Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Struggle

There is struggle in all that I do lately, is how I feel.

I struggle with contentment. So much. I push against gratitude and awareness of how incredibly blessed I am. I reject every piece of evidence that says I am favored and well-loved.

I run and I do push-ups and so on and whatever, and then I see what someone else did; how they went farther or pushed harder and I diminish my efforts. Instead of acknowledging how far I have come, I look at where I could still go. But then I look at myself (so vain!) and see all the evidence of my hard work, of efforts only I could make, and I try to hang on to that for a bit.

I read a person's words and I am tempted to delete my own. To scrap this whole blog thing, and forget that I ever called myself a writer. I struggle to get one post a week here, while others write daily. But I try to remember that six (!) years ago I didn't even know I had the words in me.

I struggle with an inclination to laziness and resentment. Wanting acknowledgment for what I get done while failing to do all that needs to be done. I know that it is immature and irrational. I know that no one is keeping tabs and checking to see who is ahead. I try to resolve to do better.

The internet is a wonder and a beast. We can find words and friends to push us and inspire us and encourage us. Or we can find words and strangers behind a screen that tear us down, that make us forget who we are and how blessed our life is.

My poor husband and a few close friends have to deal with my struggle nearly every day. They see me go from confident and secure to doubting and fearful in the seeming blink of an eye.

Ultimately, I know what I need to do. All of this struggle stems from failing to seek God in my life. I'm still in a spiritual desert, knowing I could get out, but not doing much about it. But coming here, and telling you about the struggle, tells me that I am winning. And that is enough.

Just Write with Heather of the EO


  1. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Being honest with ourselves is not easy..we tend to go through our life with glasses that twist perceptions into reality and vice versa. Tougher though, is being honest with others about ourselves. I believe it is a leap forward for any of us willing to make that step and continue along that path. It could be said though, that your family is a reflection of your soul, and in this case, yours is bright and shining with love.

  2. I feel so much of myself in your post. Nothing is ever good enough, so why even try anymore...I fight the feeling of being overwhelmed on almost a daily basis. Every time I feel like I've gained some ground, something comes along to shake me back to reality. Thanks for putting words to this monster we face.

    1. That's exactly what I was going to say. It's gotten so much better as I've gotten more encouragement. I've learned that I should have trusted my words a long, long time ago...so much time was wasted not doing it. This, this writing thing, is what I was supposed to be doing all along. It brings ME peace. It quiets MY mind. I'm writing for myself first, because I must. I made a sign for my computer: "My Words Don't Have to be Profound. They Just Have to Tell a Good Story." I don't know if it's mine or someone else's, but they got me writing. And I'm grateful.

  3. I totally get this. The internet gives us access to so much. Too much. And against it all, we can never feel like enough. Believe me, EVERYONE struggles with this. You, me, the huge blogger with thousands of readers. Today's world has been engineered to have us constantly wanting more. It's very hard not to cave to the pressure. God is the only lasting answer. *hug*

  4. Nothing is ever good enough is my mantra. I wish it wasn't. I find it so hard sometimes to find the good things that I do or the things I've attempted. It comes with time I suppose, to credit rather than discredit.

  5. I totally, totally get it! You are not alone.

    Just yesterday I was struggling with a situation that came up with family over the holiday. It had a lot to do with insecurity and feelings of inadequacy on both sides of the issue. I was fretting about it and then it dawned on me: It's about abundance, and THERE IS ENOUGH. There is enough of everything, for all of us.

    so I logged onto FB last night - FB being the source of all my inadequacies - and looked at the page of a photographer who makes me feel particularly inadequate. I started to feel those nasty feelings again but then I reminded myself again: THERE IS ENOUGH for all of us. She can be as totally awesome as she is and that takes nothing from me. I can have enough too. I don't need to cut her down or cut me down. We can all just have enough.

    No clue if that makes sense, I just wanted to tell you that you too are ENOUGH :) You're more than enough. You're you.

  6. Ha, HA! Just read your comments and it's funny how almost all of us wrote the word "enough" :) There must be something there!

  7. Brittany2:38 PM

    Needed to read this today. Thanks Nicole!

  8. Great post!!! Thank you for sharing.

  9. I feel this way several times a day--at least--and get so caught up in the comparison trap. Ugh! Satan definitely knows that's a weakness of mine and I hate to allow him to steal my joy--most often though things I see/read on Pinterest, blogs, FB, etc. but then again I see/read a lot that inspires me and motivates me, so I guess it's a toss up.

    But I agree with what others have said, you are doing enough and are enough--always!!

    We're often our own worst critics--most people don't even notice or aren't thinking what we think they are--you know? :)

  10. Nicole, you feel like you're in a spiritual desert, but I think you are way ahead of most of us. Some people go through life clueless about themselves, what they're doing, and how they affect others. But you, you're gaining knowledge of self (so important for examining our conscience) and taking that and writing in an honest and even vulnerable way. Keep pushing, keep winning, keep ispiring, keep blessing.

  11. I'm nodding. I do this too and have many of these same feelings. And I'm in the same place you mentioned at the end there. But I kinda agree with Patty above me.

    xoxo, my friend.

  12. I could have written this. I think every blogger could write this. I have to remind myself not to look at what everyone else is doing and focus on what I'm called to do. But it's a constant temptation to compare ourselves with everyone else.

    Someone wrote recently: Don't compare your worst with someone else's best. I thought that was brilliant. I think it was shared at a conference, and I saw it on Twitter.

    If it matters at all, I think you always seem confident, I am so impressed with the running you've been doing, and I think your writing has become incredibly poignant lately. You've been opening up more than you used to, and I've noticed a change in your dedication to the blog and the way you spin a story and articulate your thoughts and feelings. You are every bit a writer. And you are a beautiful person inside and out.

    As far as a spiritual desert, that is hard, but again, we are all there at one time or another due to busyness or misplaced priorities or whatever... but another trite saying (I"m full of them today! HA!) is that God never goes anywhere; we do. Maybe setting side an extra 10 minutes every night before bed just to be silent and read a psalm and talk to God will put you in a different frame of mind spiritually. This is more of a "do as I say, not as I do" nugget of advice b/c I am horrible about making time for God. I do pray throughout the day, but I know when you have young kids underfoot, you generally aren't in a prayerful frame of mind, but that is okay. It's a season, and you have a lot on your plate.

    I know you were sharing, not necessarily looking for advice, so I hope I didn't overstep my bounds, but just know that I am so thankful for the Internet b/c of the friendships I've made with people like YOU and Holly and Elaine and Megan up there... all who seem to be saying the same thing. We all do it, we are our own worst enemy. I hope things look brighter today. xoxo

  13. Just wanted to say I <3 you and I completely relate to those feelings, too.

  14. I have this SAME issue (and I compare myself to you A LOT lately)


  15. I love the rawness of your writing in this post. You are echoing what all (most) of us women (even men) constantly struggle with and it is so beautifully done. it's nice to have that sort of companionship to know our struggles aren't alone. thanks for sharing! love you, friend :)

  16. The online world makes the comparison thing so easy, huh? It's time to shut down and walk away when we feel this way, methinks. I don't mean for good, but to be reminded of reality. We are seeing so many highlights online. Just one clean corner of the living room and photo-shopped photos and people like to announce victories here and that's okay, but we naturally end up thinking they must be doing better than we are. The truth is that we're all the same. We really are. We just have to take breaks to keep that in mind.


  17. I didn't comment on this post when you first posted it, but I want to thank you for your vulnerability, for being real about your fears and doubts and insecurities. I wish that we were all strong and self-aware enough to do so more, and to articulate hard times in life as beautifully- as I feel your writing always is. Thank you.


I'm dying to know what you have to say, so talk already! Thanks!