The Perfect Tamales
Bet you thought this was a recipe, huh? It's not.
The truth is, I haven't been feeling very inspired in the last couple weeks... more overwhelmed than anything. Nephi is working nonstop and still feels so behind, and I am doing everything I can with the kids, home projects, holidays, pregnancy, etc., trying not to get behind, but I still do every day.
I hung out with some friends the other night, to learn how to make tamales. It was a really fun night with lots of laughs, but I went home and proceeded to beat myself up throughout the rest of the night about two moments. One was something I said that was intended to be helpful, and the other, something I said that was intended to be funny ...I mean literally to make fun of myself... that ended up getting taken the wrong way, and offensively even, as if I am constantly praising myself for my own perfection... which couldn't be further from the truth.. The craziest part though, is that I bet if you ask the people there, they probably wouldn't even know what I am talking about. I just nitpick every single part of me and what I do and say and I really need to stop.
I still can't believe I let it keep me up all night though. Stupid and so self-absorbed. I tried to tell myself before I went to bed that it didn't matter, that the majority of the night was spent laughing and having a great time together, that no one would remember these couple small moments where I "messed up", but my anxiety came back at me full force...
"You know that when you're not around, they're going to talk about how annoying you are."
"Why do you even open your mouth at all?"
"Just let other people do the talking."
"No one can tell when you're joking."
"You're not funny."
"The more you let your guard down around new friends, the more they will realize that they actually don't like you."
Here are the inner workings of my brain on a regular basis. I just want to love everyone and be loved in return, don't we all? Thinking like this is so exhausting, and yet maybe more common than I think...
Sometimes I wonder... Am I even an introvert, or do people exhaust me because I can only keep up my facade for so long before getting completely burnt out? How do some people literally not care what others think of them?? I thought I had come a long way in this regard, and I have personally, at least compared to where I started, but then one simple night out shows me I still have plenty of issues to work out.
Do I have any friends that actually know me? I don't know, because I don't think I let them, even if they want to. Do I even really know who I am, or where my worth comes from? Sometimes I think I do, and then sometimes I have no idea.
Anyways, I stumbled on a talk the next morning called "The Perfect Lie". 10/10 would recommend clicking that link to read it! The basis of it is that instead of the equation in life being "Me + More = Christlike", the truth is that "Me + Christ = More". It really hit me when she said that Christ didn't condemn those who didn't bring enough loaves and fish for everyone, or enough wine to the wedding. He simply created more of what the people were able to give Him, and made it enough.
It feels so significant, and yet, for whatever reason, I feel like I'm going to have to keep reading and thinking about it a lot to let it sink in, and understand. I usually only write when I feel inspired. I guess I do right now, in a way, but at the same time, it's typically when I feel like I've already come to an understanding about something, a moment of total clarity. This feels important too though, and getting it all out is helping.
So back to the tamales we made the other night... The friend who taught us how to make them makes literally the best tamales ever, and was so amazing to teach us everything, step by step. And yet still, as I was unwrapping my "perfectly" folded up tamales the next morning, only to find how much of a mess they were inside, I couldn't help but think, "Hey, it's exactly like me!" *crying laughing* My tamales were wrapped so badly inside (my own fault for being impatient the night before, haha) that I pretty much dumped them in a baking dish and turned it into one big tamale casserole. If that doesn't describe me to a T, I don't know what does.
But you know what?? The person who made this recipe is crazy talented, and eating these broken tamales created with her perfect recipe and ingredients is so delicious, maybe there is hope for me after all. I have all the steps written down, and I know what to do to attempt making them again next time. There are so many things I tell myself that aren't true, especially in moments of anxiety, but I've learned from a very good friend that when this happens, I should stop what I am doing, and speak truths. And the truth is... I'm not perfect, but my ingredients are good. I have the recipe, so I can keep trying. And I can work with that. And He can work with that.
Update: SEND HELP. These are the best tamales I have ever had, and I literally can't stop eating them.
PS: That was not a metaphor.