Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Comfortable in my skin

Every room has its ceiling, every bucket its limit and every scale its tipping point.

A lot of getting through life contentedly is about knowing where yours is, and being 'ok' with it. It's about being able to say happily 'I am not the answer to the world's problems, I am not going to set the world a blaze, but that's ok.'

I know that when I die, which I will do someday (shock horror) my death won't result in books being written, stories being sold to the press, calenders being printed or charities being started in my name. I am average. Not to my mum (obviously) and perhaps to my wife and son but to most people in the world upon whose lives my life will never bear much resemblance or significance I am an average human being, an individual life on a planet with billions of lives. For the most part I am a consumer rather than a producer, an idea swallower rather than an idea former.

My big revelation that came recently is this - I have a capacity and quite frankly it isn't what I had hoped it'd be, I'm not that impressive. My biggest limiting factor in my own story of success is in fact myself and, to that statement, and in fact to all of the above i can say quite honestly 'I'm fine with it, I'm happy with who God made me to be.' Now, that's a weight off my mind.

Recently I've been getting ill - which is annoying. My body keeps crashing, like a computer. It's as though everything freezes, the fan overheats and I go into meltdown. I end up being unable to do anything except lie in bed frustrated, hot sweating yet shivering as my body reboots itself. The strange thing is, I haven't caught a bug and I don't think im working too hard. I mean I know I'm not working as hard as some of my friends, my life isn't that full of stress that I cant switch off for lack of trying. I'm not a workaholic, I love being a husband, dad and amateur (some might say very amateur) squash player too much to be a workaholic. I'm healthy, i'm young (still in my twenties, just!), and I'm not financially hard up. So why the crashes? Where i've arrived at is this: my capacity isnt what i thought it was, I'm a shallow bucket that gets filled up quickly. This camel's back can't carry too many straws.

Its taken quite a lot of wrestling to write that last statement. You see, I want to be Iron Man I want to be indespensible, irreplaceable, the guy that everyone looks to, learns from and aspires to be like. What I've learnt is that although I may want to be that guy - I'm not that guy, and in fact the desire to be 'that guy' isn't a God-given desire or even a God honouring desire - it's a desire for self worship, self esteem or known by another word 'pride'. So I've seen how low my ceiling is these past couple of days and months with the recurring crashes, and it's not impressive; it's no cathedral let me say that much. But do you know what - I'm fine with it. In fact I'm happy about it. I won't now swing the other way and say that I therefore am nothing and incapable of anything, no self-pity is as delusional as self-agrandisement.'

I am what I am by the grace and goodness of God. I'm fine with being me, fine with having a lower limit than others - my worth isn't measured by achievements gained, points scored, salary earned. My worth is measured by the price someone would pay to rescue me, to love me, to know me and I know that that price was very high indeed.

I can breathe deeply, feel free and not have to meet everyones expectations of me, not have to answer everyones beckon call. I'm happy saying 'no' because I know I have limits and I'm happy staying within them.

I'm comfortable in my skin.

2 comments:

Blog Administrator, Karen L. Brahs said...

Every once in a while my traffic counter hits send me flying through the ethernet to discover blogs like your own. Just wanted to let you know that I rarely will sit as long as I did and read others' musings. I thoroughly enjoyed yours and the poignant and thoughtful style of your pen, your wit, and your ability to give glory where glory is due. I'm thinking I will be a frequent visitor.

Ben Holbrook said...

Jez - i enjoyed the honesty in this piece. I think lots of 'us' can relate to it, and i think you right its pretty healthy to accept and furthermore be happy with in our own skin.

I think for me being a dad has taught me most about 'die ing to myself'. I have all these dreams and things i would like to do - which are to be honest inherently selfish. And i'm realising that the most important thing is to do the every day things like reading to the kids, seizing the day, changing nappies with the right attitude.

Also i like to remind myself of this from rohr:
The five truths of manhood

1. You are going to die.
2. Life is hard.
3. You are not that important.
4. Your life is not about you.
5. You are not in control of the outcome