Real talk here, friends.
I’m a worrier. I have been for as long as I can remember.
The constant questions running through my mind. Always.
Am I good enough? Do they really like me? What if I fail? Where do I go from here? Could I have done that better? Stop. And breathe. Am I forgetting something? What if we can’t have more kids? Am I annoying? Why can’t I just calm down?
I have tried so hard to change, to breathe deeper, to trust more, to just. stop. worrying. I have beat myself up about it for so long.
But this past year, I heard a girl share her testimony. It sounded a lot like mine. “I’m trying. Really hard. And I just can’t get myself together.” She shared that she had beat herself up too. Until, she found she had issues going much deeper than just being a worrier.
She had hormonal imbalances contributing to the miscarriages she had been blaming herself for. There were pieces of pride in her heart giving her an intense pressure to be perfect. And she was trying to do way too many things at once.
When she started digging deeper within herself, she began to find the underlying issues and to realize how hard she had been on herself. God is a God of grace, and she needed to show herself more of it.
Friends, this is so much my story as well.
My adrenal glands are struggling and cause me to be constantly tired and not as present as I’d like to be. I feel everything at a level ten, good and bad, which can lead to meltdowns or taking things more personally than I should. I’m used to being self-reliant, and I struggle asking others for help. I have undiagnosed gut issues that mean random flare ups at the worst times. I cannot for the life of me seem to get in a rhythm with my quiet time. My love language is quality time and I feel unimportant and rejected when I don’t have enough time with my husband.
So many things contributing to an overall feeling of worry and “I’m not good enough.”
My normal response to things I’m having a hard time with is to just try harder. But the more and more I reflect and hear other people’s stories, the more I realize there can be so many things going on underneath the surface that just need some help. I’ve only recently started to look into addressing these things in my life from a holistic approach, and admitting my weaknesses need help and not just another dose of sheer “try harder” willpower.
I have found several things that have been helping me transition from my “try harder” mindset to giving myself some grace and much-needed help.
First, community. Having people around me who love me, are committed to my good, will encourage and call me out as needed, and who will show me tangibly what God’s grace looks like is such a huge thing. There is something God created in community that gives us strength and support when we are at the end of our rope with trying hard.
Second, dealing with my junk. We all pick up issues and hurts from our families, our loved ones, and those close to us as we grow up and our patterns are formed in behavior, ways of thinking, and responses to life. When I have been able to take those before the Lord, let Him heal them, forgive others, and seek out those wiser than me to help walk with me through changes and restoration of my heart, I’ve been able to release so much of my “try hard” attitude.
Third, figuring out some of my health issues. Some health issues are not controllable, but I have found so many of them that I can have an impact on and make changes to. I have found making changes in my diet, exercise, supplements, and water intake have helped with my gut issues, feelings of constant tiredness, and just being more self-aware and in tune with what my body is telling me. It doesn’t make me feel so bad about not being able to do that long hike when I know my body is struggling with anemia. Know your body, and give it some grace!
And fourth, essential oils. I know, friends. It sounds a little kooky and pretty granola of me, but it’s true. They work. I have begun using Progessence Plus for hormonal support (e.g. my over-abundance of craziness, my monthly breakouts, and irritable mama days). I put a drop of Endoflex and Nutmeg over my adrenal glands and thyroid. And I use Joy and Valor every. single. day. for emotional support. Here’s looking at you meltdowns, nervous feelings, and winter blues!
There is such a freedom in knowing some of the “why’s” behind my worrying, and even greater freedom in knowing that though I strive for perfection, it will never be enough. I don’t need perfection. God loves me unconditionally right where I’m at, and I can get help and show myself grace as it is shown to me by the perfect Grace-Giver. There’s so much peace that comes with God’s unconditional love in the midst of my imperfection and “try hard” attitude.
I once asked my husband if I was needy, in the middle of one of my worrying asking-all-the-questions moments. He, in his ever so gentle and thoughtful way, said, “Everyone has needs.” And it’s true.
We will never reach perfection, no matter how hard we try. We will never meet the standard. And we will always have needs. But we can show grace to ourselves, and look for help where we need it. Then, we will have the freedom to give up our worries and stop trying quite so hard.