No Room For Rumination

Thoughts swirl through my head. Am I good enough for this person to like me? Is what I’m doing going to offend so-n-so? What if they don’t approve of what I’m doing? What if they don’t approve of me?

What if, what if, what if.

Countless what if’s go through my head in the space of a single hour.

I internalize everything, I constantly have a dialogue going off in my head. And I do mean dialogue, not monologue.

I say dialogue because I’m not the one offering up the questions. They do come from me, but they come from my insecurities, my doubts, my fears. They come from being rejected and not knowing why. What did I do to make that girl not like me? What did I do wrong to make her not want to be friends anymore? Why did the kids my age not want to hang out with me? Why am I alone? Why hasn’t a man shown interest in me? Is there something wrong with me? Am I not pretty enough? Am I too fat? Is it my lack of height? So many stinkin’ questions! And I hate them, and I hate myself for thinking them, and then I hate myself for hating myself.

Thus the cycle repeats, ever vicious, ever seeking to claim my peace and security in who I am, in Whose I am.

I have always looked to others for permission, guidance, acceptance, and approval. For them to tell me I’m doing right, for them to tell me that yes, I did hear from God and I am okay to follow Him.

Yes. That is what I just said. I constantly need approval for every tiny detail. Is it okay if I go do this? Is it okay if I read this? What would you think if I did this?

When I was a child these questions were good, these questions kept me safe, these questions were necessary. Now that I’m an adult, it’s time for me to start acting like one. I need to be the one to set my own boundaries, the one who decides how much is too much when reading, to genuinely pray about what I’m doing and act on it like I truly believe I heard from Him.

I need to stop second guessing myself and start trusting in who my parents raised me to be and who God has created me to be. I am more than my doubts, more than my fears, more than the countless thoughts the devil plaugues me with every day.

I don’t share this to garner pity or even hope for sympathy. I share this because I know that there are other girls out there like me. Girls who seek approval from someone else, who need someone else’s permission to do something so they can avoid inconveniencing them or creating conflict.

I raise my hand high and loudly proclaim that I am extremely averse to conflict. So much so that I will sometimes tell little lies where it sounds like I agree with the opinions of whoever is talking just in case saying otherwise offends them or upsets them, all the while my heart is crying out to speak the truth, to let them know I think differently while still respecting their opinion.

If you’re reading this and you feel even the faintest spark of recognition to my words, know that you are not alone. I stand there with you, cringing at even the thought of conflict and doing my darnedest to avoid it.

I create mental lists a mile long of ways to avoid or fix hypothetical conflicts, I do this for even the conversations that went well. What if so-n-so said this instead? Or what if they had done that?

I am wearing myself out with all of this thinking in circles.

I am so tired, so weary, and I am writing this at 1:30 am today because I’m having another cycle of rumination and can’t sleep. Sometimes my thoughts are so loud all I can do is curl up and cry, let alone try and pray.

Even when I’m with people who have only ever been kind to me, have always accepted me even in my embarrassing moments, I am terrified I’ll do something that will revoke their love and acceptance of me. Family gatherings are torture even though I adore seeing all of my family. It’s even crept into my relationships with my neice and nephews. How crazy is that? But that just goes to show you how deep reaching rumination can get if you let it grow unchecked for as long as I did.

I’ve had these thoughts for a decade, if not a little longer, and it has been torture.

“Just give it to God and let Him take those thoughts from you.” Some people may say.

To that I say, I have, but then again, have I ever really let go? Or has some part of me, some small piece that never truly let go? As if clinging to these thoughts is like wearing a badge proclaiming all that I went through, as if it makes up for all the hurt, or validates it.

I still go back to circumstances that happened years ago and dissect those memories, putting pieces here and there, in neat piles, and trying to find a way to figure out what I could have done differently if only I’d have… and what I’d do differently if that circumstance ever came up again. But that’s silly. None of those circumstances will ever come up again, even if it’s similar, it’s still a new circumstance I must navigate.

Learning from my mistakes is good, but focusing on them to the extant of such emotional turmoil isn’t healthy. I have become a constant ball of stress where I overthink the smallest decision and want to okay it with someone I respect and love just to make sure it’s okay to do it, just to avoid even the possibility of conflict.

I am tired of living this way. It’s not only mentally exhausting, but emotionally draining, and leaves me feeling so tired and drained.

I am scared of making any sort of decision without first okaying it with someone older than me, more knowledgeable than me, just as long as someone else makes the decision. A part of me thinks I do this so, like I said, I avoid conflict and inconveniencing someone, and also so I’m never at fault if I fail because I wouldn’t have done it of they hadn’t okayed it.

That is very cowardly and shallow of me.

I constantly dream of doing bigger things, taking risks, and following where I believe God is leading me. But then I think, what if someone doesn’t approve? What if they think I can’t handle it? What if they think where God is leading me looks different than where I believe He is guiding me? Which one of us is right?

And back into the cycle I go. Never going anywhere, always going somewhere.

I keep repeatedly writing these words in different ways in the hopes that they will sink in with not only someone reading this, but also myself. I need to hear this just as much as the next person. I am preaching to myself more than anyone else.

It’s time I stopped questioning who I am and started accepting who God made me to be.

I recently took some online quizzes, good quality quizzes, not rinky-dink ones, for my various personality types, and I am an INFJ, an Enneagram 4, and 71% introverted. Based on those facts, I am predisposed to be having these thoughts, but that does not excuse me from letting them run rampant.

I’ve had to ask myself do I really think so highly of myself to believe that everyone is constantly watching my every move and word and comparing it to all I’ve said and done before? Or do I think so little of everyone else to believe that they will automatically shun me and reject me over the smallest, accidental mistake?

Please tell me I’m not alone in feeling this way. If just one person could stand up, be brave enough to reach for my hand, I promise you, I’ll hold onto your hand right back and we can face this together, praying for each other, upliting each other.

We don’t have to be alone.

Which is why I’m posting this with little to no editing even though I am cringing so hard at that thought and rumination threatens to overtake me again. Who am I to be putting this kind of thing out there for people to read? Surely there are better people qualified to do this, some who are more eloquent, more capable, more, more, more.

But that’s not true. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

If I truly believe this is something He wants me to share, I need to act like it, I need to follow through and not allow myself time for self-doubt to creep in. There is no room for rumination in God’s plans.

So if there are typos and badly worded sentences up there, who am I kidding, of course there are, I am going to shut out the bad thoughts and believe that anyone reading this will merely overlook them the same way I overlook those mistakes in other people’s posts.

Because I believe it’s time for me to stop hiding, and start showing others just how weak I am so they can see just how strong my God is.

I don’t have it all together, and I don’t have to.

I am enough simply living for Him, and. You. Are. Too!

I feel like I should close this post with an eloquent prayer or a spot on verse, but all I have is imperfect me, and funny enough, I’m starting to think she’s enough.

I hope my honesty and vulnerability helps someone, because I am honestly terrified to hit publish on this.

Everyone reading this, I love you, I see you, and far more importantly, Jesus loves and sees you, too. If nothing else, remember that and this post that’s making me cringe will all be worth it.

So, who wants to join me in kicking rumination to the curb?


15 thoughts on “No Room For Rumination”

  1. Girl, you are not alone. ❀ This post I can relate to and I know that others do too. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts in raw form. This is just beautiful. It was so good to read. ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    I just…I don’t even have WORDS. This post WAS relatable! So, so relatable. I was nodding along and just aching with you all throughout it. And it means the world that you chose to be brave and honest and pour out your heart in order to help someone else out there. THANK YOU!!! Thank you so, so much for sharing what I know so very many of us struggle with every single day.
    For me, my worst problem is that whole thinking everyone else’s opinions are MY opinions. Someone will say something and I immediately nod along without even thinking about it. Then I’ll get by myself and be like, “WAIT A MINUTE. I don’t actually agree with that!” It’s like I soak up the opinions of anyone I’m with, and it takes getting away from them to realize um, no, I actually may think differently sometimes. I’m a weird chameleon in that.
    I literally have a mantra I constantly run through my head: “I’m allowed to have my own opinions. I’m allowed to have my own opinions.” I have to remind myself that I CAN think different and don’t have to be a constant head-nodder with whoever I’m with.
    And the whole avoiding conflict thing! Oh my word, YES. THAT IS ME. I avoid it like the plaaaaague (and it kind of goes hand-in-hand with the whole opinions thing). And, like you said, sometimes it does turn into not being entirely honest. But we should be brave and honest enough with others AND ourselves and know it is OKAY to differ with something and speak out. It’s just…hard.
    It’s all hard–accepting who we are, knowing it’s okay if we don’t agree with everything, learning to have our own ideas and opinions. It’s something I have worked on for years and years. But I HAVE gotten better. I still have an endless amount of growth to do, but I have definitely become my own person as I’ve gotten older. Because it is EXACTLY as you said: Jesus loves us. He created us as unique, beautiful individuals, and HIS strength and love and acceptance is all we really need.
    Saying these words, being honest, sharing such beautiful truths about who we are and who God is–that was so brave! And just… *clutches heart* I wish I could share this with every girl in the world, because I think we all struggle with some form of this at some point in our loves. THANK YOU for sharing, THANK YOU for opening your heart up to us. It blessed me today.
    And if you EVER need to talk things through with someone or just rant, I am always more than happy to be there. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Literally all I want to put here is hearts and happy tears! ❀😭 Thank you so much! *HUGS*

      Yes! That is exactly what I do too! Just nod along during the conversation, mumble the appropriate yes or no and then when I’m alone realize that’s not at all what I truly think. It is like being a chameleon, a personality chameleon. That is SUCH a good mantra! And so true! Yes! We are more than head-nodders!

      Ha! In my opinion (look, I have one πŸ˜‰ ) conflict *is* a plague! Yes to all of this! It is hard, easy to talk about but hard to put into actions. I am so, so happy you have grown and gotten better! I wouldn’t wish this mental anxiety on anyone, let alone a friend! ❀

      Eeep! 😭 Thank you so much! I am blessed that it blessed you!!! 😭❀ You are the sweetest!!! ❀❀❀ You made my day! β€πŸ€—


  3. ❀️Thank you so much, Jen, for posting this. It has really touched me today. Thank you for being brave and posting your thoughts. They help more people than you know. I especially liked that you said, “It’s time I stopped questioning who I am and started accepting who God made me to be.” I’m an introvert too and I often allow lies into my head. I try to change myself because I often don’t like who I am. I compare myself to others and their likable qualities that I often wish I had myself (qualities like being extroverted). I try to remember that God created me. If He didn’t want me to have the qualities that I have then He wouldn’t have given them to me. I try to tell myself that I’m an introvert for a reason but most of the time I don’t understand why. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to type all that in this comment. It just kinda came out I guess. Thank you for the post! I really love this blog!!!!!!!❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Katherine, you don’t need to apologize. What you said was so brave of you! The first step is seeing what you’re doing and knowing that the thoughts are lies. You do not have to change who you are for people to like you, sweet girl! You’re right, God made you who you are and He loves you so much! And trust me, just because I wrote all that down doesn’t mean everything I struggle with up and disappeared, it’s still here I’m just learning how to deal with it and turn my thoughts to the truth of God. I feel so blessed that my words touched you! Keep living for God, Katherine, He loves you and has a plan for you. ❀

      Awww! Thank you! It means a lot to me to know people like what I'm doing. Thank you so much! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Jen. I’m gonna cry. You are so so sweet!!! Thank you for your kind words! I needed to hear it. I am SO BLESSED to have met you! You have touched me so much! Your comment has just made my day! Love you, Jen!!! <3<3

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jen
    I am going to say this. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
    I feel this way so much, a never ending spiral of β€œ I’m not good enough β€œ . I am tired of it and am not gonna put up with it anymore, because Jesus and God love me for who I am and that is more then enough. I will always come back to this post when I need it. Thank you for being brave and daring and posting this .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Trixie!!! I know this comment wasn’t to me, but I felt God lay it on my heart to reply to you. I know EXACTLY how you feel! You are so right – God and Jesus LOVE you so much!!!!!!❀️ He CREATED you! Which means you are special and important to Him!!!! Jesus’s death and resurrection is PROOF of His love for you and that He is enough for you. Blessings!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you so much, Trixie!!!

      YES! YES! YES! The love of God and Jesus is more than enough!

      Really? ^_^ It means so much to me to know you think it’s good enough for future reading! Thank you so much for commenting, it made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are definitely not alone Sis! I feel like you just read my diary, if I actually had one…
    So many of us struggle with this very thing, (in fact I am fighting tears while typing this…) and you have put it so beautifully and gracefully and just plain honestly. I admire your courage and LOVE that you are leaning on God through it! πŸ’›πŸ€—πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

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