Friday, December 16, 2011

Affirmation Addict

The little red notification square that pops up on facebook when someone "likes" my status (or comments on something I wrote) is like crack.
I'm hooked. Can't get enough.
It's so bad that I actually thought about titling this post "Affirmation Whore", but carnal sin is apparently where I draw the line. I guess crack addict seems softer in some way. *rolling eyes at myself because I'm THAT protective of my marriage that I won't even weaken it by analogy.*

Have I mentioned that I'm prone to tangents? This blog was supposed to help AVOID those moments, but I don't think it's working.

So, about this love of little red squares...
I've had people say, "Your ALWAYS on facebook." (Sometimes they pair a condescending tone or smirk with it to drive their point home.) My gut tightens (as much as is possible in its current muscle-free condition), and I start to make excuses:

"I guess I do POP ON quite a bit during the day - to get some adult interaction."
*sheepish grin*

"Well, funny things happen at my house...and I feel the world should enjoy it with us!" *confident, with a hopeful look that my accuser will agree...and perhaps THANK me*

"I bet I'm not online any more than most people...I just make myself known rather than quietly slinking in the shadows." *deflect, rationalize, avoid!*

The thing is, *big sigh*, it's true. I've been out of control at times.
I had to "reel it in". I had to buckle down. I had to pray.
Don't laugh. I honestly believe God cares about our internet usage.
Moderation and self-discipline is needed to be healthy in life, and God wants us healthy.
I gotta say, giving that temptation to God made such a difference!
I was becoming much more technologically healthy. It was progress. 

Enter: THE BLOG. *face buried in hands*
I have responsibilities, a family, projects calling my name...
But there are pageviews to track, good ideas to write down, comments to read...
The battle is raging.
I need limits. It's already getting out of hand.
This is a photo of my dining room table BEFORE the blog. Er, actually, it's more like my dining room when company is coming. Hold on...
OK, THIS is my normal dining room BEFORE the blog. 
AND THIS is my dining room SINCE the blog. (and in the picture, I managed to miss the piles on the chairs and on the floor nearby.)

I know I can pray for self-control and balance (and God will provide)...but the analytical side of me realizes that this is bigger than time management. Well, maybe the dining room issue IS about time management...but the root of this problem goes deeper. The war I'm fighting has to do with where I find my worth.

I desperately seek validation from others. If I can make you laugh, or smile, or keep reading...then I must be doing something right. Mmmm, validation...I have a real taste for it. (and Mommydom is not known for all the "pats on the back" that come with the I've gone prowling the internet to find them.)

YOU can acknowledge my value. YOU can build me up. YOU can give me coveted "verbal" affirmation (and your words can be read over and over and over again!)
Wow, those are some heavy expectations. Do you feel the pressure? (Yah, I do it to my husband too, poor man.) It's messed up.

I was made in the image of God. He gave me specialized gifts and talents to do His good work. He made me special. He loved me enough to send a part of Himself, His son, Jesus, to be a sacrifice for me. Yah, not everybody liked Him...not everybody affirmed Him...but it didn't change who He was or stop Him from doing what he was called to do.
That kind of love is bigger than any comment I could ever receive. I have intrinsic value from the imprint of God that I wear. I have unconditional love. And so do you. Wow. I can breathe better already as the need for approval is lifted.
We have each been made to bring a specific kind of beauty to this world. I know that I need to TRULY embrace that fact - even when the world doesn't acknowledge it...and only THEN I will know my worth.
No little red notifications necessary.


  1. Um, not to be an enabler, but . . . You can still see snatches of tabletop in the final dining room photo. So, technically, you're still in the stage where you can "quit whenever you want!"

    But I hear ya - after years of college and career being surrounded by people and opportunities to get snaps for what I did, I still have major validation withdrawal. And it's still potent, even after 12 years of being a full time mom.

    Homeschooling amplifies this because we work hard to plan and do such amazing stuff with our kids and we have daily (okay, weekly) learning epiphanies!!

    And nobody ever sees them.

    That's tough to take when you've been conditioned to getting external rewards. I, too, have been trying to let God rewire my messed up self- esteem apparatus. I'm a painfully slow learner, though!

  2. was like you were speaking for me with the validation! I am sure we talked about this already over lunch :) But it does reach out and wow me again as I read your words. Praise God!


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