Sunday, February 25, 2007
"When I am independent of the good or bad opinion of others, I stand strong in my own Divine power."
That's what Deepak said.
I worry a lot about what other people think of me. It's something I'm working on. I also assume what other people are thinking of me - and I respond to them based on my assumption. This is not emotionally healthy.
For example: Today we had this fancy schmancy ground breaking event at my shul. There was a separate children's program, and Rebbetzin Plony asked me to be involved with it. She asked me about 6 weeks ago. I don't remember her exact wording, but my impression was that she wanted me to run it. I called last week to ask what she expected of me.
"Oh, don't worry about it, it's all taken care of," she said. Um, okay. When I got to the event, I saw other women running the program. Here's where I went with it: She knows I'm an anxiety maven and doesn't think I'll do a good job with this. She doesn't think I'm capable. Why did she ask me and then get other ladies to do it?
Let's backtrack a little. Once when I was running a children's program on shabbos, all the kids ran out. They do this every shabbos, it wasn't because of me. Nonetheless, I got very overwhelmed and frightened for their safety. I'm responsible for them! What if something happens to them - they're supposed to be in my care! I was early in a pregnancy - all hormonal - and I started to cry.
Rebbetzin Plony saw me crying and came to comfort me. She thinks I'm a total nutjob. I want her to think I'm a fine member of this community, responsible and capable. Now she thinks I'm mentally unstable. Do I know what she was thinking? No!
Or another time I ran a program in shul and I was supposed to have teenagers to help me. Only one showed up, and she was unhelpful. So I basically ran the program, for about 40 kids, all by myself. Madness and mayhem! I was so overwhelmed, and it showed (I also just had a miscarriage). I didn't cry that time, but I was really frazzled and Rebbetzin Plony saw. In fact, when I wanted to run another children's program for another chassidishe yom tov, she said, "Remember when you got so overwhelmed at the gimmel tammuz program...?"
So she's got my number. She knows I get anxious. But does it really matter? Isn't it okay if I get anxious? Why do I have to appear perfect? Can't I be a helpful member of the community even if I'm flawed? Having to appear perfect all the time is another problem I have.
Three months into my pregnancy with Zalman, I gave up my post as coordinator for the children's programs. It was too much for me. Someone else started running it. This woman is a real go-getter, truly an asset to the community. I have convinced myself that Rebbetzin Plony likes and admires this woman (and her contributions) more than me. And what if she does, right? BIG DEAL! If I was independent of the good or bad opinion of the rebbetzin, I could stand strong in my own Divine power. Right, Deepak?
But back to the children's program today. I didn't run it, but I helped. I passed out pizza. I made sure all the holy Jewish children got fed. I even made sure no one was still hungry, passing out seconds. I assume Rebbetzin Plony bumped me off because she thinks I'm incapable. But maybe she got so busy that she simply asked other people to do it. I have no idea what her reasons are, right? Maybe it's not all about me.