Saturday, January 08, 2011

want to. need to. have to.

I want to ...
I need to ...
I have to ...

It seems that everything falls into one of these three categories.  And apparently I am guilty of putting things into the wrong category ... or disagreeing with others about what category something belongs in. Some say I am believing lies (but how can they be lies when there is concrete evidence to prove them and it is what I have personally experienced?)

When I think 'I want to' and it is a) something I know I shouldn't do or b) something I know I can't do - I beat myself up for wanting to do something I know I shouldn't or knowing I'd be a failure whether I did it or not.

When I think 'I need to' I get frustrated because I know I will mess it up. or not finish it. or do something wrong. Perfectionism takes over and tells me that even though I need to do ___, I don't because of fear.

When I think 'I have to,' I get scared I will mess it up but have no choice in the matter. And it becomes a legalistic task that is harder to complete each time.

In the mornings I go between 'need to' and 'have to' get out of bed.
It starts out as 'I don't want to get out of bed.'

Then changes to 'I need to get out of bed.'  There is an internal argument about why I need to get out of bed ... feed the kids, act like a functioning member of society, go to whatever appointment I have made to make certain I do get out of the house.

Eventually it becomes 'I have to get out of bed.'  It is 10 minutes before I am supposed to be somewhere (I hate running late, but am seldom on time anywhere these days.)  The kids are bickering. My husband tells me I have to get up.

There are many, many examples I could give ... this one is ... safest.

Next week the kids return to school. I could stay in bed all day. Sleep (with help) so the time passes. Stay cocooned in a place where I can't mess things up. Where I don't bring others down with me. If I do get up, I don't have to put on my mask. I can stay safely inside my house and beat myself up for everything I know I need to do that I don't get done.  But I find myself reluctantly making plans. Lunch one day, volunteering at the kids' school another, helping at church, creating errands to run, moms group, working occasionally. They exhaust me. I dread them. But I do it to appear like a normal, functioning human. (I know - normal is a setting on your dryer.)

Lately, the only thing I want to do is something that I'm told I can't. What I need to do I don't have the energy for and what I have to do doesn't get done ...

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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