comes from some unidentified place down within me. That place where she's still a little girl stamping her foot and demanding her own way. She comes from that place where she has to have the last word, and be right all the time, and make sure everyone knows the "correct" way to do things, which is ... obviously ... her way.
And in that place down inside me, that undignified woman holds tightly to her own will, for fear that she'll be unappreciated, overlooked, disregarded, and irrelevant. And she's afraid, but it's hard to identify it as fear for the frustration and annoyance that covers it up.
It seems to be easier to lose my cool at times, than deal with the real issue: I like to be in control. And in reality, there are things I just can't control, as much as I would like to.
It comes down to a choice. One I have to make daily. I need to choose to submit my desire to be right and need for control to God.
Submitting those desires to God doesn't mean I care less about what's going on. It just means I'm choosing to trust God to watch out for me. He will be my defender when I feel taken advantage of. He will give me my worth when I feel unappreciated. He reminds me of my potential when I feel irrelevant. I don't have to grasp for those things by lowering my dignity and giving in to emotion.
So what are some way I keep my cool when things get tough? Well, when I do things right, here's what helps:
1) I prepare myself in advance through prayer. God's Word has amazing power to bring clarity to a situation.
2) I decide in advance how I'm going to respond to common triggers. For example, when a child whines that she is bored. Instead of giving her a lecture, I am ready with some suggestions on what she could do. That's much nicer than the, "When I was a little girl ..." speech.
3) I don't take things personally. I make a choice to believe the best about another. The truth is it's not all about me. It just feels like it sometimes. People don't always care about what I care about, and their priorities are the same as mine. But they aren't against me. I need to remember that God made people different for a reason.
4) I keep things in perspective. In July 2004, my niece was killed in a car accident. We miss her daily. As frustrated as I might get with someone I love, at least he or she is alive. That thought brings me to a place of persective faster than anything else.
5) I keep my mouth shut. Proverbs 18:7 says, "A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul." Yep, sometimes it's best not to say anything.
Proverbs 31: 25 says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
I may not be there all the time, but with God's help, I pray I'm becoming more a woman of dignity every day.
In His Love,