January 28, 2010

So Long Self...

I hope Amy over at The Theme Song for the Day is... doesn't mind me borrowing her concept for the next couple of days.

Once again, the Sisterhood has me thinking.  Before you non-sisters start zoning out on me this isn't a diet or exercise related post at all.  With self improvement - physical or emotional - comes a certain level of introspection.  This particular group challenge has dealt a lot with who we are a people and dealing with the emotions that brought us to the beginning of our weight loss journey.

I'll talk more about it tomorrow, but our project for the week is to write a letter to ourselves, as if we were the 2011 us, looking back and advising the 2010 us how the year would go.  Yesterday on the way to work, a song caught my ear - Sidewalk Prophets "The Words I Would Say."  The chorus is perfect for future me to tell myself tomorrow.

I heard it again on the radio this morning and a particular line stood out to me, brought me to tears.  Totally unrelated to the project tomorrow, but God used the Sisterhood and Christie's homework to catch my attention.

Forgive and forget, But don't forget why you're here

Because I haven't.  And I do on a regular basis.

One reason I've been so stressed lately is because I haven't been able to forgive.  Someone said something harsh about me, behind my back.  Then someone else, whom I love dearly, brought it to my attention in an effort to manipulate my behavior in a manner that would benefit him.

Jay's mom got pissed off at me because I don't do his laundry, and Jay told me in the hopes that it would shame me into doing it for him.

Only it backfired.  In my stubbornness, I swore that he had changed my behavior - only not to his benefit.  Not only would I not do what he wanted, what little help I did give him wouldn't happen in the future.  Quite obviously he didn't appreciate me it.

Seriously is it not enough that I hold down a full time job, prepare/cook all the meals, do all the dishes, dust, vacuum, sweep, straighten the house, wash the towels & sheets, and clean the bathrooms?

See, I'm doing it again.  Just this morning I was convicted to forgive and forget, and here I sit still trying to justify myself.  Forgive and forget.  Remember the harsh words are never going to do anything but perpetually hurt me.

As for the "don't forget why you're here" - why is that the part that I have an easy time forgetting?  I'm here to be salt and light to the world.  I'm here to love my husband with all my heart, and through my words and actions, show him the love and the grace of God.

I'm sure it was Divinely inspired, but the next song that came on the radio spoke directly to the flaw my current attitude.

Mercy Me - So Long Self
So long, self
Well, it's been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long, self
There's just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long, self
Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don't cry
So long, self

and my favorite line - don't go away mad...just go away.
Christian or not, marriage isn't about focusing on what's best for you at least it shouldn't be.  With the move, Jay has been super busy.  Trying to work on the house because I'm stressed we won't get everything done by moving day.  Trying to do a lot in real estate because I'm worried about paying for the work we're doing on the house.
He's been working his little fingers to the bone (thankfully not literally this time) taking on my burdens for me, trying to make them better.
Yet here I sit, holding on to my pride.  Not wanting to budge. 
There isn't a lot I can do on the house just yet.  The cleaning can't be done until the carpet and baseboards go in.  But I know exactly what I can do to help.  This weekend I can continute packing up the house, and while I'm packing it wouldn't kill me to do several loads of his laundry - after all clean neatly folded clothes are easier to move then a heap of dirty stuff just thrown in the floor.
On second thought, it might kill me - if I choke on all this pride.  Can someone hand me a drink to help me wash it down?


  1. I totally understand how you feel. I have had a lot of the same things happen with some members of my family and it is hurtful. It is hard to work past. I am also trying to work on forgiving, but I did not know it was going to be this hard!!!

  2. Oh honey, we all have frustrations with our partners not cooperating chore wise.

    In our household we both hate the laundry so we alternate weeks, but that usually messes up at some point and then we fight.

    We usually alternate cooking and dishes as well. I was raised in a house where my mama did everything and I told Gray that just wasn't happening.

  3. You might need a 'rita to chug it down, LOL.

    I totally understand this post, especially when you weren't the one who said the hurtful things. It's like, "WHAT?! Did you really have to say that? Didn't your mama ever teach you, 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all'?"

    All that said, it's a lot of baggage to carry around bitterness, and, once you let it go, it's a relief. =)

  4. Marriage is this weird dance. There are days/weeks/months you will do more and there are days/weeks/months he will do more. It a balance. Have you ever read www.jadekeller.com ? She has a post about something similar. Here's the direct link. http://jadekeller.com/2010/01/confession/

    Hang in there, Sister. Pride over accomplishments (running) is one thing. Pride for the sake of it will just be a bitter pill to swallow. I like Lois Lane's suggestion of a margarita!

  5. ahhhh been there done this one!!! totally not worth it. We have an unspoken understanding that if its in the basket or pile it will get washed on washing day, if its scattered about the house it will NOT. GOOD LUCK!! Maybe splitting it up will help.. wash/dry/fold/put away

    Tim does 99.9% of our cooking so I feel its only fair for me to clean up the kitchen. but I clean it if I am cooking too.. just like it done my way :) & he doesn't mind LOL

  6. ahhh, the margarita request begins to make more sense!!! We all understand, Brooke.

    In our house, since he is the techno-super-uber-geek, J brings home the bacon and I take care of the house and the kids (I can't work here because of our diplomatic status). But I still find it frustrating when he comes home at night, eats supper, and then kicks up his heels with the computer and leaves me to deal with kids and cleaning up.

    The frustrations will come and go. Sometimes he'll do more, sometimes you'll do more. And it IS frustrating and worrisome to give on things you don't want to give on (for you laundry, for me the evening dishes) because you don't know if that balance will re-establish or if you're being made a martyr.

    But it will come in time. You'll have to acquiesce, so will he. Hugs to you!!

  7. Great insights. Marriage is teamwork and a lot of work. I've done the same things...and the resentment builds and it really doesn't do any one any good, especially yourself.

  8. Ah yes...been down this road before with my husband and we still do from time to time. Sometimes you'll give more and sometimes he'll give more. It's about partnering together. You don't need me to tell you this though. You'll make it through the move and be stronger for it. Sending hugs (and I love the So Long Self song too...totally hits home)!

  9. Hi Brooke! And thank you Kirsten for passing my info along!

    I'm sorry to hear you're going through such a struggle. From what it sounds like in your post, if I may say, is that probably the reason it's so difficult to forgive and forget is because the transgressions are continual - there's an unresolved conflict going on. It's pretty hard to find forgiveness during an ongoing conflict. Forgive and forget usually applies to after the problem is resolved.

    It sounds like maybe you and your husband need to have a conversation about how you'll split up the household responsibilities in a way that feels fair to you both. I suspect if you work it out between the two of you, you won't be bothered by what his mom says because then it'll just be that clearly she doesn't know what she's talking about. However, in this situation, it sounds like your husband is expecting the laundry to get done so her complaint is touching a nerve.

    So maybe it would help to have an open conversation with each other where you both try to tell each other what you each feel you can contribute, what your limits are, what you would like help with, and how often, and kind of go from there. It doesn't have to be set in stone. Sometimes one partner is just busier than the other or needs more help in another way. That kind of thing ebbs and flows with time. But as long as you both are clear about your desires, your feelings and expectations, it becomes easier to navigate across the ebbs and flows. Marriage is about sharing burdens together and helping each other out, not martyring yourself for the other.

    I hope that is helpful. And I'm sending you wishes of strength so that you can find your way through this challenge. Best of luck!

  10. handing you something much stronger than water to wash it down :)

  11. You know, I really needed to read this tonight. My husband has been working my last nerve and after reading this I realized it's only because he's not doing things according to MY schedule of when things should be done. It drives me crazy and then resentment builds up.

    It's good to remember to give and take...that we're supposed to be a team who support one another, not keep track of who's doing more. We're meant to complement each other, not work against each other.

    But that's so easy to forget, isn't it?

  12. I'm honored that you borrowed my concept! :) I can totally relate to where you are with the whole forgiveness thing. It can be so hard. There are times I have to constantly choose to forgive & try to forget. I'm proud of you for hearing the song & seeing flaws in yourself ~ that's the first step to changing yourself. But it's so hard to swallow pride, eh?


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