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Constant Need to Filter + Grace

My 11 year old son just pulled me aside and said, “mommy, I notice you feel the need to have to clarify when you talk to people… why do you do that?” Yikes, he’s right… I do. I didn’t realize that my constant need to filter was so noticeable.

“Well mommy why do you do that? Why do you clarify your statements when you are talking?” I felt like he punched me in the stomach. I don’t exactly know why I do that. I mean, I don’t want people to be offended by the way I say something… I think that’s where the need to clarify comes from. When I speak to my husband behind closed doors I will talk to him a lot about feeling the need to filter my thoughts or opinions. I think in a way filtering has become a way to protect myself. Instead of speaking my mind or being “me” I’m constantly being the person that the person I am talking to expects me to be… Does that make sense? It’s exhausting.

I’m a counselor in training… I started my masters a few years back after having my 2nd child. Do you ever have one of those moments in your life that you will never forget? The kind of moment when you are so embarrassed yet so relieved at the same time? Yah, well, I can recall that exact moment. I was sitting at an intensive for one of my classes required for my masters… maybe it was called Group Therapy? Ehh, it doesn’t matter. Anyways we were sitting in a circle and a lady straight up asked me, “Amanda, why do you do that?! Why do you feel the need to filter yourself so much?” Wow, talk about a direct question. Cue the red cheeks and cue the tears.

I filter myself to a fault. I do it without even thinking about it. I just never want to offend someone. It is ok to have an opinion and it’s most certainly ok to not see eye to eye on every situation or conversation. How boring would life be if we always agreed or saw eye to eye with each person we met and conversed with? The need to not offend someone often times when I think back over a conversations really makes me sad. It’s not like I sit down with an individual and plan how I’m going to tear down or make someone feel badly. I genuinely love to encourage people and share in their current excitement for where they are in life – new baby, empty nest, new job, retirement, marriage, etc… sometimes even listen to someone in their brokenness. I just love to be there for people.

It’s ok to own who you are. As if we have to seek permission for this? It’s ok to be comfortable in your own voice or opinion. When I think back to certain conversations it annoys me so much that I filter or put out a disclaimer when speaking on either a non or controversial topic(s). I can only speak for myself on this but, when I talk to someone, I genuinely do not desire to hurt or offend the other person. When or if I offend someone it would be my hearts desire that someone would tell me, even if it’s hard to hear! I think what it comes down to is, I worry too much about someone liking me and am willing to filter or adapt to the individual that I’m with… Seriously do you even know how exhausting that is? That’s probably exactly where my struggle lie; its tiring.

Grace tells me, “Amanda, I see your flaws and I love you.”

This is why the journey to grace is so important… Grace allows us to push aside the idea that we have to be perfect in all ways in order to feel fulfilled or to have friends. Wow, I just went there. My imperfect house, my imperfect body image, my functionally flawed family is enough. It’s ok to just be yourself with people. I don’t know about you but, I love when a conversation is easy and I can relate on a genuine/authentic level. I love when someone can open up and share with me something and be vulnerable… it just feels so good to connect with someone on a true, authentic, human level.

No matter our situation or circumstances grace is enough; YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The need to filter or bring clarity to a topic is exhausting; YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Life is lonely when we hold ourselves to a standard of perfection; Grace tells YOU ARE ENOUGH.

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