I nervously posted an update announcing the lack of a blog post.
I have had a very eventful and exciting past few weeks, and when it came time last week to post my weekly smattering of thoughts, I didn’t have anything ready. As the time crept closer to Monday at noon, I considered how quickly I could come up with something to post just so that I would keep my perfect streak. Bombarded with other obligations and responsibilities, I knew that a post was just not going to happen.
Ever since I started this blog the week that I began graduate school, I have intended it to be reflective, purposeful, and a form of self-care. I wanted to post things that were meaningful and that I would be proud of. I originally placed no pressures on myself, and zero expectations of the result of my writings. I wanted to just try it out and see what happened. I deliberately came up with these non-parameters for my blog so that it would not just become one more thing to add to my plate, but rather something fun and freeing. And, oh what an experience it has been!
Although positive in many ways, I anticipated that my sometimes-perfectionistic attitude might cause an issue for me down the road. And I hit that last week. With a perfect track record of posting a blog every Monday at 12pm, the idea of missing a week felt like a failure. The “no-expectation” attitude slipped away when I began to get into a routine and figure out my writing style and structure. The pressures built back up, so that when I became unable to live up to my goal, I felt like I had really messed up.
But the pressure was unnecessary, and the expectations unfounded. I was the only one putting this pressure on myself.
Throughout our daily lives, it is important that we hold ourselves to high standards. This helps us recognize our own worth, dignity, and importance as human beings, and push us towards doing positive things. We become motivated to grow and reach worthwhile goals. These are all wonderful and important things, but this mindset can sometimes extend towards things where it becomes unhelpful. We begin to attribute these meanings of importance to things that really don’t deserve to hold such value.
We all probably hold some expectations for ourselves that are not really necessary. We may desire to achieve certain things, or complete something, or reach a goal, which can all be good, but when we begin to attach unfair meanings is when things become a problem.
For those things in life that trap us in a mindset of evaluative self-worth, let’s take a step back. Whatever this looks like in each of our individual lives, we can find a way to test this out. Afraid of seeming a failure, I skipped a blog post, and although a flurry of negative thoughts raced through my head, everything turned out fine. The world did not implode, a choir of singers did not show up at my doorstep chanting a song about failure, and I did not get kicked out of graduate school. None of the fatalistic possible results building up in my mind became reality. I simply moved on.
Succeeding or not has no bearing on our personal worth. Our value is defined solely by our existence as children of our beautiful Creator, and this value can never be taken away or defiled.
I desired to write a weekly blog post because it is something that has become very meaningful to me. Laying out my experiences and thoughts and an underlying message from them, and then sharing them with others has been extremely fruitful in my life. While I can strive to do my best and make the most out of this blogging endeavor, doing well or missing a week does not change how I feel about myself or my abilities as a person. The blog does not represent my worthiness, success, or goodness. Sometimes a blog is just a blog, and that’s very freeing.
In Joy, Monica
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.