Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Letter to a friend ... boundaries


How you?

I was thinking about my life and what it may have in common with yours.

Previously I was run ragged trying to meet the demands and requests of all those around me, especially my family, where I believed it to be my responsibility.

This morning I thought it like a geyser. It only gives out so much hot water (KEEPS A RESERVE SO IT DOESN’T BLOW) and then has to fill up again before it can give more.

I was tending not only not to wait until being refilled and heated up (my own self not being taken care of) but I was running out the reserve too and obviously that’s why I used to land up “blowing” or “popping” and going off the rails feeling like I couldn’t cope – which I wasn’t and couldn’t – and that my efforts were unrewarded.

I have been trying to look deeply into the motives and reasons of why I do everything. For this the two main factors seems to have been and are the cause of this:

• Guilt – and wanting to make up for what I felt I had done wrong or where I had failed
• For worth – wanting to be needed and loved and feel worthwhile
• To sort of “play God” and be the source of others’ happiness.

I have got less guilt than I had before but still the other points have been causing problems in my life. As it is a journey without end like a dog chasing its tail.

Just thinking about this, it not unusual for people to turn the tap on when there no water in the geyser but the geyser does not give water when it has not filled up and there nothing unexpected or unusual about that yet people can expect us to give out of a depleted resource when we have got to the end of what we are capable of giving. It is our job to inform them when we are not able to.

This can create guilt in us if we expect ourselves to deliver the impossible (which I have tried to do for years) or we realise that we are human and limited and have a right and a NEED to fill up before we give again. And I even felt guilt if I didn’t pour out my whole reserve!!!!

I am trying to learn how to fill up – without depending on others – by finding peace and tranquillity with God, doing things that bring ME satisfaction, and doing things that I WANT to do just cos I want to, be with friends, etc.

This is not selfish – but necessary – FOR EVERYONE ! It is as good for them as it is for you !!

A popped geyser is no use to anyone and the difficult part is establishing in the minds of those who expected you to give and give and give without end that there is an END (for a time) and it not forever and there is a time for YOU!
I am still having difficulties with that. Cos I will have a queue of people wanting me to do something and they say they just got ONE LITTLE thing but they are after ten other little things and they don’t like hearing NO. But sometimes NO is the only way I gonna survive and even if what they want is necessary (just as a warm bath is) the geyser must be allowed to fill up. I am trying to stand firm and protect myself and that will mean protecting them too, even if they don’t realise it.

I have discovered that people are never satisfied, made happy or will never make me feel worthwhile (even tho I don’t seem to stop trying) – and so the responsibility is our own. I want to find my worth in God and be satisfied with my life for myself and not have this temperamental satisfaction from others which often goes away as soon as I stop performing for them. For others it is never enough. So I want to do what is just enough for me and what I feel to be enough for them.

I hope this makes sense. And I hope that I can succeed. It’s just that you seem to be run ragged, like I so often feel, and stressed because in the end it doesn’t seem to ever achieve the result hoped for and I sure identify with that.

Lots of love

Monday, January 19, 2009

Anger ... thwarted goals

I was once told that anger is generated when something or someone stands between yourself and a goal.

I have often found this to be a good way of identifying goals that were unknown or hidden, even from myself. For instance I felt resentment toward someone and this weekend when I was trying to think of "why" I realised that my primary goal is to feel worthwhile, an asset to my family firstly and then to humanity, and he had, by his unkind words, tried to "convince me" that I'm not. It obviously wasn't his blatant intention but nonetheless that was the result.

I believe that if I succeed in finding my worth in the truth of what God says, that people's opinions won't devastate me as much as it is more difficult for people to come between a vertical relationship with God than a horizontal relationship with man. If that makes sense?

In the meantime seeing the problem for what it is makes it easier to cope with and face up to and perhaps find a constructive solution.

So next time you're angry, take a moment, you could find out something about yourself that you never knew. Step back and look at "why" and your goals may become more obvious to you.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Signposts ... Knowing God's will

When he was crossing the Irish Channel one dark starless night, Dr Meyer stood on the deck by the Captain and asked him, “How do you know Holyhead Harbour on so dark a night as this?”
He said, “You see those three lights? Those three must line up behind each other as one, and when we see them so united we know the exact position of the harbour’s mouth.”

When we want to know God’s will there are three things which always concur – the inward impulse, the Word of God and the trend of circumstances!

  • God in the heart, impelling you forward
  • God in the Book, corroborating whatever He says in the heart
  • And God in circumstances, which are indicative of His will


Stand still at the crossroads ready to walk or run, and you will not be kept waiting long.

When we’re not quite certain if we turn to left or right – isn’t it a blessing when a signpost looms in sight! If there were no signposts we should wander miles astray – in the wrong direction if we didn’t know the way – or if we rushed ahead before waiting to see them.

God has set His signposts on Life’s strange and winding road. When we’re blindly stumbling with the burden of our load – He will lead our footsteps through the pathway twist and bend – In some form He guides us, through the Book, a song, a friend ...

In the dark, uncertain hours, we need not be afraid – When we’re at the crossroads, and decisions must be made ... Though the track is unfamiliar, and the light is grey – rest assured, there’s bound to be a signpost on the way.

Let us be silent unto Him, and believe that, even now, messengers are hastening along the road with the summons, or direction or help which we need.

Patience Strong