About three years ago, My Man and I were at the first session of a marriage class thingy at church. We had to go around and say one word to describe our spouse. We were at the tail end of this process so I had lots of time to come up with an awesome word for My Man. One that would be edifying and encouraging. When it was my turn I stated loudly and clearly, “selfless” and looked over at him to watch this amazingly incredibly wonderful word settle over him and lift him right out of that chair. He didn’t even hesitate after the “ess” was out of my mouth and stated very confidently, “focused.” *there truly were a few laughs from the rest of the crowd* Um. Excuse me? FOCUSED? That’s all you got? That’s the best you could do to describe your best friend…your lover…the mother of your three children…labor ain’t easy buddy and putting up with you…well, I never. I stewed the entire rest of the marriage class thingy and we never went back. *we really did never go back, but it wasn’t because of this, I promise*
On the way home I determined to not speak to him one. single. word. I made it to the bottom of the church drive before I turned on him and said, “what. the. heck. was. that?” He was clearly confused. He truly did not know of what I was speaking. “FOCUSED?? That’s your one word to describe me? I mean, you might as well have just said what you really meant…OBSESSED.” He tried to explain it away with, “I meant like with your bible study and quiet time and…”
I was having none of it. Obsessed. That is what he really meant.
He had hit it right on the head and that is what really hurt. I do become obsessed with things and almost always it is a bad thing: food; stewing over something; worrying; hurt feelings; a wrong word or step out in public; eating; dieting; exercise; receiving a lukewarm greeting from a friend, or worse yet, My Man; forgetting that it was preschool picture day and letting the Big Boy pick out his own clothes and, oh yeah, shrugged off his massive bed head…you name it, I’ve obsessed over it.
The American Heritage Dictionary describes it this way:
- Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.
- A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.
For me, obsession is taking something very often intended to be good and making it bad. Being sensitive to what I say and do vice obsessing over what I have said or done; over-eating or starving myself to lose weight; exercising for several hours each day or obsessing that I am too overwhelmed by life, laziness, whatever, to exercise at all; being sensitive to other people’s moods and problems or obsessing that i have done something wrong to make them mad at me.
I’m trying not to obsess about things these days. I try to catch myself doing it and make a conscious effort to stop; to turn it over to God; to pray; to have balance. Some days are good; some not so good. But I refuse to obsess about my obsessiveness. Except for today…today, I am kind of obsessing about it and I guess that is why I am writing about it.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Love you guys. Chat soon!