Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fear, Failure, and the Feminine

'Perfect loves casts out all fear' 1 John 4:18 but I struggle to live in that Truth. Fear seems to control me now even as it did when I was younger. My latest revelation that I'm still a woos has been my attempt to get in shape. I do not exercise. I do not want to wear sweats, or to sweat. I want to sit for tea not glug down a water bottle. I like fabulously high heels and despise sneakers. I don't always connect being inshape with being feminine.
Seven kids later, with my Mum facing Osteoporosis, droopy parts and a bad knee, I have no choice. My husbands Valentine's gift was a Family membership to the YMCA. The idea was he could exercise, enjoy the steam for his bad sinuses and I could learn how to get in shape.
He is loving it, especially finding he can lift more than in High School.
I come home feeling horrible. Its not the stiff muscles. Not the sweat. Not the ugly sweats or sneakers. Its the fear.
Fear of looking stupid,(yes I know I'm in my 40's and not in High School anymore) Fear my clumsiness will get me sore, or make the knee worse, or I'll sprain my foot again--long story.
Fear that the hour out of the house will leave me 2 hours behind. That most of all.
You see last night I couldn't get out till almost seven but my husband asked if I'd be home for tucking. He did not mean, "Be home for tucking or they'll be miserable because you weren't here, so I'll be miserable and needy when you get home and tomorrow they'll be clingy and unhelpful" but I was afraid that was exactly what would happen so I started to rush.
Of course there was no parking close the door and its not the best neighborhood. And they had a sign that there was no hot water today. I can't get through the turnstyle fast enough after putting my card in. My chart was lost so I had to try and remember how to set the machines and start a new chart. It was crowded. I decided not to do a cool down bike ride since the warm up just about killed me only to find I couldn't remember the lock combination. 10 minutes later I stumbled home to find my self feeling like PMS had hit again, my son had used up all our hot water and silly me had given up alcohol for Lent!
Then my husband learned how fun I am when I feel rushed, clumsy and stupid; when I feel fearful. Not Very Fun At All.
So this will not be a lesson in muscle development and cardio strengthening for me. No this will be about conquering my fears. Somehow I must love myself enough to go even when its hard for everyone else. I must love my family and esp. DH enough to come home happy I got out, proud that I tried. I must love this life I was graced with and the God who calls me his Beloved Daughter to stay healthy and strong and happy even if that's work.
Mum says, "Seek out Joy! Its better than happy and it defeats sad" Maybe that's what I need to focus on for now. Joy.

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