I am getting what I asked for.
I am reading these books that are helping me improve msyelf...and I'm seeing how much of a mess I really am!
Ulgh. I'm recognizing patterns in my life...black spots in my character. It's is quite humbling to say that. I don't know why I feel like I have to appear perfect. I know I'm not perfect. I know others know I'm not perfect.
Yet I still feel this ridiculous, unrealistic pressure that I put on myself to appear perfect.
And as I read these books on my kindle (which is helping me read more books way more quickly than I ever would have before), I am seeing the cracks in myself...in my pride...in my character...in who I really am.
One of the things is my communication style...especially when it comes to Lee and I disagreeing on something.
I shut down. I don't want to talk about it. I'd rather not let the conversation go any further. Eventually I'll get over it. Eventually it will go away. I don't want to express how I feel.
I have no idea where this pattern has come from, but it has been a present part of our marriage for the past 8 1/2 years. Lee's tired of it...because he always wants to talk about whatever it is that is upsetting me. I am thankful that he cares about me and our marriage that much.
He refuses to let me shut down. He asks me over and over and over to communicate with him. Eventually I give in. It doesn't take as long as it used to. And if I try to hold it in, I blow up.
I've come to realize that this is a defense mechanism for me. And it's also a form of manipulation. I don't talk usually because I'm upset for not getting my way or things haven't gone like I think that they should.
I'm not going to lie, there is a huge chunk of me that wants to delete this whole page. To not show you this entry into my life. To keep my pride in tact.
But who am I fooling? Myself? God?
I want to change. I want to be different. It is selfish of me to stay the same. Christ has not called me to be a manipulator. And it would be my pride that kept me there if I let it.
So, I admit I am working on my interpersonal communication skills - specifically with my husband. He begs for me to be honest, and even when I feel like my honest opinion is ridiculous or selfish so I don't want to admit it, he deserves to hear it instead of nothing. He deserves more than my silence.
The book I'm reading that is challenging me in this is Now You're Speaking My Language: Honest Communication and Deeper Intimacy for a Stronger Marriageby Dr. Gary Chapman who wrote the book The Five Love Languages.
I want my marriage to be even better than it is. I will not settle for anything less than the best. So in order to do that, I have to change myself and not just wait for my communication skills to get better.
I am so thankful that Lee thinks I'm worth it. That he's patient and encouraging, and he is working right along side of me to make sure that we communicate - not becoming the same person, but improving the 2 individuals who are joined together in this life.
Knowledge is powerful, but it is useless if it is not put into practice. I can learn all this information, but if I don't use it to allow the Holy Spirit to change me, then it's a waste.
I'm ready for the challenge. And I know Lee is too. And I will look back at this time in my life knowing that I am not the same as I used to be.