• MichelleRyan

Lord, Make Me Like My Blog Post

Lately I have been thinking a lot about relationships - how am I doing in the relationships I have in my life?

Some truths about me:

Truth #1- I have very high expectations for myself and others.

Truth #2 - I am terrible at taking criticism.

These truths make relationships very hard.

Truth #1- High Expecations

I am often insecure about the kind of wife, friend, daughter and mother I am. I feel like I am constantly missing the mark for others. Did I respond to their text quick enough? Did I listen intently enough? Was the advice I gave solid, or should I not have given any advice at all? Am I patient enough? Am I engaged enough? Should I plan a coffee date? Do they want me to check in more, or am I being a pest? Should I pour in and ask the hard questions or give space?

At the same time, I know that I am guilty of holding very high expectations of others. Because I am so hard on myself, I feel like others should be equally invested. Are they not worried about the same things? If I am concerned, shouldn't they be, too? ...then I feel guilty for these thoughts and go back to realizing I am less than for this person.

It is not a healthy cycle of thought for a relationship.

Truth #2 - Criticism

One way out of the expectation game is open dialogue -- asking the hard questions (and HEARING the answers).

What do you need from me?

I need this from you.

Remove my thoughts and opinions, what would they say? What would I tell that person about how they make me feel - remove the internal dialogue and say it out loud. Because I am terrible at hearing anything less than you're doing it all perfectly (which is never), this productive dialogue is hard for me. Truth from others can make me react big because I am hurt. I let anger, hurt feelings and frustration come before humility.

Now, why do I tell you all of these things and how does it relate to my blog title, Lord, Make Me Like My Blog Post.

Well, when I write, I am a best version of myself.

I am not concerned with my first thoughts because I understand that I carefully refine and craft what I put down on paper. My defenses go down -- I am open to critique, perfectly willing to delete and start again.

I think we should all approach our relationships like we would writing. Our first draft thoughts, those harsh words that pop into our mind regarding our own self, the critical stance we may take on others, they are just that - a first draft. We should read them, consider them and improve. It does not make us a bad person, just like a bad first draft doesn't make you a bad writer.

Criticism should be considered the editing and revising process. It does not mean that we are terrible. It should not be considered reflective of our entire identity. There is no need to melt and feel like the whole world is caving in because you need to improve. Instead, it is an opportunity to better craft your masterpiece. .

I share this because I want to be able to apply how I approach my writing, thoughts that have been poured over, erased and created again anew, to my day-to-day life and my relationships with others. While the truths I shared with you remain the same, I want to share my goals.

Goal #1- I will replace my high expectations with humility for myself and grace for others.

Goal #2 - I will consider criticism my opportunity to be refined by the fire.

Prayer: Lord, let me approach my relationships like I would my writing. Help me to carefully consider my thoughts. Let my tongue me gracious. Help me to not approach relationships with doubt but belief. Let criticism fall on an open mind and humble ears. May I take everything to you as my ultimate editor -- the one for whom I write.

That is all for today my friends. I would love to know your truths and goals when it comes to the relationships in your life.

P.S. When I asked if I could read my blog post to Dalton to see if it all made sense, he said: "No, I am going to get in trouble for my reaction." See - I told you - not great at criticism over here - ha ha ha ha. There is room for improvement - even when taking criticism for my writing apparently.


by: Michelle Ryan

Courtesy of nap time and an early bedtime

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