This Bloody Sleeve Of Mine

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I always have. I’m not one of these people who can face the world with a cheery smile, while inside said world is crumbling to a pile of acrid ash. I don’t do deadpan and if I played poker, my pile of chips would be gone after a few disastrous hands. When it comes to office politics, I can’t play the long game. I become impatient, frustrated, the emotions splashed across my face for all to see.

Take this week. Both inside and outside of work I’ve struggled and failed to remain patient. When I should have bitten my lip and counted to ten, I’ve got to about four before losing my cool and venting my ire. This, of course, has accomplished zilch, zero, nada. Situations have remained unchanged, other than me making myself look foolish and regretting having opened my big, fat mouth.

When things aren’t going my way I tend to force the issue, rather than sitting back and waiting. I’m selfish so me, me, me always trumps the bigger picture and the needs and feelings of others. I end up with egg all over my face and that’s even before the main course of humble pie is served up. I reluctantly gulp it down, resisting the urge to gag on my own bitter, acidic bile.

I wish I wasn’t like this but I am. I always have been. I’m a bull in a china shop when things aren’t going my way. I’m 48 years old but sometimes feel I stopped developing emotionally somewhere in the early 80’s. Maybe that’s the problem. Rather than remain calm and look ahead, I fret that I’ve wasted my life and achieved nothing. I always have one eye on the ticking clock.

It’s a no win situation on all sides. I don’t trust others to deliver the goods because I know best and everyone else knows nothing. I obviously don’t trust God so I turn my back in frustration and snub my nose at his ‘perfect timing.’ I also don’t, and can’t, trust myself. I roll my eyes in office meetings, fire off poorly thought out e mails, and lash out at loved ones who deserve so much better.

My writing is my sanctuary, a safe place where I can think and compose measured, rational prose. It is where I cool off and reflect on my less than perfect behaviour in the big, bad world. I used to think this was where the real me could be found, but that’s not true. Blogging Stephen is kind, thoughtful and considerate. The real Stephen struggles on all these fronts. He aspires to be better but so often fails.

When I’m muttering to myself about the injustice of it all, I’m taking my eyes off the people who need and deserve my attention. As my wise wife often reminds me ‘The world does not revolve around Stephen.’ I hate it when she says that but only because she’s struck the bullseye and spoken the truth. I gripe and groan but should be thanking my lucky stars as to how good I have it.

I’ll try again, and most probably fail, but I’ll try. I’ll hand over my problems and frustrations. To my higher power. I will trust and believe with this most fractured of faiths. I can’t do it all on my own and no amount of ranting will change that. My heart deserves better. It’s time to put it back where it belongs, rather than leave it exposed and vulnerable to the casual slings and arrows of this unforgiving and relentless world.

Do you wear your heart on your sleeve?

Are you a patient person?

How do you deal with frustration and disappointment?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

48 thoughts on “This Bloody Sleeve Of Mine

  1. You and I are very similar. I could have written that myself, except I’m too embarrassed to go public with any failing(s). We try, but the bottom line is that we want things done right and we want them doing NOW! 🙂

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  2. From my experience, we are given many Opportunities to change and grow. If we ignore those opportunities the universe will eventually intervene and take actions that will give you no choices other than to deal with it! It will feel like you’ve been swatted down to the ground, slapped across the face, and stunned. At that point you are forced to change. NOT FUN. Take advantage of the Opportunities you are given each day. Rise. Grow. Take ACTIONS on your own to be better. Don’t talk about it – don’t write about it – Do It and Shine❤️

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  3. Nice post. Thank you for sharing. I wear my heart on my sleeve and am easily offended (I don’t like that about myself—the insecurity of it). I sometimes come across as a doormat bc I have too much patience.

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  4. The short answer is sometimes, usually and it depends. Sometimes, I am patient. Usually, I wear my heart on my sleeve. And my frustration and disappointment directly correlates to how well I am caring for myself. If I am stressed out and overwhelmed all that goes out the window and I become a stark raving bitch on wheels. I try to ask myself “How important is this, really?” and also remind myself that I do not have any clue what is really going on in any other person’s world. Sometimes I can manage all of this and other times not so much.

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  5. i totally relate. i’ve found reading (and trying to practice) buddhism and stoicism helpful. focusing on the things that are in my control, which are basically my thoughts and actions, and letting other things go. i definitely still struggle, but it helps.

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  6. I am definitely not a patient person. I am learning the hard way to wait on God and trust Him. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all fall short and have issues and weaknesses. It’s in those moments where I mess up that I am reminded just how much I need a savior. I don’t have all the answers but He does. Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start. God bless you friend!

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  7. Thank you for this post. It was like seeing how I feel but couldn’t put into words neatly written out and described.

    I used to bury/swallow the “inappropriate” emotions rather than lash out. Rather than exploding and offending people around me I imploded. Major depression. Suicidal thoughts.

    My point being the problem isn’t always about being able to speak out or keeping silent and polite but about realising you have emotions that are difficult for you to control and perhaps feel extreme.

    I found managing my stress and anxiety properly and seeking guidance from my doctor helped enormously.

    If your outbursts are hurting your relationships and sabotaging your career would it hurt to ask for a mental heath checkup at your next general checkup?

    I hope this isn’t out of line for a stranger to say.

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  8. I believe, you’re beating yourself up over things that ‘most of us’ do/have done. If people in the office meeting, dragged the meeting, caused it to stray off topic, it can get frustrating for others having to sit through still until the end. Then you send a bunch of emails after the meeting! Some take them out of context, some don’t. And you realize, how tricky emails are! How hard it is to control the tone of the email. Everyone takes it differently. Just the way emails are. So you get more frustrated inside at those whose own mood, might have skewed the tone of your email. Just one example oh how certain events affect us during the day. Then?! You drive home, and the traffic is so backed up, you wish you could just fly out of your window, desert your car, and wave adios to the long trail of miserable vehicles, all stuck there at halt! But then you realize you can’t! And also realize, you can’t voice your anger at the traffic or yell and scream, because! It’ll change nothing. So you have no choice but to internalize.

    Then you get home. Frustration has been building up all day. You lash out at innocent family members. Now you feel deep guilt.

    The point is, we all do it or/and have done it one time or another. But, we stop (you sure sound like you have) and, think. Then we work on improving our reaction and watching the cycle of anger/guilt more carefully the next time it happens. This is called ‘growth’. Glad you are growing 🙂

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  9. Forgot to add: sadly, not ‘everyone’ is capable of changing and growing. Some are set in their ways. Thea’s when it gets really sad. No room for growth. However, dynamic personalities, such as yours, continue to question how to be better and act better. I don’t believe you are ‘selfish’ at all as you describe yourself. You listen, think, reflect…improve; and, you are always thinking of your loved ones.

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  10. Editing makes everyone seem nicer. 😉 As I have said before, don’t beat yourself up too bad. It’s not like you (and I) WANT to be like this. You (we) are not proud of your lack of emotional stability. It’s part of your (our) other issues and caused by something most likely out of your control, as in a genetic issue. But do continue working patiently with yourself, as I am doing. Be patient with YOU as you try to become more patient with others. Keep humbly crying out to God for help for your every concern.
    🙂

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  11. Dear God. help me be slow to anger. slow to speak. help me not anger God. help me be at peace. God I can not do these things. i need your Holy Spirit to strengthen me. god you see what they said. You saw what it going on. Oh what’s that god? you don’t want to hear me complain? Well then fine! help me to humble and I need your help to do it because honestly i can’t do it Lord. in Jesus name Amen! yes I did say prayers like that to god and i confess it did not happen over night but i noticed all of a sudden things stop effecting me as much and now it is so hard to push my buttons! Prayers WORK WONDERS! and yeah i do pray to god like that because the lord knows i am weak and i can’t lie to god so i need some help god. Help me stay at peace in Jesus name Amen! They bible says ask in Jesus name and if it is god’s will it shall be given. truly to be humble is the will of God and it shall be done!

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  12. I second your thoughts. I am comfortable in my own skin. I have been struggling with frustration through 2018 at work for similar reasons. I know I should have stayed calm, let go even but I did not and hence, I suffered. But you do have a wise wife 🙂 Keep trying as I will!

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  13. Your words are great so you are much better than you give yourself credit for. We all have those impatient, blowout times but when you’re able to get things back into perspective, then you have accomplished something. Great post.

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  14. It’s good to know our flaws and weaknesses, and sometimes we need reminders because our guards may be built way too high for us to realize until someone else brings it up. Perfection doesn’t exist for humanity, not the way we expect or desire at least. But there is a promise in every opportunity, every minute, every tomorrow, even now. 🙂 I struggle but am thankful when God pricks my spirit (even when it hurts, and after I have my moment, I can breathe and look up) I see where I am needed and where I lack. May you continue to walk forward with what you know and learn more along the way.

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