Emotionally invested. It’s something we hear about all the time, especially in the teaching world. We are taught that our relationships with our students are what matter more than anything. We are told that love conquers all in church. We are told to love thy neighbor. But what happens when these seemingly surface things aren’t so surface any more. I feel like I am overly emotionally invested ALL THE TIME.
What does that mean? Well essentially it means I take everything personal. It means that anytime my ability is questioned I instantly think I’m a failure. It means I assume I have done something to upset people who haven’t spoken to me in a awhile. It means sometimes I feel like I can’t do anything right. It means I constantly seek approval from others. It means I feel deep hurt for people I come in contact with. It means sometimes I am completely and utterly overwhelmed by it.
I find this happens a lot at my job. I’m a teacher (which if you didn’t know that, then catch up girl!). That means everyday I see over 120 kids. That is 120 chances to do something impactful. That also means 120 emotional deposits in a day! I won’t lie, it’s EXHAUSTING. Some days I can’t do it. I’m not ashamed to say that. I literally cannot do it. Because I have nothing left. Constantly emptying yourself is not necessarily a bad thing, but when you don’t take time refill and recharge, that’s when it becomes a bad thing. SO the days I feel like I absolutely cannot do it, I try to look for something in my day that I can cling to, a glimmer of hope, a moment of love and I hang on like hell.
One thing that I have seen in myself ever since I was a little girl is the need to feel approval. I think we all have this to extent but I think some of us have it more than others. I compare myself to a wounded puppy sometimes. It’s like you’ve kicked me when I’m down but by God I am going to keep coming back hoping I’ll get praise. Even writing this kind of makes me sick to my stomach because it’s so pathetic. And honestly I HATE IT! It is my biggest flaw and I try so very hard to change it. I’m in a season where I’m seeing it so frequently. There are people who I so want to impress and I want them to notice me, but they honestly could not care less about me or what I have to offer and instead of just saying “oh well it’s ok I don’t need them” I say ” PLEEEEEEAAAASSSEEEE LOOOOOVVVVEE MEEEE!!” UGH! I hate that! seeking approval from people who 1. don’t want to have anything to do with me and 2. suck for being like that. If you’re reading this and you think you are one of these people, please either be nice to me or tell me to get a clue and move on. I almost feel like I need to change myself to match what I think people want from me or would make them like me better. It’s something I’m probably going to have to work on for the rest of my life. It stems from insecurity with myself. I guess RuPaul says it best “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you donna love somebody else?” I don’t know Ru, I don’t know.
Or when I feel completely overwhelmed with emotions I shut them all off. I go into a dark place, it’s a place that I don’t stay for long but I do go there. It’s a place void of emotion. It’s empty. It’s lonely. It’s not pretty but it’s very real. Why am I calling attention to it? Well, my dad has always said “things have power in the dark” so, I’m shining a big old light on it! I don’t feel like I’m the only one who has this place. I think bad things can stem from this place if we let it take over, but we can’t do that. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who will reach into that place and pull you out. Those people who will speak life into you. Those people who will look at you and say “you’re not ok, and we are going to get through this together.” Those are the people that truly love you. Those people don’t care what you do, those people recognize you for you and love everything about you.
So if you take nothing else from this post take this, I’m a little crazy (we already knew this), it’s ok to be emotionally invested, it’s ok to be vulnerable, it’s ok not to be ok, but it’s not ok to stay that way. Find hope in everyday. Find good in everyday. Find kindness in everyday. And be hope, good, and kindness for someone else.
P.S. want a good song for this post.. “Who You Are” by Jesse J.