In life, we get many choices. One of those choices is if we want to be “all in” or not. We decide how much effort we are willing to exert based on the priority of needs we are presented with. Some people may choose to give 50% of themselves in any given circumstance. And I don’t judge those people. Not anymore. It is the Halfers that are capable of self-preservation – protecting those vulnerable, deep down parts by not giving their all.
Halfers know that by risking all they have, they could also lose everything. They weigh the pros and cons, list the checks and balances, and move on accordingly. This particular group knows how to hold back when necessary. They’re capable of watching as things that don’t work out roll somewhat easily off their shoulders. They’re able to rebound with speed and at least half of their reserved strength.
These people are survivors.
And then in life, there’s a second group – the group that makes the choice to go 200% in. The Doublers. These people are the ones that aim for the stars instead of the clouds. They give all of themselves in all of their exhibitions. When things go well, they double their strength and fly high until the next time they lose. And when they lose, they are left with nothing. They are broken and exhausted. There is no hidden reserve of care or energy, no speedy bounce back. Recovery is long and it is dreary and it is awful.
Doublers fight to the death, give away their last slice of bread despite their own hunger, and sweat blood. There is no self-preservation – no bodily armor to protect them as they live each day.
Doublers are not survivors.
I have no idea which category you fall into. You’re probably like most people… individual circumstances allow you to choose which team you will play for.
Grocery-shopping? Halfer. Math homework? Doubler. Making time with friends? Budgeting money? Resolving spousal conflicts? Your own personal health?
You see, there are no rights or wrongs. You pick your battles and choose to accept the consequences. Most of us tend to go halfsies on the smaller matters in our lives and double up on the main events, am I right?
Except here’s the problem. Sometimes, everything in life seems to be a main event. Sometimes, everything requires 200% of us. There are some of you reading this right now who feel that you are gambling so much of yourself that the consequences may even prove fatal. The risks are too great and you have no idea if you will survive.
Let me explain what a Doubler’s lifestyle may look like when everything requires them to be all in:
You are raising a special needs child. You are caring for aging parents. You are a work at home AND work out of the home parent. You have more bills than you have paycheck. You or someone in your immediate family has a life-altering health concern and doctor’s appointments are a full-time job. Your career is in a field that requires you to care for the physical/mental/emotional/spiritual health of other(s). You are married. You are single. You have a hormonal or mental health imbalance. Your children outnumber the adults in your home. You have therapies, sports, early intervention, Bible study, something that needs to be baked for charity, laundry that hasn’t been done in weeks, lab work, vet appointments, meetings, and grocery shopping all in the same day because you CANNOT serve ketchup and crackers with canned fruit 2 meals in a row.
Have I described you yet? Are you sitting there saying to yourself, Oh my gosh, I’m Doubling on EVERYTHING because there is simply no other choice! If you are, then you know you are playing Russian Roulette with your own sanity. You’re driving full-speed at a brick wall, believing that it can and hopefully will move. You’re holding onto a breaking heart so tightly, fearful of losing even just one small piece.
I know this because I, too, am a Doubler. Sure, I’ll go halfway when I can. When the house is only somewhat deplorable and I’m sorta sure we’ve got enough money in the account to put gas in the car… and even then, maybe I’ll only put in a few bucks, just to be safe.
But everything in life… it all feels so important. There’s so little that I can lay aside or put on the back burner. My kids with their mental illnesses, I can’t half that. My son with his kidney disorder and all the things that trigger it, that has to get my all. My advocacy for a foster child that was taken from me and placed into an abusive situation – how could I ever do only 50%? My husband, my church, my clients, the finances, my health, our family… who gets cut?
And what do we do when there’s nothing left to give?
I have faced this same dilemma so very many times. Because all the things in my life deserve more than all that I can give. And that is how I know that Doublers are not survivors.
They are world changers.
For every person that finds themselves so close to the fire that they can feel the heat burning their skin…
For every person who battles to the death for a cause that is noble or to save the ones they love…
For every person willing to lay themselves on the line in order to keep another life going…
You may be too exhausted to see it, but you’re changing someone’s world.
If you fought to keep your wits about you when your child was screaming in your face, when you hold the hand of someone as they lay dying in a hospital bed, if you never stop loving even when you’re being thrown through the wringer – then you are changing the world.
I know you’re tired, friend. So am I. I’m so tired it hurts. But take comfort in this:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day comes, you will be able to stand your ground – and having done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13
This is not just another spiritual cliché. I’m not here to boost anyone up with feel good words and fluffy analogies. But when your child is in your face, remember that it’s not him that you’re battling. And when you’re holding your loved ones hand as they near death, it is not their spirit that is dying. And when you’ve loved with your whole heart and feel that it’s been given back to you time and again, wounded and shattered… then you know you have done everything. You have doubled up, given all that you could, and fought against all that is wrong until you’ve taken your last step.
And when you can go no further, just stand.
Because the key to changing the world is doing all that you can, then stepping aside and allowing God to finish the fight.
Be a Halfer when you can, be a Doubler when you must, and rest in God always.
If any of this hits home with you and you're looking for some extra support, click here to read about joining the Mommyhood: Striving for Sanity Membership Program.