Sunday, January 7, 2007

Weary of the Doing

by Donna L. Watkins

© Donna L. Watkins - Male Wood Duck
If somebody were to represent your lifestyle in an artistic endeavor, would it be a still painting that one could sit down and ponder and find hidden treasures amidst the scenes? Or would it be one of those current videos that runs by your mind so fast with flashing images of here and there? So much content that your mind can't even absorb it all, as you watch the scenes fly by.

We are living in a fast-paced world with value being determined by beauty, title or what you do. The sad part is that the beautiful don't even believe they are, and focus just as much on being beautiful. Those who are wrapped up in the doing never feel like they've done enough. There is an inner driving force set into motion that doesn't allow a relaxed mode of operation.

Some are busy about doing good in ministry, but even the spiritual side of "doing more" can come from being infected with the mad rush of society to do it all. Even Jesus rested and He had quite an agenda to accomplish in a short period of ministry on earth. You might like to read an article I did many years back entitled, "Walking Like Jesus."

I have always had a challenge in life with wanting to do. I didn't know how to excuse myself from duty and I sometimes wearied myself all day without really accomplishing anything that I truly considered priorities for my life. Nothing satisfied me in the area of accomplishment.

I pondered if there were statements I heard as a child that enslaved me to this mentality. Neither of my parents were over-achievers but I do remember my Dad making comments to my Mom about her being lazy. She was a very private person and didn't talk about the pain she had with health challenges that limited her energy and abilities, so I'm sure she never shared her difficulties with my Dad.

Overhearing those accusations as a teenager must've set something into my mind that said I was never going to be called lazy - nobody would ever accuse me of not getting everything done. And so lifestyles are set into motion from situations that we did not fully understand with our childhood minds. My Daddy was a kind and generous man and I have never recalled a bad word spoken to me from him. He always believed in me and bragged on me. I was a Daddy's girl so maybe his admiration drove me to great expectations of myself to be sure to please him more. I remember many times in my twenties and as a mother in my 30's that he would tell me to slow down.

Both of my parents died in the mid-80's and now over 20 years later, I still have to mentally rein myself in when it comes to scheduling tasks vs. taking time to just be me. With the limitations rheumatoid arthritis places on me, it's even more important to be sure that I am satisfying my need to be me, more than performing to all others expect me to be.

Some people have set up lifestyles based on bad and negative comments from their fathers. They have trapped themselves in the performance mode to find some approval from their fathers, believing that at some point, they will accomplish what it takes to get the acceptance from their dads for who they are. Isn't it amazing how total opposite situations of childhood can bring about the same sad results?

You cannot let the past determine your today and your future!

Dr. John Sarno in the book, "Mind-Body Prescription," links buried emotions as the reason for pain. Unexpressed and undealt with these emotions express themselves in pain. This line of research follows a belief I have had for a very long time and one that links in with Pastor Henry Wright's book, "A More Excellent Way." If we don't deal with emotions they will produce sickness.

I have realized that something caused the drivenness that was part of my nature, and although I know that I received a new nature when I accepted Christ, I did not implement the mentality or thought process to walk in it. I allowed my mind to be driven by old tapes. No matter how much I accomplished each day I would still lie down late at night and think of the things I did not get done.

There is nothing we can do to warrant or earn anybody's love. Nothing! Love is a God-given gift within us that we have to choose to release towards ourself and others. It must be freely given. So .....

Performance-based acceptance is an absolute farce! A lie of the Enemy that seeks to destroy our lives. There is nothing that brings more peace to my soul and spirit than taking the time to be me and to nurture a love for myself so that I can give love to others. Matthew 19 says we should love our neighbor as ourself. That implies to me that if I don't love myself, I won't have any love to love my neighbor.

It's a new year, a fresh slate, a time for new beginnings. Determine to take time for you each day. No matter how small. Those with a job and children and marriage have a lot to juggle, but there are a few moments each day that you can take to make yourself feel special. Some of us have more time we can spend depending on what season in life we are in. It's not about things. Not about shopping or using L'Oreal because you are worth it. You are worth more than adding stuff to your life that you will have to manage and maintain. Go within and find out what makes you feel really good that is lasting. It's probably not about some extra trinket or piece of cloth.

Make a new year resolution to fall in love with yourself!


Father, you are a perfect Daddy. You have created me to do good things and to show Your love to those around me and to myself. Your Word says I am to love. This is your greatest commandment. Help me to trust in Your love and to choose to release the past experiences that I did not understand with my childish mind and to accept them in faith, knowing they will be good to my life, if I trust in You to control my life. As I look at the life I have created with my own will and control, I know it is lacking in peace and joy. Today, Lord, I choose to set things right. I will forgive and release what I need to in my past and move forward because the only real thing I can effect with my will is to choose to let go. Thank you for showing me how to do that. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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