When Richard and I have a fight, I need to keep myself balanced between two thoughts: 1.) Thinking – “I’m better than you” vs. 2.) “I’m not good enough.” Going too far either way is dangerous for any relationship.
Thinking “I’m better than you.”
No matter what the issue, between the two of us, I will always be the “nicer one.” That’s my natural strength. Richard, having a stronger personality, would usually say things with less gentleness and patience than me. Gentleness is very important, right???? I’m “better” because I’m more patient and understanding!
This thought is dangerous because it makes me feel superior to my husband. My married mentors warn me about entertaining thoughts like “at least I’m not as bad as you.” Although it may be true in certain areas, its like a slow poison in my heart against my lifetime best friend.
Over time, I may become harder to correct. I’ll start to see his weaknesses more than his strengths. I may even start to forget why I admire Richard, and lose the kilig/spark in our relationship.
Thinking “I’m not good enough.”
This thought likes to pop up when I make mistakes. Even though I’m not, I’m tempted to feel that I’m always wrong — “lagi nalang akong mali” — and lowering my self-worth with my own bare hands.
This second extreme is equally dangerous — feeling worthless. God didn’t create anyone to be worthless! A book I read called this feeling “condemnation.” Mali ka na nga, ida-down mo pa lalo ang sarili mo. Choosing this thought leads me to bitterness and depression, and never to the solution I need to move forward.
This feeling can also be addicting because it encourages sympathy from others. “Awwww… Kawawa ka naman…No, you’re not that bad…”
Thinking “I’m not good enough” is so different from truthfully accepting my mistake exactly for what it is, yet being also fully aware that I’m still valueable as a whole person.
So how do I keep myself 100% balanced each and every time? I don’t, hahahhhahahha!! I wish I had a magic solution to tell all of you. But with each year I plan to get better and better at it!
At this point, I believe awareness of the emotional see-saw is 80% of the solution. As soon as I’m aware of tipping over to one side, I need to fight to pull myself back the other way. It also helps to have friends and mentors around me to check if I’m going to an unhealthy extreme or not.
Balancing acts are difficult! But it can be done together with prayer and loved ones! No giving up!
, December 22, 2017