the whole package

open boxI’ve had some physical challenges lately, and as a result…some emotional challenges, and as a result… some relationship challenges.

It appears that I am entering a new stage of life… and I do not like it a whole lot.

I have always been a high energy and a high performance person. I have a good quantity of self confidence and intelligence, and ability to set my mind to something and make it happen. Or so I like to think.

In my deep inner being, I know I am not really in control of much of anything in my life. I just like to act like I am. Until…things begin to happen in my life that I – very obviously – cannot control. Today it is health related, but other times it can be people related, or work, or money, or any other issue.

And, I don’t like it.

When I cannot control something or someone like I want to, it exposes the “real” me… to myself and to others. It exposes my impatience, my critical spirit, my frustration, and my irritation levels that I would prefer to keep carefully guarded and hidden from the public eye.

I like to appear “all together”. I like to be optimistic and always with a desire to help out a friend… not moody, grumpy, tired, and pretty much disinterested in others’ problems like I feel these days.

I am sure this stage will pass eventually, and I will feel like “myself” again. However, it has been a good reminder that my true self is actually a mixture of many facets – positive and negative, good and bad, pretty and pretty ugly. Those who know me well already know that truth about me. Sometimes, others unexpectedly get a glimpse of my not-so-well-hidden self.

This life stage has also been a good reminder that my friends, co-workers, and family are also a mixed up mess of moods and attitudes and energy levels. I get them on good days and bad days. Ups and downs. Fun and not so fun. The whole package. The parts I love, the parts I tolerate, and the parts I would rather not experience.

Just as they do with me. We are a whole package. We have much to offer some days. We have a lot of needs on other days. We are made to live in community in a rhythm of giving and recieving. May God help me to embrace the whole package and give others the same acceptance and grace and love that I have been receiving these days.

What do you do when you do not feel like your best you? How do you respond to others on their difficult days/weeks/months/years?