What do you when you find your 6-year-old son’s drawing of a long-haired woman with a mean, massive frown?
You consider it’s you, of course. You consider you’re a cruddy boar, a horrible attempt at a caring, loving, and generous momma. And you wonder if underneath his smiles and bedtime hugs he might hate you.
Could this be possible?
You think of all the times he’s repeated, “Mommy, didn’t I tell you that already,” “You don’t listen,” and “You don’t cuddle with me.”
You recount that you do indeed cuddle, but you also think of how at the end of your day you’re very tired and this cheek-to-cheek (or as he does, it cheekbone on top of cheekbone) business can’t go on forever.
But still, the thought persists like a gnat.
What if, you’re not good enough? And worst of all, what if he’s busted you for it?
Ever felt this way?
…Like no matter what you say to your spouse, he’s really thinking you don’t match up to the wife he wanted?
…Like no matter how hard you try at work, your boss still isn’t happy?
…Like despite your encouraging words to the woman, she still is cold with you?
…Like you can’t escape being the little girl who let people down?
…Like no matter how hard you try, you can’t win?
Of course, I understand. But what I also understand is this: The goal to perfectly “win” all the time is a warped one. It’s not only warped, but impossible. It’s like keeping a sparkly, gold trophy shiny. The second you clean it, fingerprints arrive again and you’re back wiping again. The only problem is that you can never step back and enjoy the prize, because all you’re doing is keeping up facades. Every flaw sucks you into yourself, and you miss the whole point.
I’ve been there. I am there.
Yet, I suppose I see a little better after writing all this: I can’t love my son when I’m fearing him. Nor can I enjoy him when I’m critiquing myself. Nor can I connect well with him when I’m not setting boundaries.
In the space of accepting my imperfections, he’ll learn to accept his own. In the space of seeing me growing with Christ, he’ll discover how he can grow with Christ. There’s some sort of non-speaking, God-testifying wisdom that will speak here.
What about you? What over-emphasized flaws have stolen the feelings of joy in your moments? What grace have you not afforded yourself? What over-trying attitude is stealing your peace? What new approach could you take to conquer these annoying feeling of self-doubt?