Cheerful "BAM"blings

Of What's-Her-Face

Archive for January, 2016

My Darling Guilt-Complex

I don’t think I’ve ever had anxiety or depression. My pity-parties seem much more just “flesh”-y than actual medical conditions. My inner insecurities don’t seem debilitating enough to be able to claim that I have anything wrong with my brain that is causing it to happen. I don’t say that to take lightly the mental disorders that I know people around me struggle with, but rather to confess that I KNOW I don’t have a right to claim these disorders as my own.

BUT…. I have become more aware of the amount of guilt that is deeply imbedded into my thoughts, emotions and motives. Every day. All the time. It’s not as serious as when I hear people describe their anxiety attacks or their bouts of irrational, depressive thoughts that slam them in the face; but it’s definitely something that is real and that I feel immersed in. And since writing is a good, therapeutic way to process my life, I’m going to talk about it! Here are several times I know that guilt likes to take over and make my life a little more complicated.

When People Give Me Compliments Or Attention
Last month I got a lot of attention for lots of random little things; starring in a Christmas program, giving a nice gift to a friend at church, a silly story I wrote at work, etc. And whenever I either get a lot of compliments or a lot of positive attention, suddenly my Ego and Guilt-Complex decide to have it out big time.

My Ego wants to take credit for everything and can get pretty self-righteous. I was such a great person, I’m so talented, etc. So I start to work against that mindset, knowing that I don’t ever want to turn genuine, encouraging compliments into a way of glorifying myself. There is a way to take the kind words of others in a healthy, constructive way and be encouraged in who I am.

But then, to combat my self-righteousness, Darling Guilt-Complex takes over and starts making me feel bad for doing anything in the spotlight that puts me in a position to get attention. It starts accusing me of showing off, saying that the words people say are just them being nice, that I have no right to feel proud of what I did, that I responded the wrong way when they complimented me, that I’m not humble enough.

I admit that I struggle with self-righteousness, but I know that there’s a balance between feeling too proud and not being able to ENJOY the encouragement I’m given because I’m too busy feeling bad that I received it. Now if I could just find that balance…

When I Plan or Anticipate Events
Last year, I helped plan 2 different surprise parties, and I scheduled and organized several different traveling outings to towns in my area. My family and I also took road trips out to New England and American Idol together, and I traveled to 2 different weddings.

When it comes to anything that involves anticipation, guilt is sure to sneak up on me and take a part in the final evaluation of how said event went. See, I’ve started noticing that every time I’m really looking forward to a trip, an event, a party… that as soon as it’s over, I say to myself “that was fun!”, but it’s intermingled with all the anxious over-analyzation of everything I said, did, didn’t do, should’ve done.

Darling Guilt-Complex likes to tell me that I shouldn’t have gotten stressed that one time because I ruined it for those around me. I should’ve made sure everyone had more fun. I should’ve talked to that person more. I should not have hyped it up as much as I did because people probably expected more out of it. Remember that one social interaction where I was really awkward? It probably ruined everybody’s day. they probably all hated coming and wished they’d stayed home instead. I could’ve done everything better.

Actually, being aware of the fact that my guilt is so present in my mind during these situations has helped me to prepare for events because I know it’s coming. I had fun planning Elizabeth’s surprise party in December, and I think it was a success… but I had to remind myself, beforehand, that I was not going to feel perfect after it was done and to just ignore the negative emotions. Sure, some things could’ve been smoother, but people had fun and got to hang out… so stupid accusations, you don’t matter!

During Every Social Time… Ever
Ok, maybe this is an introvert thing, or maybe this is an insecurity thing. I don’t really know. All I know is, I just went through an entire year where it honestly felt like EVERY human interaction I had was horrible. Awkward. Incompetent. Lame.

Seriously, do you ever go through those phases where you just feel completely off your social game? It didn’t matter how short or how long the conversation was… if I spoke to someone, I’d done it wrong. At least that’s how it felt.

For minutes, hours, or even days after each interaction, Darling GC would come with the attack: I didn’t respond fast enough to that person’s question. I stuttered a lot, which made me look stupid. It was very rude of me to interrupt like that. I should’ve smiled more because my face probably looked bored. That comment was probably offensive. I shouldn’t have made that joke. My sarcasm was too mean. I should’ve done more to carry my part of the conversation.

I’m pretty sure everybody has struggled with obsessing over past interactions and second-guessing themselves. But sometimes one can be a little bit too aware of what they say and do. At least the intensity of this onslaught has slowed to a gentle trickling of guilt rather than a bursting dam every time I open my mouth.

When I’m Working
I know I’m a good worker and that I’m fairly competent. I try to be responsible, respectful and reliable at work. I try to be aware of my mistakes that I’m likely to make, such as procrastinating on questions I need to ask my supervisors, or going so fast that I lose accuracy.

But sometimes I get really paranoid that everything I’m doing is wrong. I used to work with the mail, and after I was hired, anytime I overheard anybody mention “mail” or “scanning” or “sorting” or anything that had to do with my previous job, I had an instant moment of fear and panic, because I was sure they were talking about how I had messed it up somehow. Now I’m being trained on new tasks, which gives me a chance to learn… and new chances to mess up, says my Guilt.

I didn’t train the girls right. I did things without double-checking and now it’s twice as much work for everybody. I’m not fast enough. I’m going so fast I can’t possibly be getting everything right. I’m not being careful enough. I’m over-thinking. Everyone is fixing my mistakes behind my back.

Sometimes I even know that I’m doing a pretty good job and working straight through without getting distracted, and I still feel like everyone’s going to look at me and think that I’m being lazy. So I just do the best that I can, and if I can’t think of something constructive to tell myself that I should have done better, I do what I can to ignore my Guilt and tell it that it’s just being biased.

When I Do Nice Things For People
“One question haunts and hurts; too much, too much to mention. Was I really seeking good or just seeking attention? Is that all good deeds are when looked at with an ice cold eye?”

Now just to clear it up, “No Good Deed” does not depict my actual philosophy about life and good works. But the question Elphaba asks herself, about her inner motivations and trying to understand the trouble she’s been facing, is a similar one I’ve asked.

I really like doing nice things for people, and seeing them happy, and knowing that I can make a difference. I have a fairly generous heart, and if a creative idea pops into my head of encouraging someone or acknowledging someone or giving a physical gift to someone, I really, really like when it works out and it actually blesses the person.

But I’m constantly second-guessing my motives when it comes to things like that. Darling Guilt-Complex, who likes to make everything all about It, does its best to warp my thoughts about myself even when I feel like I’m at my best. I’m just seeking attention. I’m over-compensating for something I feel guilty about. I don’t care about that person, I’m just trying to look good. I’m trying to win brownie points with God and we all know that that doesn’t work. I just want people to like me. It’s all fake and selfish underneath.

Ultimately, I’ve come to the conclusion that everything we do will have a mix of selfish motivation in it, simply because of the fact that we live in the flesh. But that doesn’t make it any less encouraging to others or pleasing to God. My flesh being gratified doesn’t discount the value of doing something that was good or kind.

So now that you’ve had a little glimpse into my mind, I will assure everyone that I do know that most of what my guilt tells me is false. Sometimes my guilt points to something important or true about myself and I need to take a harder look, but most of the time it simply builds up anxiety and negative thoughts and skewered perceptions. And I am aware of that. Yes, I struggle a lot with self-identity and insecurity, but I also have a head knowledge of truths that contradict what Darling Guilt-Complex tells me. Sometimes it takes a while to believe the truth and not the lies, since the lies REALLY like to yell the same thing over and over again. But hey……….. uh, life is good, and God’s still on the throne! *cheesy grin* (Praise Him!)

(That was the only blog ending I could think of.)

My First 2016 Blog! (And Focuses For the Year)

So around this time of year you get a lot of people who say, “I don’t really do resolutions”. And I don’t know if I do them in the traditional sense; I don’t often make specific goals of exercising per week or certain pounds to lose; I don’t keep track of how many books I read or movies I watch or have fixed skills I’m going to learn or habits I’m going to stop.

But I’ve always liked the idea of looking at the year that’s just passed, and starting January 1st with a vision of things I want to focus on in the coming year. I feel like I’m starting with a clean slate; it’s like going to bed and sleeping in order to recharge for a busy day tomorrow.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 2016 is my blank notebook, full of opportunity and yet beautiful before I even write in it. Who knows what kinds of adventures await me? So, in preparation for this year, here are my focuses for 2016:


All throughout 2015, I felt emotionally distant from God. I had disconnection in my worship time, got defeated reading Scripture because it felt pointless, and my prayer time seemed like a rant without any resolution. And since the few times I set aside to try and get some spiritual rejuvenation in my life seemed to fall flat, I kind of pushed it to the back burner. Oh, I didn’t mean to, but the busyness of life just crept up on me and before I knew it, I had gone weeks without really talking to God about anything or pursuing Him in everyday life. And the weeks turned to more weeks, and months, and… you get the idea.

I know that my salvation doesn’t depend on my consistency of having a quiet time, and I know that I’m not supposed to be run by emotion. Sometimes I do all the right things and I still don’t “feel” God. But there is goodness and power in continuing to do the right things even when it feels like it’s going no where, because it’s still doing something. I just may not be able to see it.

I don’t really have a structure to “how many Bible verses I’m going to read per day” or “how long I’m going to spend in prayer each week”… but I do know that I want to refocus my heart on Jesus once again. Whether the emotions follow or not, I will do my part to seek God wholeheartedly and draw close to Him this year.


Even though I’ve had a job all year that I’m extremely grateful to have, it’s been really hard for me the past 6-months to accept where things are in my life. All I’ve ever really desired has been to get married, have kids and raise a family as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve never wanted a career, or to go to college, or to work all the time. Of course, I knew if I wanted to live on my own (which I’ve always wanted to do) I’d have to support myself. And now I have this great job where I can DO that.

I don’t know if this discontentment stems from laziness at not wanting to work, or if it’s from waiting on a dream that hasn’t happened yet… but this year, I’m determined to fight it.

Years ago, before my first relationship, I told God I wanted to figure out how to be content being single before I got involved with someone. And I was content, and then I dated someone, and now that it’s over I find myself having to go through the same hoops again. I’m not feeling committed to this season of my life… and that’s something I want to change, because why would God bring me into the next season if I can’t find my place in this one?

So one of my focuses this year is to learn to be content where I am: as a single, working, almost-26-year-old who is hopefully going to be moved out by the end of the year. I want to focus on my friends… on my blogging… on my ministry… on working hard and being excellent at my job… in fighting through the boring monotony of every day. I don’t have to worry about anybody else. Just me and God and what He wants me to do. I want to embrace my singledom so that, when the next guy come along, I have the wisdom to know whether it’s right or wrong instead of jumping into it due to desperation.


So I want to move out with my sister and be on my own, but that requires money and being semi-stable. So I’ve been working this year on saving up money. And I think I did a pretty good job, but suddenly I’m going to be turning 26 this year and I need to get my own insurance, and it feels like everything in my savings disappears before my next paycheck, and rent and food and utilities… I’m slightly overwhelmed with what living on my own and being responsible is going to entail.

So I want to focus on being more financially responsible this year. This does not mean that I can’t have fun and go on trips and buy things for people and splurge every once in a while… but it does mean that I need to work on my self-control for silly things that I don’t need. I’m going to try to cut out fast food for the first two months and really work on saving, and keeping the money that I’m saving. I need to be able to say no to buying things on impulse that are unnecessary. I need to be able to make a budget for myself and stick to it. Whatever it takes to be a good steward of my money, I want to learn to be that. I know I’m going to fail a lot, but my hope is that I’m also going to learn more restraint and discipline and budgeting and hopefully be better at all this by the end of the year. Because great plans of living on my own… come with great responsibility. Or something like that.

So those are basically my main focuses. Of course I want to blog more and read more and give more and eat more healthily and exercise more and be more grateful and dance in the rain and live laugh love and all that mumbo jumbo… but if I focus on everything, then I’m really focusing on nothing! (Was that deep? That was deep! And now it’s in bold because it’s so deep!) So good luck with all your resolutions and goals and focuses this 2016! Happy New Year!