Confession of a Wal-Mart addict
As much as I hate to admit it, I am a Wal-Mart addict. It’s a shopaholic’s dream world especially if your money is limited. It was our very first outing to shop after the fire. The family had spent a full day at the mall and as we were heading home I asked my husband if he would mind stopping by Wal-Mart. His answer was quick—no. I went on pressing my case, “But we need trash bags and some other things.” He was not deterred, “It is 9 pm and the kids need to get home and so do you.” I felt free for the first time since forever. I had managed to walk again and use my hands again and I did not want anyone putting limitations on me.
I can do it all by myself
The pouting began in full force, “I feel fine and can finally do something on my own. I just wanted to have a few more minutes of freedom.” He compromised, “Okay, but I am not going in.” I was shocked, “But how am I going to get the things I need with the splints on?” He threw my words back at me, “You can finally do something on your own—right?”
The foolishness of proving yourself
I was instantly angry. Now I had to prove myself to him of all people. I told him I would be just fine and that my three older sons, Jonathon, Joseph, & Caleb could help me. I maneuvered my way out of the front seat and hollered for the boys to follow. My pace was slow and steady yet I noticed the boys were drifting further and further back. I glanced over my shoulder and hollered for them to keep up. The gap between me and them was widening. I whirled around and asked them in a sarcastic voice, “Is something wrong? Is it hard to keep up with me as fast as I am?” It was as if they were intentionally trying to keep a yard distance between us.
Something is not quite right
The looks on their faces weren’t quite right. Caleb looked as if he had seen a ghost. Jonathon looked totally disturbed. And Joseph—his Father’s son both in mind and spirit—looked oblivious to everything—lost in his own world. I couldn’t take it any longer. “What is the problem?” I asked in an irritated voice. Caleb immediately covered his eyes. Jonathon opened his mouth to speak but the audible words were frozen. Joseph looked me directly in my eyes and said in a matter of fact tone, “Well actually Mother, your behind is showing.”
Actually, people, our behind is showing
I was mortified. Obviously, in my determination to get out of the car on my own, my skirt and slip had gotten tangled and caught in the top and I was baring my underwear to the unfortunate Wal-Mart shoppers behind me. Had I heeded the advice to go home, I would not have suffered the humiliation. I pushed past confidence; took a wrong turn, and arrived at “headstrong”. A headstrong person moves on without counsel, without listening, and often without thinking. We tend to be headstrong when we have something to prove. In our efforts to prove our ability we can find ourselves wearing an impressive apron but our backside is visible to everyone.
Point in case
True confidence is not headstrong. You can be strong, confident, determined, and even unstoppable, without being headstrong.
Success is the achievement of necessary. It is not the fulfillment of a stubborn will or unrealistic goal. Neither is accepting help and advice an admission of failure; to the contrary, it is a mark of wisdom.
Here are some nuggets of wisdom I have learned along life’s journey:
- When you feel like you have something to prove, stop and be certain that your next steps are wise.
- Be open and listen. Heed the advice of successful people.
- True success is seldom achieved alone.
- Know when to push life’s limits and when to respect them.
Remember life is most enjoyable when there is heart, beauty, and true confidence.
*This post first appeared on Jennings Wire where Justina is a contributing blogger.