Lately I’ve been reflecting on this reality: my close friend honestly views our relationship, interaction, communication, conflicts and resolutions differently than I do. And it’s not because we have vastly opposing beliefs or values. It’s primarily because we have different personalities and temperaments. She doesn’t want exactly what I want. And she really doesn’t need what I do. Understanding this is both startling and freeing.
Years ago I wrote a poem that relates to this sometimes surprising people-reality. I read it again today and it helped me to be more accepting of myself and my friend.Neither of us is WRONG in our responses. We’re just different. Here’s the poem:
Some of us need to stop thinking and do, while others need to stop doing and think.
Some need to stop asking and give, though others need to cease giving and ask.
Some of us need to stop crying and smile, yet others need to stop smiling and cry.
Some need to stop confronting and give in, while others need to quit compromising and confront.
Some of us need to stop waiting and run, though others need to stop running and wait.
Some need to practice discipline and organize, yet others need to cease structuring themselves
into a box and relax.
What do YOU need?
Have you ever felt confused by another person’s differences? Does any part of this poem help you understand one of your relationships?
Have you ever tired too hard and it sabotaged your success? If so, you’re in good company.
Does the name Rory McIlroy sound familiar? Probably so, if you play or watch golf or love anyone who does. Last weekend I watched as Rory won the 2012 PGA Championship and regained his “#1 golfer in the world” title. Okay, Rory’s very good; got a beautiful swing. No, the golfer in the photo is not Rory! Think your own golf game!
I did a double-take when I heard Rory say during an interview, “I tried to be too perfect” referring to his disappointing 2011 loss at the Masters.
“Back that up,” I shouted to my husband. “I want to hear that again.” I grabbed my iPad and shot this video. It’s just a few seconds long. Check it out. Rorry interview about perfectionism Aug 2012
Rory said that he put too much pressure on himself to be perfect and that when he “freed himself up” it was a turning point for him.
Trying too hard to hit the perfect shot dulls your golf game. And trying too hard in your spiritual life—to accomplish flawless quiet times and Bible studies, gain impressive amounts of knowledge or look like the perfect Christian with all the right answers—can dull your soul. You don’t have to be perfectly spiritual to come to Jesus. Whoever you are today and whatever you’re trying to achieve, He loves and accepts you whether you think you’re winning, losing, or not good enough to play at all.
I’ve found that when I just pray in faith no matter how emotionally or spiritually imperfect I feel, He’s there. (Read Matthew 11:28-30 and see what I mean.)
Do you identify with Rory? Have you ever tried too hard and it sabotaged your success — at work, at play or in your spiritual life? What was your turning point?
Did you have a goal for your summer 2012 that you haven’t reached yet? That’s okay. You still have time! Autumn doesn’t officially begin until September 22.
You have seven full weeks to take intentional steps toward reaching your desire. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a suggestion:
1. Take a few reflective moments to make 1-3 responses for each of the following Q’s.
3. Next look at your concerns and lacks. Choose one. What is one small intentional next step you will take to move toward positive change and growth in that area? (Keep your step within your control. You can’t change anyone else. Only yourself.) Maybe you will schedule a 10 minute prayer/Bible reading time 3 times during the next week. Perhaps you’ll make a doctor appointment. Maybe your choice will be to calmly ask your hubby for help with specific tasks. Perhaps you will create a budget. Choose something that will help you move closer to your summer dream.
4. Now tell someone. It will solidify your decision and help you to be more accountable.
If your goal seems too big, be encouraged. You can keep taking small NEXT steps. They build on one another. Every Olympic athlete started with with one small step!
You can partner with God for growth. “The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.’” (Ps. 32:8 NLT) I love that, don’t you?
So, what is your next intentional step?
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.