Recently, there must’ve been seemingly cryptic posts on my social media; truly, that wasn’t the intention. As a result, I received two separate phone calls from two dear friends, neither of who knows the other. One of them referred to the “I, I, I” context of my posts and my reaction was immediate defense. I know this friend’s beautiful heart is intent on doing the will of God and I was throwing up my walls against a lecture that perceived me in a way I wasn’t meaning. Being intently aware of this defense, I reminded myself that this friend was safe and that I could keep my heart open and listen. I’m super thankful that I did, for as I spilled my heart out about the goings on in my life, he had great experience of his own to share and much wisdom to offer.
The second call was a precious friend who had some heartfelt observations to share with me. First, he thought that I must be in a deeply introspective mood (true and positive), and that many of my introspections were self-deprecating. (true and ouch). He told me that he had never once heard me speak of the good things I was doing. (i.e., I speak of my wonderful children, I do not speak of the wonderful mom that I am to them or the sacrifices I make to be that great mom). I am still reflecting on this. I like to be humble. Even voicing that I like to be humble makes me feel like I may as well say, “Look at me! I am soooo humble!” That just defeats the whole purpose. I did share with a few people recently that my grad school grades were really awesome. I didn’t share what it took on my behalf for that to happen.
I’m still not sure about all of this. Growing up with a constant verbalized message of, “children should be seen and not heard”, I think I have internalized that to “Sarah should be seen and not heard” in many significant ways.
Look at this! Two friends that I trust see me ponderings through totally different lenses. One is the “I” of me and the other is kind of the invisible “I”. This is likely one of my favorite internal conflicts. Shrink or stand tall? Oh Alice.