Sunday 29 July 2018

On Feeling Needed...

I've had a desire to be needed from an early age. I'm not really sure why. A psychiatrist might suggest some kind of deficiency that I am trying to fill but genuinely I have no idea.

I can just recall many instances as a girl and younger woman where I would make myself available, and desire to fill a need. Standing up for people at school, taking on tasks that weren't mine, working extra hours and always ensuring I had the best knowledge, not to be the best but to be the one that people would call on when there was a need.

Love has always been in my life, I've never doubted that people loved me, so I wasn't seeking that and I really can't pinpoint a time when this desire to be needed started. What I have ascertained is that I struggle with feelings of rejection and perhaps it is my way to fighting that off. If people need me, they can't reject me? Maybe, I really don't know.

As I mature and deepen my faith in Christ I find that I'm doing more and more work on me and who I am. What makes me tick and what are the rough edges that need filing away? I love being able to delve into a good book and absorb some new wisdom, something that helps me in my lifelong journey to become more Christ-like.

Who am I? and what was I made to do? Those are the questions I am investigating at the moment. I went on a great course back in February, which introduced me to the Enneagram; it is a personality typing tool with strong Christian roots. I've discovered I am a type 8, often called the Challenger or the Protector and both those words ring very true for me. I won't stand by and see injustice, I'll challenge it and don't you dare mess with anyone I care about, or the underdog, as I'll fiercely protect them.

It's been quite a surreal couple of weeks listening to podcasts from other people who identify as a type 8 on the enneagram. I've felt such a deep level of resonance with these people and I'm keen to keep exploring and learning more, as the ennegram doesn't just type you, it also offers a path for becoming a healthier version of yourself.

A couple of the questions asked in the podcasts have stayed with me and I haven't been able to get them out of my mind - "when did you lose your voice?" and also "what are the compliments that people have always paid you?" The first really made me realise that I have lost my voice, or maybe not lost it but I'm just not using it in the same way as I used to and maybe this isn't a bad thing but I need to explore that.

Then to answer the second question, "natural born leader" is always what I've been told and it leaves me a little worried that I'm not leading anything or anyone right now. It could just be that its not my season and I am in the right place working from home and focusing on mothering, or it could be that actually I've lost my way a bit and I need to tune back in to God's will for my life.

I've bought myself a book called "The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For" by Jo Saxton and this is all about exploring your God given identify and I can't wait to dig into it and discover more about myself and what it is that I should be doing right now. Whilst I am really interested to know more, I'm not feeling too anxious as I suspect I am at least partially fulfilling some of God's plan at the moment.

When I returned from my long weekend away in Paris recently I received the ultimate compliment from one of my twins, Miss E. This was how the conversation went -

Miss E "Mum, I need you"
Me "OK babe, what can I do for you"
Miss E "No, I mean I really need you. After you being away, I really appreciate how much I need you here. I love Dad but I need you to talk to, to look after me and to just be here"

It's funny, because I never thought I'd be a parent. If you asked the younger Michelle, she'd generally answer that she wasn't planning to have any kids. Then of course I met my hubby and on honeymoon we decided we would try for children and two months later I was pregnant with JJ. Now, I can not imagine life without my three gorgeous children and I have full confidence in my parenting abilities. I know I don't do it perfectly but I accepted a long time ago that it is OK to be a good enough parent.

It's really funny that parenting, that I never thought I'd be a part of, has turned out to the be the perfect way to fulfil my desire for being needed and instead of the need lessening as my children are growing older, I find it is increasing and I thank Jesus each day that I have the ability to be able to be fully present for my kids and to parent them in the way they need.

My life isn't at all what I expected it to be but I'm OK with that. It took a different path to one I ever imagined and I'm excited for what the future holds.

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