Mind the Gap

Have you ever felt you are not good enough, or you fall short on what you expect yourself to be?

There are days when we feel like we’ve accomplished a day’s worth of tasks in an hour, then there are days when our “to do” list seems to drag longer as the day passes. On those days we feel like we’d rather hide in the comfort of our bedrooms rather than face the tasks outside our doors, it’s easy to feel trapped and imprisoned by fears:

Fear of not being enough.

Fear of failing.

Fear of not measuring up.

Fear of not knowing what to do next.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of what others are expecting of us.

Fear of not meeting our own expectations.

Fear is a valid feeling. Our worth as a person does not diminish the moment we begin to fear something. Sometimes, this fear comes from being overwhelmed with everything happening at the same time. With all the tasks required of us everyday whether as a parent, a student, a co-worker, a sibling, or a child, any kind of fear that creeps in is understandable. 

However, when we don’t do something about it, fear cripples us. It stops us from doing and being our best. What happens then is that a hole or a gap opens in our heart. Because our fear gives birth to many other negative feelings, we tend to magnify the unfinished, rather than the accomplished. The gap widens. In effect, even the little things which are easy to do turn out to be burdensome.

On those times I feel I am falling short as a business owner, a daughter, a wife, and most especially as a mother, my husband fills the gap. Most of the time, even when I am not explicitly asking for his help, he already knows I need it. I don’t exactly know he does it, but I will definitely not tell you he has superpowers.

For example, when work requires me to be out of the house longer than usual, my husband will try to go home earlier to attend to the kids. He also goes out of his way from his busy schedule to write and give me letters to validate the efforts I try to do for him and the kids. These letters come unexpectedly, but at a time I need to hear his words the most.

In those moments, the gaps in my heart begin to close.

When fear tries to emphasize the gap in our hearts, our minds begin to slow down. This is why it becomes difficult to think of the next step. Sometimes, thinking of the next step can be exhausting. So rather than pushing ourselves to the limits, it’s best that we divert our attention to something or someone that can help fill the gap.

We may call or see a friend whose positive vibe is contagious. We may read, exercise, play sports, travel, pause and pray, just so our mind will be taken off from the sinking feeling for a while. Once we identify who or what that comfort is, then we will be able to get back up slowly. Again, there are no superpowers or magic required for us to be able to return to our productive selves.   

What we actually do when we identify who or what fills the gap in our difficult days is we train our minds to look for what is good, rather than focus on what is not good. Celebrate the accomplishments, rather than dwell on the weight of the pending tasks. Find reasons to smile again, to hang on, to move forward.

Some situations are given to us so we get reminded of our limitations. When we get sick, for example, much as we want to work, our body reminds us that we can only do so much at once, so we need to rest. This is why for us to be productive, we also have to be humble to admit that we need people to help us. Nobody succeeds by doing everything alone.  

With this said, if we know we are the one who fills the gap for someone else, let’s not get tired. We are placed in that person’s life for a reason, and if that reason is to make him or her feel a little better on a heavy day, then I think it’s just proper that we do it with all our hearts; after all, we know the feeling of not being enough and of being down and blue, right?

To the one who helps me fill the gap, my husband, (belated) Happy Father’s Day!

To the fathers here in Neatropolis, (belated) Happy Father’s Day too!

To the rest of you my dear Neatropolis, just like what we always hear and read, no one or nothing is going to bring you down unless you give them your permission. Let’s learn to appreciate what we have, and witness how bad days turn around.

Enjoy the rest of the week! Stay Neat, everyone!