So…I’ve been functioning in my new role for a week or so now, right? And there’ve only been a couple of meltdowns. Woohoo! But why would I have any meltdowns at all? Weeeeeelllll…if you read my previous blog post you'll see I mentioned that I am fully capable of managing my husband’s appointment schedule. Which is true, but it also brings me face to face with my two most monstrous handicaps, perfectionism and performance anxiety.
It’s not that I’m inept at my new occupation, (although I have to admit there’s a certain bumbling and fumbling, which my dear husband says is actually endearing and makes me more approachable---aaaawwww). No, it’s the idea that I have to be perfect in it and if I’m not perfect there will be rotten tomatoes thrown and the hook will be extended from backstage, circle my neck and yank me into oblivion. And the whole production will fall flat. That’s a lot of handicapping, let me tell you.
Some of my limitations are temperament-based and some are from childhood misconceptions about things that happened. Things not in my control but somehow I thought they were. Like the death of a sister among other things. Takes a lifetime to process through that loss apparently; and the repercussions, which as a three-year old, I wasn’t capable of understanding.
I admit it’s weird that scheduling appointments for people I don’t know on a computer CRM would be the key to opening up the dungeon and releasing the Waddif Monster to bite at my heels. The Yushudda Ogre follows and whacks me upside the head while its cousin Yushudenta whacks me on the other. Aaaaaaagh! What’s a girl to do with these handicapping trolls?
This girl remembers a previous battle several years ago with Waddif, Yushudda and Yushudenta. That battle involved an actual stage with this girl assigned a lead role as Auguste Deter in a performance for an Alzheimer’s’ research fundraiser.
Going on-stage wasn’t new as I’d participated for years in church and community theaters but this was my first pivotal lead. And at an institute of higher learning, an added dimension of intimidation.
Waddif scoffed, “You might get a migraine and forget all your lines.” Yushudda screeched, “Why didn’t you say no? With your temperament, you’re not suitable.” Yushudenta accused me of being a fool for thinking I was capable.
I wrestled with the conflict of God giving me the desire and skill as an actress but also giving me a temperament that preferred to be in the background. I remember driving down the street to rehearsal one evening and asking God what was up with this. A familiar verse popped into my head and flowed like a Super Power through my heart. “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”
It’s a Super Power that Paul also experienced. For both my God-given temperament and my God-allowed childhood, I’ve personalized what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message):
“I quit focusing on the handicap and begin appreciating the gift…
Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.
Now I take limitations (perfectionism, performance anxiety)
in stride, and with good cheer,
those limitations that cut me down…
I just let Christ take over!
And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
I realize, as I did for that performance of Augusta’s File, the most important thing necessary is for me to be present, not perfect. His strength really shows up when I’m at my weakest. Good-bye, Waddif, Yushudda and Yushudenta. Back to the dungeon with you.