Wednesday, 27 June 2012

You don't have to do to be ... please explain

I am reading about the idea that you don’t have to do to be in Emily P. Freeman’s book Grace for the Good Girl.  The book covers a lot of topics and I have not finished it yet but the idea that I don’t have to do to be is challenging my whole identity and I must say it is freaking me out a little bit.

From my earliest memories I have always felt it has been necessary to justify my existence.  I don’t think this is due to any one thing or experience, we just seem to live in a world that wants to know how many words we can spell, how many smiley faces we have on our rewards chart, how many friends we have, whether we have a boyfriend/girlfriend, how many degrees we have, how many friends we have on Facebook, how many committees we are on, how many times we are in the newspaper, how many children we have, how often our phone rings etc.

Being able to justify my existence is challenging for me  because I can’t really do anything well, I can’t run fast, I was never the smartest in my class, I  have never had loads of friends (always gone with quality over quantity), I don’t think I can dance or sing, I can’t really sew and I am not a great cook.  I could go on but I will end up getting depressed if I list everything I can’t do well.  So I got my approval by being busy, being involved in a lot of things all the time, giving people the impression I was a very capable, talented human being who has every right to be alive.

Now, it is being suggested that I don’t have to do to be.  If I don’t do who will I be?  My worth and identity does not come from what I do, I don’t have to spend any more time trying to prove that I deserve to be here, I don’t have to justify how I spend my time or what I prioritise as important. My head is literally aching, a lifetime of what I thought was important is being challenged and I am confused.

The other side of the coin is I should not judge other people based on what they do, I should not label them or assess them based on their qualifications, achievements, commitments, dress sense or usefulness (as determined by me).  Again, my whole life has been spent categorising people based on these, and many other, criteria.  Now, if I truly embrace the idea that you don’t have to do to be I have no idea how I will make sense of the world or the people in it.

Anyway, I must keep reading and hopefully this concept will start to make more sense.  I’m not usually a fan of the whole self-help genre but this idea really excites me, and scares me at the same time.  It sounds great in theory, I just don’t know how it will work in real-life. 

What do you think?  Does this idea that you don’t have to do to be mess with your mind a little bit?

1 comment:

  1. While I know this to be true in my head, I can relate to where you are coming from, because I don't think I do any one thing particularly well either, except pretend. I KNOW God accepts me as I am, but I have this nagging voice in my head (my mother???) that I have to DO stuff to be accepted. And as I read your post, I have a horrible nagging feeling that I am projecting that onto my own children..... Would love to borrow the book when you finish please!