835EFEFE-0B39-48EF-A28D-1754656F2B9AIt was one of those weeks. You know….you are working your heart out and someone makes a comment that implies what you have been doing is not good enough. That you haven’t been meeting their expectations. Oh….and they don’t tell you this to your face. They tell someone else who tells someone else who tells you. Disheartening. Discouraging. I think the question that came to mind is “Why do I even bother?”

I know I am not the only one who has gone through times like that. Beyond frustrated, And it happens time after time again. Often I feel like I am caught up in a hurricane, and single-handedly trying to keep everything safe and undamaged.

But, in the midst of it, a few things happen. Life and death type things. The death of an old friend and the wail of her mother at her memorial. The agony of a harsh diagnosis.  The squeal of a happy new baby. The gender reveal of another.  I am reminded to take out the scale and weigh myself.

What is my measure I am using for success in my life? These things seem so overwhelming for a time. That discourage me. Make me feel worthless. Effectively ruin my days and weeks. Really, are they the things that, if I were to make a list, are what I consider important?

No. They’re not. In fact, I allow them to rob from the good parts of who I am. They keep my focus off the things that I really want my life to be about.

God has given me an unknown number of days. I want to use and cherish each one. I want my life to be full of love and laughter and kindness and care. I want it to be about hard work, done from a pure heart. But I don’t want it to be about perfection or worry or meeting standards that for me just may be unattainable. I don’t want to live the life of another.

We are created for purpose. One thing I know. “Being the slave to the opinion of another human being” is not mine. No wonder I feel  miserable when that I give in to the temptation of making it appear so.

What things put you in balance? Which throw you out of control? Take inventory. Make a list of what you really are about. Live that list. Don’t focus on those things that are not you. Perspective. It can save us.

And one more thing. That criticism you are harboring for someone? Talk to them about it before you talk to someone else. But first ask yourself if it is really all that important, whether your true goal is to make someone else harbor the same criticism, and whether you are willing to invest in their life to help them become better. If you’re not, maybe just keep it to yourself, forget it, and move along. In this world of cheap criticism, make sure yours is worth something.

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