I need to get out of my head. I am so self absorbed right now-worrying about what others think of me to the point of obsession. Also, and largely, beating myself up for a variety of shortcomings. I never feel like I am doing enough. I am not spiritual enough, not thin enough, not selling enough houses or writing enough blogs or investing enough time in my relationships with my kids, my spouse, my church. I can’t seem to stick to my diet for more than a week and feel like a failure. I can’t seem to say no to wine or desserts, especially if I am stressing about all the aforementioned areas. I just can’t seem to relax and enjoy myself. Like, literally enjoy “me”. The Me who I am today, not who wish I could be in the future or the Me from the past that I wish I still was. This lack of satisfaction with what God has given me, what I have in my hand today, is making me sick. It dawned on me that it is a sneaky form of greed. So, even though this will cause me to continue down this path of negative self-analysis, I want to explore the concept for a minute so I can get to the roots of what needs to be weeded out.
As a definition, Greed is defined as an insatiable desire for more. It is most commonly used with money, possessions or food, but can be applied to anything we desire in excess. Psychology Today says the results of wanting more and more “has an unpleasant effect on our inner emotional lives.” Another site points out that “greed eats up a person so that s/he is wasted away due to the heat of the bad traits it makes one develop such as selfishness, anger, jealousy and unhealthy competition. It sucks up every strand of happiness and results in death (www.researchgate.net). No matter where you find greed defined, it always indicates an intense and selfish desire for more.
So, this ravenous feeling swirling around in me to be more of what I am today, is not as innocent as what I have named it. It’s not just me having goals or dreams. Unfortunately, it’s more about, well, more. It’s about dissatisfaction and ingratitude for what God has provided for me today; about what he has done in me to make who I am today.
Greed causes me to write a book and the day it’s published, beat myself up mentally for not being on the best sellers list. It causes me to sell the most expensive house I have ever sold and the next week whine because I can’t seem to sell anything. And giving myself the benefit of the doubt about waiting a whole week before I start the whining is pretty generous! When I lose 5 pounds I am frustrated because I really want to lose 10.
These are the superficial examples. But it goes much deeper than the external successes/failures. I desire to be a trusting, faith-filled, positive, joyful, peace-giving, God-fearing woman. But instead of reflecting on any progress I have made in these areas, I mostly beat myself up for not being “more” of them.
I understand that it is good to be always growing and morphing, but not at the expense of our ability to acknowledge that who we are today is exactly where we are supposed to be today and we can be grateful to God for that.
There is a difference between growth and greed. That difference is gratitude. Gratitude for where we have been and who we are and what we have this day.
Can I tell you a secret? I feel sorry for God sometimes. If he were human like me, he would probably feel like He just can’t win. I ask, beg and plead for him to alleviate my emotional pain or remedy an issue that is preoccupying my mind and making me sick with worry. The waiting for it feels excruciatingly long. I convince myself that when and if he answers (read: clears up the situation and makes it go in my favor) I will be content.
Then, He answers in a way that solves the problem. I am grateful for about 2 seconds, if I acknowledge His part at all, and then immediately move on to the next problem that needs my attention. There is little, if any, pause for celebration and adoration and enjoying the gift of the solution. I simply find something new to fret about or implore him to address for me.
My greedy little heart wants more. More from Him. More from others. More from life. I never seem to have enough of all of it.
Like I said earlier, I have been dressing up my greed in different outfits that look more like ambition, confidence and fervor for reaching my goals or becoming a better “Christian”. But it’s time to call it what it is and confess and surrender it to God, the only one worthy of my thirst and longing for more and more and more.
“As the deer pants for water so may my soul pants for you, Oh Lord.” Psalm 42:1
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm. 63:1
“For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9