if you are like me sometimes life swirls around in a way that can be overwhelming. this morning, i was reflecting on why i do the things i do. i have found this question very beneficial when i want to check my heart and it’s motivations.
i tend to be a bit OCD sometimes. i like things planned out, organized, structured. i often say that i have perfectionist tendencies. to me, that means that i like things a certain way…perfect and if i can’t achieve that, i have a strong desire to not even try. i had to relearn how i do things and aim for excellence. in striving for excellence i can give myself a break and do the best i can do and accept that perfection does not always have to be the end product. this isn’t always easy because i live in such an opinionated world.
let’s take housework for an example. i have been told that the state of a household speaks volumes about the woman in charge of it. i like my surroundings to be organized and ordered. a place for everything and everything in it’s place. i want to be a good steward of the things i have in my possession. i have had times that this drove me to doing crazy things like cleaning under my washer and dryer or refrigerator before guests arrived. my husband would tell me that no one was ever going to get down and look under them. i knew it was there and it drove me crazy! why? i didn’t want anyone to get the message that i couldn’t handle my life. truth is, sometimes, i can’t. getting my heart to accept that truth helped me to relax, make a workable plan (clean under them on a regular basis, timed with a schedule i could keep….that’s called an achievable goal) and understand that the motivation that drove me crazy was actually not healthy for my heart and soul. it was freeing to let myself be ok with the fact that some where, at sometime, someone would see that i was not perfect. i might be judged rightly or wrongly. i might even be misunderstood. it would not kill me. the truth is i don’t actually enjoy housework. i love the end product. i feel very satisfied when i can stand back, sigh, smile and think, “my world as it should be”. i like that feeling of accomplishment. so, why do i do it…this task i don’t even enjoy. i have several reasons. one, i just shared. sometimes i do it out of obligation. i can’t stand the mess one minute longer and since i seem to be the only one who sees the trash overflowing, the dishes stacked next to the sink or the empty toilet paper roll, i charge in. sometimes it’s because the perfectionist in me gets the upper hand and i’m driven again. i’ve even done it as a reward for meeting a challenged with myself to leave it for a time so that i could do something more important like play with my grandchildren. my goal motivation is my love for order and good stewardship.
i love the water. i could sit next to it for hours listening to it sing to me.
i love it’s color and i am fascinated by the creatures that call it home. one of my biggest desires is to see a whale in the waters near where i live. to have a visit from one of these massive and beautiful sea creatures in the environment i live in would excite my heart.
i love to sit in the sun, dig my toes in the sand and watch my two grandchildren bounce, run and play. however, as in love with the water as i am, i rarely go in. why do i do this when i love so much about the water? i am afraid. i had an experience once as an inexperienced swimmer where i feared that i was going to drown. i was twelve. it was terrifying. i took swimming lessons the next year. i’m not very good at it but i am sure that i could get myself to safety in most situations if necessary. i can trace most of my actions around the water back to that fear. it directs my reactions, my cautions and causes me to act differently than my heart desires for me. i have to challenge myself to face that fear because i am not always satisfied sitting on the shore. it’s not easy. there are times (when i’m as certain as i can be that i am safe) i get in with my heart afraid…and just try.
i’m not alone. we all carry in our hearts experiences, triumphs, failures, joys, pains…so many influences that cause us to do the things we do. i can love deeply. i can sympathize and empathize. sadly, i’ve judged wrongly or not forgiven. i can give unselfishly. at times, withdraw. no matter the situation i have found it important for me to understand why i do the things i do. i want to understand the motivations that direct me. for when i do, i have the opportunity to find deeper satisfaction in what i do or work to change the things that i wish i did differently.
this week, i plan to give you some insight from my heart on what motivates me. in the mean time, i invite you to “look inside your heart” and ask yourself, “why do I do the things that I do?”