the curse of two.

11 Nov
Number two.
[no.  not that.]
Enneagram number two.
The enneagram is a personality system.  Nine numbers, each with different manners of thinking, living, and acting in life. I find both comfort and challenge in knowing my enneagram and being able to see the ways I feel and live through that lens. 
I’m a two.  A giver/helper.  And one cursed to always feel like I’m disappointing other people and foregoing my own needs to be in service to others.
In ministry, this has its place.  Definitely.  But lately, I’m feeling more how it drains and consumes me.
I hit a certain low today.  It’s my day off and I can’t help but feel all the ways I’ve failed/let people down this week.  It didn’t help any that work called me away to a conference for two of my workdays [which was a good thing until the stress of today].  I didn’t return the rake to the proper custodian closet and he had to go get it himself.  I should have called about the microphone issues we’re having earlier in the week instead of scrambling to fix it on Thursday, perhaps now facing a Sunday without my microphone in working order.  I didn’t make any visits this week and upon discovery of the previous pastor’s milage reports in the file cabinet today, I find he visited at least one person a day.  Things that have been on my to-do list for weeks still remain, consistently being pushed further back.  It’s my day off but I’m spending it doing everything I think I should have done earlier so I won’t let anyone else down.
And really – have I let anyone down?  No one has told me such.  But that’s what I sense.  That’s what I feel I know.  I have this fear that I’m not living up to the congregation’s expectations of a pastor.  I need counseling.  [Seriously.  I will be exploring the avenue of counseling as soon as I figure out how to find someone in my health care network.  The synod encourages us as pastors to find a counselor.]  I don’t hear much positive feedback [except that I have great children’s sermons] so I’m always wondering where I really stand.  [So, naturally, I think they don’t like me when in actuality, maybe they’re simply not vocalizing what they’re thinking.  Apparently I crave feedback.]
I’ve heard again and again from other new pastors that in the first year I must be patient with myself.  I need to give myself grace and remind myself that I’m always learning.  But do I really need to face a whole first year of feelings like this?  I sure hope not because that would suck.  [I should also add that I realize this is not an exclusive number two issue, but it’s how I can easily put into words my own issues.]
*over-exaggerated sigh*  So that’s my current emotional state.  Please excuse me now while I eat a bowl of chili [mmm.  with noodles.  comfort food.], begin a Harry Potter night of both Deathly Hallows films [#2 was released today.], and exercise the self-care I have lacked so far today.  [Another facet of the two: two’s will often care for others and their own needs remain unmet.  That’s not good either.]  
I’m trying and trying to do my best.  That’s all I can do.  [Right?]

ps. I blogged here again today.  And I’m thankful for you.

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