One of the great learnings of 2013 seemed to be the power of accepting and even celebrating my humanity. Claiming I can’t have or do it all; failing is part of flying; re-thinking how I see success. You get the idea. This all seemed well and good until about three weeks ago when I started to experience physical pain. Pain is not new to me. It’s not unusual. What is new and unusual is admitting that I have it. Admitting that perhaps the best way to deal with pain is not to pop an extra ibuprofen, push through it, and pull myself up by my boot straps. Perhaps they way to deal with pain is actually to do less than more.
Do less than more? This idea does not sit well with me at all. What will people think? What will God think? What will I think?
Somewhere along the line I have learned that work=worth. I am what I produce during the day. In this case, no pain, no gain. The list could go on and on. It probably would if it were not for my husband who has lovingly held a mirror up to me.
Rather than getting caught in a sparring match with my old friend, lack of self-worth, the reflection I saw in the mirror was my workaholic self. A workaholic who not only used work to find worth but who also used work to stay in denial. That’s right. One of my favorite places to reside. Denial. What I saw in the mirror was that when I am busy pushing through the pain and fighting my demon, I am not attending to the reality. I am not doing things like going to the doctor, sharing the challenge of questionable test results with people, telling my boss about the reality of my pain, allowing people to pick up my shifts. In short, reality seems to be the gateway into humanity and community. Two places a workaholic in denial can’t reside. Today I admit that I am a workaholic…and it’s no longer working for me.