Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Self(ish) Sufficiency

Self- Sufficiency. 

It's the ultimate goal for most of us. In fact, the world commends someone who is self-sufficient; this is a person that doesn't need to rely on anyone else to do what he has to get done- he does it all on his own.

I was taught from a young age to be self-sufficient. But my self-sufficiency was based all on me- not others. Doing it on my own meant that I was not only competent (which gave my confidence a boost), but the job would be done right.

Asking for help was a no-no. 

Sufficient means adequate or enough. Self-sufficient means I'm enough. I'm adequate. All I need is me to do what I need to do. But many, many times I find myself overwhelmed by life and drowning in chaos! 

Am I enough? Nope. not by a longshot. Anyone would consider a man a fool if he was drowning and didn't ask for help...right? So why do I pride myself on getting out of the chaos on my own? 

It's definitely selfish-sufficiency. 

I need friends. I need family. And most important, I need God. Only God can give me the strength to call out for help, and provide that help when I ask for it!

When I'm down, I talk to my cheerleaders. And they do the same with me. I am supported, and I in turn support others. I'm spiritually fed, and I spiritually feed others. And everyone is stronger for it.

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't ask for help. Sometimes I feel like I'm whining- and to be honest, sometimes I am. But I'm blessed enough to have friends willing to tell me when I'm getting to that point, and they in turn appreciate that I don't pull punches either. 

Truth can sting, but it's better to rid yourself of those splinters of trouble before they fester and infect your entire being.

As for my gentler, less blunt friends, they are my comforters when I feel like the world is full of thorns. God has blessed me with an entire garden of different blooms to go to when I need help.

But I have to be willing to walk into the garden!

On occasion I still suffer from selfish-efficiency. But God reminds me that I wasn't meant to do everything on my own. And sometimes He has me remind others as well!

It's good to find more than one friend to tell your troubles to and share your concerns and sorrows. I'm lucky enough- blessed enough- to have a small group I can confide in for the harder issues. Some are sounding boards for ideas (in fact, I might have to stop telling her ideas because we are both creatives and we give each other even more ideas! :) ), and some are great for those ups and downs when I enter a new stage of life.

One thing I've learned was to give as well as receive. That was the hardest lesson!

I had to remember to listen as well as speak. To learn as well as teach. To follow as well as lead. And for this very stubborn, hard-headed woman, God had His hands full!

He still does.

Don't be afraid to find your own blossoms in your garden of friends. You might even be surprised when you find them! And don't forget to also talk to your Best Friend Ever...God!


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