Chris and I arrived in Dallas last night. Our destination, The Cooper Wellness Institute. We are here with several other members of the executive team at the new company he works for, and their wives. Contained within those 3 short sentences are numerous opportunities for me to experience shame, contempt, and anxiety.
I am away from home, I am a homebody at heart. I am at a place focused on exercise and fitness, I have struggled my entire life with physical strength, endurance, coordination or lack thereof. I am here with people I don’t know, but that I will need to know for the sake of my husband’s career, I am an introvert at my core, being with strangers and carrying on small-talk conversations will always be uncomfortable and draining for me. (I could think of many other more descriptive adjectives, but I’m attempting to minimize my contempt.)
Most of all, I look around me and see perfection and am internally measuring how far I fall short.
So this morning as I was getting ready for the day, I was thinking about the running dialogue of comparison and contempt streaming through my mind, and it occurred to me that I could fight back in this battle. I could see this as an opportunity to do something good for me personally, rather than focusing on having to do something I didn’t choose.
Thankfully I am not alone in this battle. A wise friend reminded me of the need for kindness, I can hear her voice in my heart. My good husband reminded me of a picture that he received recently – the difference between anxiety and anticipation. Anxiety narrow our focus to where we can’t see anything clearly, anticipation opens us up to the whole, expansive picture. I have been anxious, something that comes naturally for me. AND I have learned in the last few years how to anticipate, I can choose that today.
This good man recognized that even that isn’t enough, however, and came alongside me to pray against all the places evil is lurking here to take out my heart before I even have a chance to try something different. I am walking into the day with 2 words running through my heart: kindness and anticipation. May they move from my heart to my mind and body.