Trapped Frustration

I feel frustrated, locked in, limited, restrained. There have been so many no’s, I know there are a few steps forward, but it seems that each one still leaves me looking back. And I’m not sure what I’m “allowed” to do, or think, or dream.

I know this is based on a distorted view of God. And I feel like I shouldn’t be stuck in this place anymore, which only adds to the shame and self-condemnation. Maybe God’s asking me to just be still and know that He is God. Maybe He’s asking me to take a step forward in faith, even though I cannot see. And yet, I’m unable to discern the truth in this moment.

I know that God is faithful, and I know that someday things will change, I know that every small step is a step in the right direction, and I know that even in the silence I am called to trust. I just want a higher calling. I want something that matters.

Having a voice, and having a purpose is so important to me. It isn’t about needing to be seen, exactly, though I don’t really want to be fully invisible. It’s more that I just want something to work for. I want a reason and hope for a future. I want to have the faith and trust that a future I could be satisfied with exists.

Right now, I feel like I’m stuck between who I was and who I’m going to be. I just want to feel like my life has purpose.

Part of what it is is that I feel like I’m too broken and messed up. That I feel I’m not allowed to exist. That I missed my chance and disappointed God, and so now I’m not allowed to have a voice. I know this is a false view. I know this isn’t truth. And yet, I find myself believing the lies anyway.

This is not what God does. This is what the abusers did. Why do I still fall into this trap, where I project them onto God? Why do I judge God, and myself, based on people who never loved either of us? People who were never capable of love at all.

This is where I need to take my eyes off the storm, off my fears, and start looking to God.

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Extroverted Momentum

This past weekend my husband and I went out for the day. By the time we got home I was completely exhausted and ready for bed, it was about 8:30. Though despite being so tired, and already spending so much time with each other and around people (not interacting directly), I still wanted to spend time together.

What I’ve noticed is that if I’m invested in the extroverting that I’m doing, I can ride on that momentum and keep going. But as soon as I step away, I completely crash into the safety of my little introvert haven. It’s easy to ignore our own needs sometimes, and it’s difficult to distinguish which is more important when two or more of our needs conflict.

It’s like riding a bike long distances when you know you’re almost there, but your legs are hurting and it’s so hard to just keep going. Sometimes stopping makes it harder to start again.

I’m not very good at the whole self-care thing. I push myself too much, too far, for too long. But sometimes, having just a little bit of momentum can keep me going, even if I’ve already been interacting for far too long.

Do you find it easier to socialize when you have a little momentum built up? What are your favorite self-care tips? I could certainly learn some more of those.

Awake

Time. It ticks on endlessly, mocking me as I sleep. Awake O sleeper.

But I couldn’t hear it.

I’ve heard that we have a choice, a choice whether we’re enslaved or not. That all this time, all these years, wasted by all human accounts, could be counted for something.

I’m not sure that I care anymore.

My life is nothing but a hollow dream. Racing by as I struggle to catch my breath. It’s too late. Now I’ve gotten too old.

What meaning does life have, when you’ve lost the only thing you ever cared about. Hope. Hope for the future. Hope for a future worth living. Hope to come alive again.

Just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Just because we don’t have the faith to believe, doesn’t mean the Source of our life is any less active. On our behalf. He acts on our behalf. Because we don’t do it on our own.

Time may be a mystery. It may be moving too fast. But we have a God outside of time, who likes to wait until just in time. And that is where we find our hope. Not in the hours of a day or the timing on a clock, but in the One who created time, and is Master over all.

Heart Choice

Soft music plays as I wrap up my morning routine. There’s a sense of peace and belonging even in the uncertainty. I feel like things are about to change, and who knows whether it’s real or just a feeling, I’m a little nervous about what the future may hold, so many unknowns.

So many closed doors when all I had hoped for feels so far out of reach. And yet, I know that He is faithful, and even in my lack, He is using it for my good. I know there are certain things I don’t have now, that I wish I could have, but there’s also a protection that comes from not having those things, at least as of yet.

It’s hard not to feel like I’m missing out. And it isn’t about the comparisons to others, except in the jealousy and envy that comes when I look around and others have things that I wanted, things I wanted more than anything, and now I don’t know if hope of that is lost. A future unexplored. And I don’t know if it may, or may never be.

My life is nothing like what I would have imagined. Not all of that is bad, but there are many things that are missing. I’m not as far along on my journey as I would like, and I feel like I’m falling behind my own standards. I suppose that’s the danger in being a perfectionist, and I don’t fully know how to let go of this need for stability, for control.

In this moment, my heart chooses to look to the One who knows it all. Past. Present. Future. What may come truly is unknown to me, and yet, to Him, it’s already seen, it’s already done.

So why do I fear? Why do I struggle to trust the One who holds it all? The only one who could ever guard my heart.

I don’t always like looking back, at least not without the intent to look ahead. The past is gone, it doesn’t exist anymore. And now, I need to find peace knowing that whatever will happen in my future has already been decided, I just get to discover it along the way. If there’s no point worrying about the past, then neither is there any reason to fret over the future.

My life is held, supremely and securely in the hands of a Father who knows it all, in a Father whose every decision is leading me to good. I can look ahead with confidence, rather than fear, because this story is already written, and someday I’ll see all the threads of how wonderfully crafted it’s been weaved together.

I’m Done Writing

I’m done writing. I’m done putting pressure on myself to continue to process old emotions through an old lens and somehow tidy them up in a pleasant way. The things I wrote about weren’t pleasant, my mind was (and sometimes still is) a wandering mess, so that’s what came out.

Wandering in a forest. Inner monologues. Confusion. Isolation. Uncertainty.

All my novels and all my characters were the same. Little pieces of me that desperately needed to be seen, felt, acknowledged… healed.

It’s so amazing and wonderful to see how far God has brought me, and how much healing as already taken place. I put some of my identity on being a writer. I don’t know that I would have said novelist, but that’s what I was trying to be.

I wrote not because I was compelled to write based on ideas and concepts, but because my feelings overwhelmed me and I didn’t know what else to do with them. I wrote because I had to write. Then. But something’s changed in me.

As I was thinking about it this morning I realized that I’m starting to have a spark reignited that brings me excitement, and I’m starting to feel alive again. I don’t know how long this full process will take, but I’m learning that sometimes we have to let old things go in order to grow.

There’s a subtle sadness at the loss of potential, but the striving kept me trapped in a cycle of being unproductive with everything, not just the one project I was stuck on.

I don’t know if someday I’ll have an idea for another novel and try it again. I don’t know if I’ll go back to the old ones and see them in a new way. But for right now, in this moment, I’m releasing myself from the homework style demand to fix something that either can’t or has already been fixed.

If I do write again, or decide to edit those old projects (it’s when I got to the end of it and had to face editing that I stalled out completely), I want it to be done with clarity, not confusion. And I want to write based on interesting concepts and ideas, not overwhelming emotions that I couldn’t grasp or understand in any other way. Ni, not a bleeding Fe.

And in knowing that the old is cleared away to provide space for new growth, I’m at peace as I step into whatever the next chapter may be. And I’m free.

P.S. I still fully intend to continue blogging, it’s the creative/fiction writing that I’m stepping back from.

Writing Isn’t What It Seems

I haven’t been writing much lately. I don’t know what it is, it’s just gotten harder. Actually, that’s not fully true, the pieces are starting to come together and I’m beginning to figure it out. I have a writing group that I attend almost weekly. I hardly ever participate, and honestly, having a group is a large part of what stopped me from writing.

I feel like I’m failing because others in the group talk about how much having the group motivates them to write, how writing for an audience keeps them going. And me? Writing was never something I did for other people, it has always been a way to process my thoughts and emotions… on my own.

The interaction and readers here can inspire me, but blogging’s somehow different. And for whatever reason, I don’t count it as writing. But it is, isn’t it?

So why can’t I just share other writings? When it really comes down to it, I just don’t want to. It’s too personal, too painful. There are parts of that old writing that I’ve come to terms with and am at peace with, there are other aspects that I never want to relive. I wrote it down, and that’s good enough.

Writing is my way of purging. If I wanted to go over it I wouldn’t have written it, my mind spirals on things plenty without having to rehash it over and over again on paper. Maybe the group dynamic, although I enjoy the people and hearing their projects, just doesn’t work for me as an introvert.

Maybe that’s why blogging comes so much easier. Or maybe it’s that I’m not putting pressure on myself to be perfect. I ramble a lot, and this is my space to allow that, to allow my mind to freely process whatever I’m feeling. I love writing on my own, it’s very natural to pick up a pen and let my thoughts spill out, but I find that when it comes to sharing that with others, I put the brakes on and can’t seem to move forward.

Do any other introverts have experience with a writing group dynamic? Do you find that it motivates you, or that the isolation is necessary to the writing process?

Dominant Dilemma, Or Maybe Auxiliary

As an INFJ my dominant cognitive function is Ni, which means I’m a dominant perceiver despite being a J type. (This is true for all introverts, the dominant function is the opposite of the J/P preference in their type.)

I’m not overly attached to every idea that floats through my head, I just like ideas, though sometimes I feel like I can come across as much more rigid when interacting with other people and the outside world. Even writing falls prey to this tendency, which I think is why I struggle with it so much sometimes.

Sometimes I feel so guilty for how harsh or certain I come across to others. As if my ideas are more important than theirs, but really I’m just excited about ideas and different possibilities.

I don’t want to be dismissive of others. I don’t know when I’m overstepping boundaries, and when I’m not pulling my own weight. And this leaves me feeling more misunderstood, and also very insecure about my roles. That could be a communication issue too, but still. I don’t want to be a steamroller, and I’m beginning to realize that I might be.

And because of my auxiliary Fe, I feel more in tune with others’ emotions than my own, so I beat myself up over my interactions, then I’m left confused and spinning wondering what my true motivation actually is. Misunderstood by myself too.

People pleasing has been a huge obstacle for me to overcome. I don’t really know how to say no. I have a couple times now, and I’ve felt really bad about it, and like I was letting someone down.

So maybe this isn’t about the dominant, but the auxiliary, the way I interact with others. I’ve fallen into some really dysfunctional patterns, and I think that I’ve probably gone from one extreme, to overcompensating on the other.

I’m still not sure how clear my vision is on this. I still have a lot to process, and a lot to learn.