i wouldn't want to admit it


for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
— philippians 4:11-12

it's hard to admit when you're wrong.  sure, we're familiar with that.

it's hard to be called-out on something.  painfully so.  and you know the roots go down deep, so it won't be an easy fix.

it's those conversations we have with people--people we love, who know us well, whom we trust--that leaves us exposed and vulnerable.  and then, quite possibly, our (ahem...my) anger towards that person grows.

so, ben said the words that sliced into my soul and shattered the glass case i've been using to protect my wounded heart--allowing for too long, a depressed sadness of selfishness and pity to rule my life.



"we are in the desert and i am sad and i will complain about my circumstances until i get to the other side of this where the grass is greener.  where the sand doesn't fill my lungs and the heat scorch my sour heart.  i am allowed to complain because this is just not fair."  (said the woman who is lucky and just fine but doesn't want to admit that.)

i didn't realize that part of my recent life composition has been filled with the dissident chords of complaint.  i really believed i was starting to sing a desert song that was filled with harmony and acceptance of this time here.

but the shadow of my discontent spirit was entangling and causing stress.

and when we start to see the effects our actions have on the ones we love, it breaks us down a bit and allows us to care and understand and want to stop the flow of acidic emotional outpours.

i write this in part because speaking this causes me to remember its importance.  and to write about it here means that i'm human and don't have my shit together.  and my children and my spouse have been the recipient of this toxic mindset, and here i'm asking for their forgiveness.

there are difficulties to living here.  but what i'm seeing to be the biggest problem is the way i've been perceiving this time in doha.

the other day i cried in front of my support group (the expat wives group that i began a few months ago).  i confessed how i hated my husband for a moment because he spoke the truth about something that i had been using as an emotional shield to help justify this awkward and frustrating season of life.  i had been complaining about so many aspects of living in doha which was causing stress for him and our family.  he is the type of person who is strangely optimistic, and even when he's not, he does a pretty darn good job of pretending to be happy.  in short, he's content.  and i didn't realize how often my undertones carry a weight of passive aggressive discontentment.

i asked them how they've dealt with this.

so they understood but didn't seem to completely relate.  i heard wonderful words of advice:  "this is all temporary."  "this is an adventure, an exciting adventure."  "when i see how happy my spouse is with his job, i really want this to work out for him and for all of us."  "what a great opportunity to learn."  "we have it so good on many levels."  "you just can't compare this culture to what you grew up in."  and so on.  i value all that was shared.  i understand and for some reason, feel a bit relieved and sustained by what they shared and how they helped prop me back up on my feet again with a renewed vision.

but i took a closer look as to why i really struggle to see the sunny side...it's sort of in my dna:  complaining.  and although that's not an excuse, i can see the patterns from my childhood.  and i want it to stop.  i don't want it to become entangled in my children's unconscious mantra.  

so i'll pray the sinners prayer once again. and i'll ask for a heart that is content.  and i pray that this life situation now will reap a beautiful harvest of contentment that will stay with me through all of my days.

and maybe because of this hard conversation and reckoning, ben and i are now able to consider what a fourth year in doha might look like.  i'm not as stubborn, using pity and complaining to ease my whining.

but this is my heart issue and my motivation to pause and choose to be happy and content in any and every situation.