Feeling Off and Not Sure Why
I said yes to a new thing this summer. Golf. My friend invited me to join a ladies league for beginners, and I accepted this new challenge!
The first few weeks proved to be exciting and fun. Connecting with people felt refreshing after a year of isolation. I met a diverse group of women ranging in age, vocation, and background. In between golf strokes, I listened to people’s stories, and we held our golf games loosely.
As the summer progressed, I noticed a shift happening inside of me. The eagerness dissipated as I drove to the golf course to meet my new friends. I subtly began comparing myself to other women who seemed to be accelerating their skills and finding joy in this game.
Why wasn’t I improving?
Frustration bubbled to the surface as my golf game stayed stagnant, and even got worse! The harder I tried the more I missed that little, annoying ball. I felt embarrassed and did not like being the weakest link. I wanted to quit.
As I paid attention to these negative feelings growing inside of me, my husband noticed, too. I’m grateful for people in our lives that can speak truth in love. He said,
“Christine, you aren’t enjoying this. You are too wrapped up in your golf game. Relax. And welcome to golf!”
My husband nailed it. I lost my “why” for joining this league. I am a Three on the Enneagram, and my unresourceful traits revealed themselves. My need to look competent and successful took over. When I compared myself to others, my “why” shifted from enjoying people and learning a new game, to “don’t look foolish” and “don’t lose!”
As I spent time praying and reflecting, I realized my misplaced focus. I let my performance dictate my value on the golf course rather than Christ. No wonder I had angst.
This insight wasn’t limited to the golf course.
God’s invitation to remember my “why” flowed into my current season of launching a book, too. As a new author, it’s exciting and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. And, if I’m honest, I’ve lost my “why” more than a few times as I compared myself to other first-time authors. I’ve wondered if I’ve sold enough books to be considered “successful.” I’ve doubted my abilities to write, and maybe I should quit while I’m ahead.
Through journaling my prayers, the Holy Spirit reminded me of my “why” in writing the book. I wrote Finding Your Yes for people to grow with Christ and grow the Kingdom of God. Whether that’s two people or two million people. Nowhere did my “why” consist of Instagram Likes or sales projections. While these things may be important, they do not define my value. Only Christ has the power to do that.
What emotions have you felt recently?
Creating some space for reflection can give you time to notice what you are feeling. When we identify our emotions, instead of rushing past them, we might ask God why they are showing up?
The feelings could be a check engine light which causes us to lift the hood of our souls and do a little digging. God may be giving an invitation to go deeper with Him to heal your heart and to grow your character.
The Enneagram is also a powerful tool which helps us to understand ourselves and others better. It can help us discover our motivations and interpret both positive and negative emotions we may be feeling. When we understand what drives our emotions, we have the choice to move toward healthy responses with God’s help. Inevitably more joy and freedom will follow, too.
I haven’t quit golf. . .yet! However, trading my performance anxiety for security in Christ seems to not only be helping me on the course, it’s bringing contentment to my soul, as well.
Want a little more to ponder?
- Cry of the Soul, How Our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions About God, by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III.
- Enneagram Daily Reflections. This series by InterVarsity Press is written by diverse authors and edited by master teacher Suzanne Stabile. Formatted as forty daily readings, it also includes journaling prompts, written prayers, and spiritual practices.
- I was recently interviewed on Anita Lustrea’s podcast, Faith Conversations, where we talked about the importance of knowing ourselves and God as we discern yeses in our lives.