I beg God about what to write, but when He says, “Just be real and don’t hide what you’re struggling with,” I don’t want to accept His answer.
I sit here stuck because I know what He wants me to write, but I don’t have a clue how to say it. Ok, I’ll try…
I’m a people-pleasing addict and I have a daily struggle with it. My life is too much about trying to please others and to control things that are out of my power instead of about being real, being who I am and who God created me to be, accepting who I am and what God has placed upon me.
I stress myself out far too much about hurting and disappointing people and it’s taking its toll on me. I will stretch myself beyond my limitations just to please someone else with no regard to my own health. I worry. I don’t want them to think I don’t care and that they’re not important to me. But the truth is I’m also worried they might love me less, and I drive myself crazy with it. I further terrorize myself with guilt that I’m not trusting their love enough.
“Something has to change,” I tell my husband for the umpteenth time when I again got sick. “I don’t want anyone to feel hurt, disappointed, or unhappy because of me. I’m always trying to please others.”
“But not yourself…” he replies.
But my mind reasons that I should think of others above myself. But I have that all mixed up. I would be thinking more of others if I took care of myself. When I don’t take care of myself, I’m disregarding the feelings of my loved ones who are pained when I get sick. It tears my heart out when any of them suffer, so I should remember how they must feel when I suffer.
My need to please others results in my becoming a bully of myself, and I know in my heart that God does not want that. But I don’t know how to stop it sometimes. Maybe that’s the problem. I keep trying to stop it instead of admitting I can’t stop it myself. I’m always spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Sliding back into that addiction again and again. I need help from a Higher Power, but I’m afraid to release my own power.
As I lay sick again, God whispered, “Just rest, My child, just rest.” Rest physically for my body but also rest in my spirit. Giving all things into His hands. Relinquishing my power to Him. Free-falling over the cliff into fear and uncertainty, trusting He’ll catch me and carry me on.
We all have an addiction in one way or another that punishes ourselves and detrimentally affects our loved ones who care so much. No matter who we are, we can all learn from AA’s Twelve Steps. Based on these steps, let’s search our hearts:
- Do we admit we are powerless in ourselves over _____ addiction? Do we admit our lives are unmanageable?
- Do we believe a Power greater than ourselves can restore us?
- Do we make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him?
- Will we search our hearts and do a fearless moral inventory of ourselves?
- Do we admit to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs?
- Are we entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character? (Jesus says in John 5 – “Do you want to get well?”)
- Do we humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings?
- Do we make a list of all persons we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all?
- Do we make direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others? (Amend means to change and make improvements, not just to say I’m sorry.)
- Do we continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it?
- Do we seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out?
- As we have a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, do we try to carry this message to other _____ addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs?
It’s time for us to take care of ourselves as God wants us to. God is for us, but we can be our worst enemy when we’re wrapped up in our addictions. Let’s let go of our own self-sufficiency and fear to trust anyone else and fall into the hands of a God who loves and has our best interests at heart.
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
~ Jeremiah 29:11