Monday, June 27, 2011

Held Back By Fear

“What in the world makes you think that you’re even remotely qualified to help encourage and educate other parents? Have you noticed how much you screw up on a regular basis? Have you noticed how often you end up doing the very things you said you wouldn’t, or not doing the very things you know you should? Who in their right mind would ever listen to you? Are you really so conceited as to think that you should be trying to help anyone else?”

That is what is being whispered– sometimes shouted– in the back of my mind. I can’t help but wonder what gives me the right to think that I’m qualified to help equip anyone to be the best parent they can be. Sometimes I get angry. I yell. I slam doors. I say unkind or sarcastic things. I have even, much to my dismay, gotten frustrated enough to smack my 2 year old’s leg– yet physical punishment is something I am very much against. I have messed things up so many times during this parenting journey, sometimes in ways I am ashamed to recall.

I fear that as soon as I start trying to provide encouragement and information, people will call me a phony. They’ll see right through me. They’ll see that I’m not perfect, that I don’t get this stuff right all the time, that I’m just as messed up as anyone else.

But then I wonder if my imperfections and weaknesses may actually be necessary. Is it better to offer encouragement and information from a place of humility and recognition of one’s own struggles, or from a place of pride and a carefully manufactured appearance of perfection? Do people feel more encouraged by someone who recognizes her own faults, or by someone who puts on a front of having it all figured out? I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I’ve always been much more encouraged by people who seem to be as human as I am.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that I should never try to work on my own struggles as a parent. Absolutely, I should. But I should also be willing to admit that I have them, and I should never fool myself into thinking that I am better than anyone else. I know I’m not.

But still, this is one of my fears. What fears hold you back from pursuing your dreams?

1 comment:

  1. You are normal and people can relate better to that than perfection.