It all began out riding one day when I decided to take a certain route home and it came to me that I was being arrogant, because this was not the way the boss had directed, and who was I to decide? I argued with myself, over the practical issues of my decision yet the thought was continued nagging away at me. This wasn’t of me, it was God. I believe he does discipline or cause us to suffer but it’s not in the same way as when we are abused and suffer for our faith, He chastises and teaches us through Gentle Holy Spirit, there’s no hitting with a stick. (1 Peter 4, v12 and 19). As Christians we suffer for being Christians e.g abuse and are glad. And this world brings its own problems, that’s life. He began a process that took over a year to bring me to the place where I am now, and parts of it were difficult to take but I needed to be shown and there’s probably more to come.
Each time I did something, or made a decision it was as if this arrogance was highlighted and I looked at myself as is from outside. Then I read the Marian Keyes novel, Rachel’s Holiday and how when she gets into therapy, its highlighted that arrogance can come from an overgrown self-importance, which goes with low self-esteem. I was right back in childhood. How I’ve always been aware that I musn’t like myself too much, or I’d become bumptious, like my child self showing off to people, in a loud voice, when I grow up, this is my shop and so on. I’ve always been aware that I had to keep this under control because I was such a big head. The book also said how low self esteem could just be inherited or simply be caused by being part of a big family. Or maybe it was that I was brought up by my mother and grandmother, no father, older brothers who were distanced or bullies (to my mind) no idea about what love is or even about men. None of which could be avoided but……..
A lot of this shows up in my attitude to Dave – especially, where I used to wish he’d do something I could respect him for – SUCH arrogance. Why should he have to prove himself to me before I will repect him? It’s been though Joyce Meyer that I’ve learnt that he’s different, male, that’s all! I’ve been with him for over 26 years, he’s not going to change – get over it! He’s achieved a hell of a lot with even coming over here and speaking another language. I don’t do lawnmowers, he doesn’t do phones. Why should I be better than him? He’s equal to me, I’m no better. We enjoy our company together so why mess it up all the time. ( Even now a voice is saying but what about when he picks on me – WELL I’VE USUALLY STARTEDIT!) It’s not all about me all the time – self pity and the pity party (Thanks Joyce) Oh, how she pointed that out, guilty again, but now after having a real battle with myself to even to acknowledge this, I can see myself doing it at last and stop!
Then I had a run of events where I was embarrassed by me. Such as turning up at the gym on the wrong day, giving someone the impression my birthday was soon and getting a card too early, going to buy some curtains and finding them too expensive so backing out, she knew and I knew! Then it clicked, that at times I embarrass God. When we had the house competition at the stables,at lunch time Lois told me to get some refreshments and I said no and sat in self-pity by the car eating sandwiches. I then realised I often feel excluded from big groups, or like when at the FC I got nothing in the secret santa (was he trying to teach me then?). I had to get over this, it is immature, it comes from somewhere in my childhood, but now I can see and live with it. Then maybe it’s another side of arrogance. When I don’t get the attention I think I need,I sulk –ooooops. The next time such a situation occurred, it was a battle not to let the self-pity win, but I won! It hasn’t been easy but the result is a peace that I’ve never had before. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t come back, but self-awareness shows it the door. Just when you think the battle is won……..during my first aid course at the Burg we had a break and after we had had coffee and cake, we were all offered a beer and I vehemiantly said no. And wondered at the same time why I was saying it, I wasn’t driving and I like a beer. I heard myself going on about preferring wine. It wasn’t till after I realised what I had done. Self pity. In a big group I was on the outside, not only becasue I was new, but I couldnt understand much of what was said. So I havent grown up at all, I couldn’t hold forth so I didnt talk at all. At others times I chat away when its a small group, going the other way. I need to find the middle line. It isnt that I’m shy on big groups, I’m not handling being the centre of attention. And its why I think I dont need German lessons, but go on my own little way getting it wrong, doing it on my own.All this informs so much of what I do, nah , wont bother cleaning that, it looks ok, when earlier we had been told to do something regardless. Since a child when I became aware of how ‘bumptious’ I can be, I’ve quelled a lot of my behavoiur, What would happen if I let rip and let it all out? How will I ever get over this? Why (apart form the obvious) is God teaching me all of this? Having to reason things through, I now am thinking, well, the bumptious Anna is a result either of the things that went wrong, or is genetic. Is it possible to recover the original, unblemished soul? Would that then make me a different person? What next I wonder?