11 Oct For When You Feel Like You’re Just Wasting Oxygen
Recently I had one of those days where I just looked around and asked, “What am I doing here?” I was frustrated with every little thing I did, and I felt like I was just spinning my wheels. Nothing was working the way I wanted or planned for it to, and if banging my head against a wall would have helped, I would have been all over that.
I felt really unproductive and totally useless, and if there’s anything I can’t handle, it’s feeling like a waste of humanity.
Please tell me you have these days, too.
I know my calling in life, and I understand my greater purpose. I know why and for Whom I was created, but my problem is losing sight of the forest for the trees. I see the big picture, but the details trip me up, and I stall out sometimes when I get lost in the day-to-day that’s supposed to lead to the ultimate. I second-guess myself and feel hesitant, and when I do, I beat myself up. It becomes a ridiculous cycle of work, create, destroy. Know, do, question. Believe, waver, stop.
It’s maddening, and I begin to apologize for even taking up space in the world. I begin to feel like my life is a colossal waste of oxygen.
When these feelings attack me and I start to question what I’m doing, it’s time for a time-out. It’s time to step back from my all-consuming life and seek a perspective shift. But sometimes that means having a little pity-party first, if I’m telling the truth.
Let’s just be really honest for a minute, shall we? Let’s just be vulnerable and say it like it is. Sometimes we have no idea what we’re doing, if it even matters, and what we’re supposed to do next. Last night, my small group sat on our deck in the crisp fall evening and asked those very questions. Are we doing what we’re supposed to be doing? Is there more to life than this? How do we know what God wants us to do next? Are we ever supposed to be satisfied with our lives, or will we always have this nagging feeling that there’s more? Will our soul’s longing for heaven always leave us dissatisfied here?
I felt a little better last night after admitting these feelings out loud. I felt better when I heard that others feel exactly the same way, and I breathed a sigh of relief that my lack of contentment didn’t make me a weirdo or a heretic. I felt better when I was honest and when I heard others being honest, too. Which leads me to this question – why do we try to hide these feelings and pretend to the world that we’re just hunky-dory? Why do we suffer in silence and assume we’re the only ones suffering?
I think it’s all because of fear.
We’re afraid of being different, and when we’re not certain that others feel like we do, the last thing we want is to open up and have them look at us like we’ve lost it. The last thing we want is to pour out our hearts and hear that we’re alone in our feelings. We would much rather be alone in our uncertainty than positive we’re unlike others. So we remain silent, and we begin to question our lives even more.
Here’s the truth. You’re not a waste of oxygen. You’re not just taking up space. And you’re certainly not alone in your feelings and questions. You are very much like every other person alive, whether they admit it or not. You are asking difficult questions of yourself and your life because life itself is difficult. And you need to ask these questions. You need to evaluate your life. You need to evaluate your purpose. You need to wrestle with your decisions. Growth doesn’t happen by accident, and a discovery of yourself won’t just fall in your lap.
What are you struggling to believe today? What makes you feel like you’re wasting the world’s oxygen? I’d love to hear from you! Your honesty will help to defeat your fear.