Posted by: Dennie | September 7, 2013

More On My Flaws

Why is it that some people bug the hell out of me?

I think that, in general, I’m accepting of most people.

But there are two people in particular, that just bug the hell out of me.

Both are women. That might say something right there.

I’ve wondered if  they bother me because I’m jealous of them. They both dress well.  They are in great shape,have  good jobs and are quite personable.

I’m in good shape. I dress well. My clothes aren’t of a  fashion magazine quality, nor are they expensive. But I’m often complimented on my outfits.

My job is average. It helps pay the bills. I don’t dread going to work everyday and I think I’m a step ahead of most people in that respect.

But as I write this, I get a little twinge that therein may lie a part of my problem.

It’s not necessarily the women.

It’s me.

And my self-perception.

My defense mode immediately kicks in. My new little voice tells me it’s NOT me, it’s them. They both lie. They both say they are going to do things, and don’t follow through. They are both very self-absorbed with what’s happening in their own lives and they let everyone know it.

That’s the issue.

But is it? Really?

Somewhere in the recesses of my soul, in the back of my mind, I still have a part of me that compares my insides to everyone else’s outsides.

And it tells me I’m not as good.

Not as smart. Attractive. Prosperous. Successful.

Successful.

Successful.

And there it is. The demon I’m trying to kill. The one who reminds me of what I should be. What I should do. What I should make.

To be successful.

And in my warped and twisted little mind, those two women are more successful than me.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is something with which I struggle on an all-too-regular basis.

I know the source. They are the tapes that were installed a long, long time ago. Eight tracks that continue to play, over and over. The volume dial and eject button are broken.

“If you don’t do this, you won’t be this”

“If you don’t act, look, and think like this, you will be unacceptable. You won’t meet the standards.”

Something inside me feels less significant than those two women. When I’m near them, I can almost feel the sensation of shrinking inside myself. I’m aware of it and in an attempt to combat the feeling I straighten my posture. I try to create an illusion of self-assurance.  Poise.  Grace. I love that word and all it implies.

But here’s the bizarre thing.

I don’t  want to be like either of those women.

They’re bogus. They have little consideration for others. They blow off commitments. They are not people to whom I would aspire.

And yet, they disturb me.

Two nights ago, I read a chapter in Anne Lamott‘s book, Plan B. Further Thoughts On Faith.”  Articulating the impact and feeling I had while reading  that chapter isn’t easy. Sad. Empathetic. Sympathetic. Compassionate. Angry. Admiration.

It’s funny how something can stir all those emotions at once.

The chapter is about David Roche. He is the pastor of the Church of 80% Sincerity and his life story is nothing short of incredible.

He is not a man to whom people would gravitate because of his looks, his clothes, his employment. No, quite the opposite.

For years people ran from him. Looked away. Pretended he didn’t exist.

They couldn’t look at him because they were afraid.

He has a horrific facial deformity exacerbated in infancy by doctor’s who, at the time, didn’t know better.

He is a freak.

And yet, by some God-given ability, he has learned to love and accept himself. And in that ability, he demonstrates the way to love an accept our own selves.

Physical and character defects and all.

I fell in love with this man instantly. His message is one of hope, acceptance and love. It addresses our human inability to grasp those three important objectives. He reminds us that in our humanness, we are flawed, and to achieve 100% of something, anything, is virtually impossible.

Thus, the Church of 80% Sincerity.

And so, my quest for betterment has been slightly altered. It’s okay that I have issues with these women. In a way, they are a gift to me, as the deformity was a gift to David. They are helping me to see and understand my own flaws. My fears. My insecurities.

And if I can learn to remember that, maybe I won’t hate them so much.

****EDIT…EDIT…EDIT….My husband mentioned to me after reading this post…and you know, when I was writing the word, I had “the twinge” but I typed it anyway.

Hate.

He said “You used the “hate” word. You never say that.”

And he’s right. There is nobody in my life that I can truthfully say “I hate.” Nobody.

And so, I want to edit that last sentence and change it to…dislike. It’s actually stronger than dislike, but abhor, detest and loathe are too strong. 

Anyway. I don’t care for them Really don’t care. 

There. I feel better.

 

 

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Responses

  1. Ahhh, the timeless “compare.” It’s useless and stressful (sometimes, crippling) and we know this. Yet we flog ourselves when we become aware of our doing it. We each develop unique ways in which to mitigate or obliterate this behavior. Always a fan of simplicity, I’ve learned that the easiest action is to get over it; just drop it. Moving on from “them” creates new-found freedom and allows me to see how draining my view was. Unsolicited…food for thought. 🙂

    • Eric, thank you. And please…solicit at anytime. I’m always hungry.


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