Frustration is becoming an emotional epidemic. Many people are sitting in emotional situations. We’re good at singing happy songs, clapping happy hands, and exalting a happy God. But, not living happy lives. But, underneath all of that happiness we’re not living happy lives. We’re frustrated with life. With someone. With ourselves. And some things. Or, we’re in a group that’s not frustrated IN life. But we’re frustrated WITH life. At some point, we all have to admit that we are dealing with frustration. And the only way we can be free from that frustration is to Move On From the Life We Thought You Wanted.
Recently, I read “Untamed” authored by Glennon Doyle. She shares the voices and sentiments of many women longing and striving for self-love as they search to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. They put forth their best efforts in hopes that the striving will make them feel alive. Instead, it leaves them feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed.
Have you ever looked at your life and wondered: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this?
If you’re like me, you quickly silence that question telling yourself to be grateful, hiding your discontent–even from yourself.
For many years, I lived a life of frustration silencing my discontentment. Until one day, I was given the opportunity to network and speak to women who were struggling with discontentment and hiding from themselves.
That platform changed my life.
From that point on, every lunch, dinner, workshop, store visit, or phone call has been intentional. Each time I associated myself with a woman, I intently saw myself sitting on the other side of the table. It was simple. Three words flooded my soul: “There She Is.”
Yes, I was like them.
Buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. These women were like me. They were the voices of little girls who had been presented to the world and told they were not good enough. Everyone else defined who they needed to be.
During my middle school years, many of my teachers could not believe I was gifted in mathematics and in the sciences. Unbeknownst to me, I didn’t know that I was quite unique as an African American female with a gift in those subjects.
So for three years, my mother closely worked with my counselors to remain on top of my pre-advanced skills. On the other hand, my teachers were not supportive. I was academically ahead of my peers in the classroom.
During my 8th grade year, my math and science teacher placed me at the back of the class. Supposedly, it was my assigned seat. But my last name was Baker. After complaining for weeks, my mother had me moved to another classroom. Upon entering my new classroom, I was called a “snitch” “geek” or “nerd.” But amongst the sistas, I was known as “She thank she sum’n cuz she smart.”
When we don’t understand something, we are more likely to label it than we are to embrace it.
So I stopped doing my work and speaking up in class. It was terrifying trying to find my own path. Until my school counselor told me I was 5th in my class; I was unique. And I owed that to myself upon entering high school.
At that point, I decided to author my journey so I stopped abandoning myself and the dreams I had to educate children. It wasn’t easy. But I quit pleasing others and started living.
To that end, I don’t believe it is God’s will that we live life with a constant flow of frustration. However, when we look at what the bible says about frustration, we won’t find a word to describe the emotional state of God’s people.
Of course, we’re going to become weary in our journey. But frustration is not a place we should remain.
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” ― Steve Maraboli
Frustration is merely a lack of clarity. Let me prove it to you.
Take a moment to think about how you would get to your closest friend’s house or to your favorite restaurant.
You’re probably thinking that’s an easy task. On the contrary, by far, it’s not.
Of course, if you get into your car, and drive the distance, you’ll have no problems getting there. And, while on your way, you’ll possibly do a little texting while driving, blast the radio, and maybe talk to your passenger, if you have one.
You did it. You got there. Safe!
But I said frustration is a lack of clarity.
Now! Take a moment to write down with details about how you got to your friend’s house or to your favorite restaurant.
This time it’s going to take a little more focus and concentration to remember the street names, stoplights, and which corners you made right or left turns.
Indeed, this task can be frustrating because it takes work. It takes intention. And sometimes that is what our lives lack. Clarity. Therefore, we frustrate ourselves and the other passengers we desire to carry along with us. Eventually, our passengers will become frustrated because we can’t seem to explain to them with clarity the details of our journeys.
So we demand them to shut-up until we figure it out, which could be never.
In many cases, you have become frustrated starting businesses, connecting with friends, jumping into marriage, unplanned pregnancy, spending money without a savings plan, and this list is forever unending because we lack the clarity on how to get that perfect place.
So you get it. Right?
If we can’t map out the plan we have for our lives (with details), our journey is unclear. The plan is tedious to write. But, I’m convinced the navigation will be the most destructive part to handle because it’s hard trying to figure out things as you go.
Besides, this is how the enemy gets us caught up in frustration in life. With life. And in relationships.
If you are in one of those places (in life or with life), you lack clarity, and therefore, it is poisonous to any living goal you have.
Furthermore, you can’t ask people to follow you without clarity — you have to allow God to navigate your dreams. Your goals. Your life.
“You’re frustrated because you keep waiting for the blooming of flowers of which you have yet to sow the seeds.” ― Steve Maraboli
Nobody wants to follow anyone without direction. That’s why it’s always wise to know what you’re getting yourself into because if chaos is created, you simply can’t say you didn’t know. You have to be prepared to ask all the right questions to help you get the clarity needed to be successful on your journey.
The tough stuff is hard to talk about. Apart from that, don’t lose yourself. You have a successful journey awaiting you.
In my opinion, God uses frustration to get our attention. He allows certain situations and friends to frustrate us. I tweeted a few days ago on Twitter. “For the immature Christian to pray and stay committed to Christ, they have to stay under pressure. This doesn’t have to be the case, especially in our relationships.”
Relationships are equivalent to a check engine light on an automobile. Upon the check engine light coming on, it is an indicator that something needs attention and adjustment.
For some–we drive along hoping the check engine light will fix itself. Consequently, some things in life happen to help us undergo transformation because we’ll never change, or in this cause get help with the indicator light.
Let me suggest…
Frustration is an indication that we need help with adjusting our expectations. It can also be the result of failed expectations. Doing something over and over expecting to get different results. Now, that’s frustrating. When we’re dealing with frustration, we have to check our expectations; we may be expecting something from someone that they can not give.
Women that I have connected to and prayed for have suffered severely in their relationship with their mother. The bitterness has hindered them emotionally and mentally, and as a result, these women have been unable to nuture anyone else. They have been looking for their mother to provide the emotional and mental stability they’ve needed to be “made whole.”
I solely affirm that the two are important in helping us connect with the next woman that shows up in our life.
It’s so unfortunate when we hold our mothers responsible for something they didn’t get. Whe we do this, we put women in positions in our lives expecting them to replicate or transfer something they didn’t get or learn how to do.
Relationships have to be clarified. We have to be clear about what we need in order to eliminate frustration. So that the pain or the lack of clarity (frustration) won’t repeat itself with other women.
Everyone has expectations in a relationship, even, if they are unspoken. The behavior is exemplified through frustration.
Again, I believe that’s why so many women struggle with empowering other women and mentorships.
Whereas, some of our expectations are unconscious. We don’t know that we’re expecting it until we don’t get it. Then, we become frustrated about it.
A good case in point. Relationships are created subconsciously (lacking clarity), which makes them more complex. And if we don’t take the time to figure out what each other desires (because it’s not always known), someone is going to become angry because they didn’t get what they wanted.
I have seen this replicated among groups of women who believe they don’t need attention until they get in a group with other women and discover that everyone is getting the attention but them.
That is pure chaos.
We should all know what we need from other individuals. And if not, we should work diligently to observe or find out what we need from someone else. Can you imagine the frustration this would relieve?
For example, my calendar is full from one week to the next. Simply put, I keep a calendar to help me alleviate my frustrations. (This is usually not the case. But it helps me with clarity.) I intentionally give myself a blueprint to help me strive towards the goals and dreams I want to attain.
In the same way, I create my weekly calendar with full details. I purposefully do the same with my relationships. Relationships shouldn’t be hard and complex. They shouldn’t lack clarity, which further allows us to stumble into chaos over time.
In conclusion, a mother has decided to slow down to keep her children from dying because she didn’t get what she deserved from her mother. She is showing them how to fully live life, even when she doesn’t have all the answers or feel like it. Her life doesn’t lack the clarity–She is taking a desired course of action as she is working through a divorce while discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure, but on each member’s ability to bring their full self to the table.
That’s my goal. That’s my intention. I work hard so each woman feels confident bringing their full self to the table. If I lack clarity in giving them the instructions they need, I take the time to process because I don’t want to err. I want to be whole doing my best part.
Don’t allow frustration to make you detour. This should be how each of us trusts ourselves to set boundaries, make peace with our soul and honor our anger and heartbreak, to unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that each of us can become women who can finally look at ourselves and our relationships and say:
“There She Is.”
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