For the past few weeks, I’ve been in a group at church where we’re studying the book “Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?” by Dr. Robert Townsend. At the beginning of the course there was only one person who strongly came to mind as ‘my button-pusher”. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with that person and with what I learned in the book, things took a healthy turn in our relationship. (as a side note, it’s not ONLY what I’ve gained from the book, but also putting some other healthier Boundaries in place in my own world as well connecting with Safe People). After that I was feeling like the world was fine and well. Then this weekend happened.
I said ‘yes’ to a lot of requests this week and have found myself with a PACKED schedule — something I have been trying to avoid. There are certain things that I allow to time and time again go past my defenses. I said yes to a few requests that I really should have said no to – last minute, unorganized situations that I have some kind of weakness for. Part of me feels good about being able to work well under certain kinds of pressure or without a clear plan in place. So I’m at times drawn into the potential chaos of others because I think they rely on the order that I help to create. This unfortunately is a thankless job and even perpetuates the status-quo of chaos. So at the end of the day that I just helped to save – I’m left worn-out, with my own affairs now in tumult, and asking why I keep doing these things to myself. The affairs of this weekend in many ways were no different except for this: I finally got upset about it.
I’ve spent years of my life avoiding negative emotions and making excuses for other’s actions that affect me. The road leading up to this weekend should have signaled to me ahead of time to pull-back… but I faithfully dove in only to end up sitting here with a headache writing this post. My weakness has been that I want to be considered faithful, that I want to be valuable for what I do, and that I don’t want to be seen negatively by others for saying no, or not ‘working my magic’. While I didn’t resit the urgency of my involvement in these particular situations, I did finally get upset about how it neagively affected the things in my world that were already in place decently and in order. I finally let my self be aware of how frustrated I’ve been over a number of years for a variety of reasons. I even went to one person to talk about how I feel — without waiting until I wasn’t angry about it any more. That doesn’t mean I blew up or anything, but I didn’t ignore how I felt either — and for me that’s progress.
Now there’s the diffuclt task of having to do things that will promote change in these relationships (personally and professionally). I guess the big thing for me is not to give up and to learn through this process. Overall my relationships in generally are becoming much healthier and I’m enjoying more of the things I do.