I have a dear friend who is like a sister to me. We’re two peas in a pod. It’s really kind of creepy how alike we are. We think and act so much alike. I love this girl. I love that we can both be going through lots of crap in our lives, and we can get together and talk about it and laugh like crazy about it all! Who does that?! But I am thankful that I have this friend that I can be real with and who shares my enjoyment of laughing through pain. I believe everyone needs a friend like this. I hope that everyone has someone like this. I pray that my kids will find at least one friend like this. Someone who they know that no matter what they do, that friend is going to be there and love them. This is that kind of friend for me. She’s really the best. I just hope I’m kind of that kind of friend for her. I think that she’s done way for me and been there for me way more than I’ve probably been there for her. But anyway, on with the story.
Recently, this friend and I spent a few hours in her car after going to an event together sharing stories, joys, pains, laughter, etc. In the midst of this talk, I confessed to her that I’ve always struggled with feeling like I was expected to be the best. At everything! How unrealistic! What was I thinking?? You’d think I was smarter than that (or maybe not!), but I really believed it. I’m not sure where this came from, but I do know I have really always felt like I had to be the best. And I worked as hard as I could to prove to everyone that I was really great. This friend has known me since birth and she immediately was like “yep! I can see that!” and went on to bring up examples from our childhood. And that was a little embarrassing. But really freeing to share all this with a friend. For her to realize this about me but still think that I was OK as a person. And to call me out on all the times just in that conversation itself where I sort of still said ways that I feel like I have to be the best. Whew!! What a good friend!
Over the last five years or so, life has thrown me lots of curveballs. Lots of big, fat, hairy curveballs! Life hasn’t been perfect like I expected it to be. I haven’t been perfect like I thought I should be. The people in my life have not been perfect like I expected them to be. I’ve realized that in a lot of ways, I have always had warped expectations of myself and the people I love.
Over the last year, I’ve decided that there are a few ways that I want to try to be the best…that I can be. Here they are:
I want to do my best to make other people feel important
I want to do my best to respect others…especially my loved ones
I want to do my best to show love to everyone. The kind of love that Christ shows me everyday.
I don’t really care if I’m the best at anything anymore. Sure, I want to do well. But really, the main thing I want is for people to want to be around me and be drawn to me because of the way that I make them feel about themselves. By making them feel important, respected and loved. Because after all, this is the way Christ treats us. Even when we’re big screw-ups. And darn it, shouldn’t I/we be trying to do that too?!
I struggle everyday with how to do all this. Shoot, I struggle with it over and over all day long. It’s a journey! And I’m actually thankful for all of the hard things along the way that have brought me to this point.
My counseling theory that I’ve chosen has a LOT to do with birth order…I suspect being the first born has been part of what has driven you to want to be the best. First born children put high expectations on themselves and others. I imagine its stressful on you, but it’s also apart of what does make you so good at a lot of things! 🙂