An Alternative to Superwoman Syndrome

I’m sharing with you the path the Lord is leading me on towards freedom from the sin of anger. I’ve not arrived yet…but can’t deny He’s working. Catch the whole Freedom from Anger series here

Last time I talked about how I have started to recognize some of my anger triggers—the things that start the pot simmering, and, when added together, result in my blowing my lid.

It’s interesting to note that I seem to always blow up about the smallest thing. Spilled water. Poor cell phone reception. Laundry in the wrong place. I mean–good grief–what is my problem?

My problem is I let these things build. God is teaching me I need to deal with them as they come, running to Him at the least hint of negative emotion, rather than trying to deal with it myself and only using His grace for the ‘big’ stuff in life. I need Him every moment, oh yes. No denying that anymore.

So, He is teaching me about what to do when  trigger comes, but He’s also given me another soul-refreshing insight, like an oasis on this sometimes-dreadfully-parching journey:

He has told me that it’s ok to try to avoid some triggers. To map a path around them, to stop before I come up to them, to even run the other way.

Oh, my goodness. That seems like the chicken’s way out, doesn’t it? I mean, I should be strong enough, right? I can handle something little like a bit of mess on the floor, hungry kids, or being late to a park date, right?

Um, wrong. So very wrong. So very prideful, as well as so not what He’s called me to be. He hasn’t called me to be superwoman. I venture to say, He hasn’t called you, either. What He really wants are daughters who rely on Him and do nothing in their own strength, so that in every area of our lives, He gets the glory and His power shines through.


Running Straight Toward a Fracture

This truth was impressed on me last month when I got it in my little hare-brain to run another 5k. (Oh, yeah? Did you know? Last year I officially became a wanna-be runner, completing not one but two very slow 5k’s. Oh, yes. This was very good for my superwoman ego. Not so good for my humility, can you tell?) If you’re new around here, I shall explain one very key reason that this is a crazy idea: I’m currently 5 months pregnant. Here’s another great reason: I haven’t run since my last 5k, 7 months ago.

So, yeah, I got it in my head that I could do a 5k next month, that I should do a 5k next month, so I bought some running shorts that fit this month’s waist line, set my alarm for 6:30, and went out and started training. (I swear by the couch-2-5k app—walk, run, walk, run, building up the amount of time you run each day, sweet female voice prompt telling you when to stop and start so you can just concentrate on panting and putting one foot in front of the other.)

Day 1: I ran/walked 2 1/4 miles, and felt A-Ma-Zing.

Day 2: I was so sore and was limping and all that, but I kept telling myself it was awesome and I’d feel better soon.

Day 3: I again walked/ran 2 1/4 miles, pushing through the soreness from Day 1, but man, it hurt. Especially my left foot.

Day 4: The initial soreness from Day 1 had finally wore off, and I was hopeful Day 5 would be the turning point to enjoying the training process. Except, my left foot was hurting more than ever, and I realized this wasn’t just your average sore muscle.

So, I called my friend and fellow runner, Kristina, who had had some similar pain in her foot last year. And she told me what the doctor had told her—”You’re headed for a stress fracture if you don’t take it easy.” She told me to keep it wrapped and forget the whole idea of running a 5k next month.

What a relief it was to be given permission to take it easy.

Superwoman Syndrome

I like to think I am a strong woman. As in, strong enough for This, and That, and That and That. I think it’s called Superwoman Syndrome in psychology textbooks. (I’m just kidding on that—I’ve never seen a psychology text book. Can’t even spell psychology—thank you, spell check!) Commitments, expectations, dreams, goals, tasks, and responsibilities pile on me until I fracture (usually in the form of a verbal explosion aimed at my *usually* innocent children). I’ve been telling myself my problem is I’m just not strong enough, and I should be able to handle the stress if I just Try Harder.

superwoman syndrome

But this month the Lord gently released me from that expectation of myself, and I have begun to see that pushing myself through the stress of facing multiple triggers each hour of my day may be the last thing my soul needs.

Instead, my soul needs splinting. My spirit needs rest, and permission to avoid as many anger triggers as possible. Maybe just for a season till the weakness heals, maybe for long term because He never called me to be Superwoman.

So, along with dealing with triggers when they pop up, I’m also learning to strategize to avoid them. Next time I’d love to share with you a few of my main triggers and what I’m doing to navigate around them…

Have you fallen in the trap of thinking you should be stronger, instead of embracing the fact that He hasn’t called you to be superwoman?

4 responses to “An Alternative to Superwoman Syndrome”

  1. Aprille Avatar

    I love this idea of avoiding triggers, and I’ve found it to be very successful for me in my own life. Over time I’ve given myself permission to do so many things I never would before. Like not attempting to cook dinner every night, not following a blogging or social media schedule, never making my bed, not finishing an online Bible study, and playing candy crush when I’m “supposed to be” cleaning or cooking. I’ve already decided that I’m sitting out of MOPS this fall.

    And I’m actually NOT instagramming all of the photos for the blog post I’m working on today. They are just getting posted, as is. 🙂

    Far less outbursts of anger…far less frustration… happier mommy, happy family!

  2. Katie Avatar

    Pride. Ouch. Thank you. 😉 <3

  3. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm Avatar

    correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the super woman syndrome something humans came up with? -grin- I find when I’m feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed, it’s because I’m not focused on God and His will for my life. Yeah, happens a lot and it’s a constant struggle but the good news is God is faithful. Bless His name forever.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Amen, Sandra!

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