Never Enough

The following is some recent correspondence between myself and a high school friend.  I share it because the “I’m not doing enough”/ “I can’t get on top of everything that needs to be done” frustration she expresses seems to be a predominant issue among many women I have heart-to-hearts with.

Dear Cherie,

I am interested in your book. I know I will love it. There are many times I feel depressed. Not seriously like I need medication, but just feeling like I just can’t get anything done no matter how hard I try and I also feel like I am not reaching my full potential and that I should be doing much more than I am. I know I shouldn’t but I get jealous of many women including you that do so much in your life. I basically stay at home trying to get chores done, but my house never seems clean, and taking care of my family and my church calling which I know is important, but I just feel I should and could be doing so much more with my life. Anyways, didn’t mean to sulk and complain. It’s just been bugging me lately recently during 40 and wondering what I have been doing with my life.

Love,

“Jane”

My first thought upon reading this was, “Man, if she could only see the state of my kitchen right now….”

Dear Jane,

I hear ya…I really do. Please don’t think that I don’t struggle with the same things you do. I am living my passion, but I frequently feel that most of my highest priorities remain “unfinished.”  We can never DO enough, and I think that’s where BEING comes in. I am trying to learn how to master living in Grace — aligning myself with His mind and will for me, so that the Savior and I are completely on the same team. When I do have those seasons of being in alignment with Him, I don’t feel incomplete and frustrated over what’s not being “done.”  I just move through each moment in His light and feeling peace. Sometimes the dishes don’t get done, and sometimes my projects get put on hold, but that’s what I think He was trying to teach Martha. Dropping everything to learn at His feet (particularly what He speaks to our minds in our moments) is what separated Mary from Martha. When we are clear with hearing His voice and walking in His light, He leads us to the baby steps of creating and refining our life missions. I have always loved your spirit. I know that the Lord needs you and your light, and that He will help you understand why you are feeling this restlessness. No doubt it’s because there is something in store for you, or something He is trying to teach you and lead you to! Much love,

Cherie

This pervasive RESTLESSNESS to DO more…what is it, really?

Often I am asked, and have asked myself over the years – “How do I find my “mission”?  What was I born to DO?  A more fitting question might be, “What was I born to BE?”

It is in the BEING, not the DOING, that we discover who we are and what gifts we have to offer Humanity.

Many mothers want to put the cart before the horse and launch full guns blazing ahead to follow their heart’s desires BEFORE they have learned to love being in their own skin.  Before they learn their life is full and complete, that they are whole and loved…regardless of whether or not their “mission” – their “doings” – ever go forward.

Every woman’s mission is essentially the same.  To love.  First God, then Herself, then Others.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:36-39)  The Pharisees and Saduccees were so bent on what laws and commandments they should be keeping that they wanted to know which doings they weren’t doing enough of.   But Jesus’ answer wasn’t about doing at all.

Christ said Love was the GREATEST commandment.  The one on which we hang all the laws.

mary and martha

The end-all, BE-all.

Sobering Stats

sad girl

Statistics for teen females in the U.S.:

Adolescent girls are twice as likely as boys to develop depression (Mayo Clinic Foundation, 2006)

1 in 3 high school girls thinks about suicide at least once in a 2 week period (Best Friends Foundation, 2004)

81% of 10 year-old girls are afraid of becoming fat; 78% of 18 year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies (Body Wars: Making Peace With Women’s Bodies by M. Maine, 2000)

The majority of self-injurers are women (“Teens in Crisis: Cutting on the Rise,” D. Engelgau, Discovery Health, 2007)

Every 2 minutes a woman in America is sexually assaulted (Oprah episode, Aug 12, 2002)

On an average day in America: 1,000 unwed teen girls become mothers, 1,106 teen girls get abortions (Children’s Defense Fund, 2002)

I found more, but I’ll leave it at that.  Every girl FEELS the battle raging within and around her.  It’s a literal onslaught, and not just for teen girls.  The battle gets more psychological, more subtle, as a woman matures.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:12-17)       This “whole armour of God” has implications with the protection of some of the Sacred Stations of the body: loins, chest/heart (breastplate), feet, mind (helmet), hands/arms (sword).       “Having done all” (or essentially, what it comes down to)…is we must STAND.  As I wrote about in an earlier post, The word Station comes from the Latin word that means “to stand.”  Sacred Stations is about standing in holy places.  It all starts with a choice…Will I stand in Truth, no matter what?       How do we teach our daughters to stand (or even to want to stand when the world shouts so loudly)?  And how do we ourselves stand in holy places?  I am convinced it is through our thoughts.  The mind is the instrument of spiritual creation.       When we are present with our thoughts and CHOOSE to generate mental images and phrases that hold light, we are taking a stand…for truth, beauty, love and power.       What girl wouldn’t want to possess those traits?       Females only act out because they don’t know who they really are.  Those statistics referenced above were not just numbers, but precious, priceless feminine souls who have lost sight of their divine identities.  Teach a girl to hold form for a mind that is STILL and holds Truth, and she will be able to quench every fiery dart that gets hurled at her.

And as for Mom?   stars-mom-and-daughterI love this quote: “A mother who radiates self love and acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self esteem.” (Naomi Wolf)