Updated: Jan 1
I recently had some work done in the bathroom. The previous owners did a cover up job that was getting worse with time. In preparation to sell, I didn’t want to do the same thing so had the problem addressed.
The plumber came on a Sunday as a side job. Not wanting to be a hovering female expecting a blow-by-blow commentary, I retreated to my studio ecstatic the job was finally being done. He was my third plumber and the only one I trusted who was responsive to my desperation.
He cut out the wet floorboard beneath the toilet and replaced it with a patch and brand new toilet. I assumed he was going replace the whole floor to avoid any possible further seepage. He did not.
While in my studio with his power tools blaring, I kept to myself and trying to trust the process while convincing myself a whole new subfloor was the better way to go. But if I wasn’t careful I could flip over into victimization any second. Those tradesmen always take advantage of us females..
Which got me thinking about my overall self esteem and self worth that have taken a beating due to the MS takeover. Everything from cutting my meat, helping me dress to botched handy dart rides, cancelled appointments with no notice, and home support showing up at random. Combined, it all did its best to chip away at my self worth, my self image and left me feeling victimized. But I refused to give into that self pity. I clung to the Bible verse 2 Timothy 1:7 For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power, love and self discipline. After meditating on it awhile, the thoughts came to me about how my perceived adversary might be feeling.
The handi dart driver wouldn’t be whistling Dixie over a disappointed client. Or the homecare worker wasn’t happy to show up an hour late. They too have a job and authorities to answer to. They too are just doing the best they can.
Like the break of day, compassion started dawning on me. I no longer saw myself as the only victim here. I began to see where I did have choice. I can choose my attitude. I can choose what I think about, I can choose what I do with my time, what to eat, when to go to bed, when to get up. The critical side of me wanted to blow off those nonsensical options but the compassionate side of me hung on. And those little selections gave me freedom from bitterness, anger. They encouraged me to take the next step. And 2 Tim 1:7 must’ve kicked in because I found my voice. I called to express my concerns, as well as my gratitude, to ears that listened. Not that anything changed. But I felt better.
I experienced first hand how being a victim takes my power away, and sets me up for a fight. But using my heart to have compassion, to remember whose I am and straighten my crown, I felt a thousand times better.
The bathroom floor can still bother me if I let it, because I know best don’t you know, but I choose to change my attitude. He did come on a Sunday after working all week; he is the plumber, not me; I was responsible and did my job by getting the work done, how he did it was his job. The rest I can take to God knowing my intentions were pure and I did my best. Period.
So the next time I’m slipping into self pity and the victim mode, I focus on God, on others and all the choices he has given me.
And it’s amazing what kind of unexpected bouquet springs to mind. Not to mention the bathroom looks terrific.