Pavlov’s Dog



I’m in a weird place right now. Not a bad place but definitely one that I’m not used to. Or maybe I’ve just forgotten what it feels like to have faith. To live my life one moment at a time without constant fear and anxiety. Fear of failing. Like I’m being tested at every turn. Are you adulting properly? Are you being responsible enough? Are you doing enough? Your “grade” will drop if you slack off at all. The ever-nagging voice of the inner critic or is it my Mother? These days, it’s simply ME. Programmed to question, overthink, and own every move made and every emotion shared by myself and others.

Why is that? Why do some of us take on the burden of the world? Literally… taking on the hurts and wounds of those around us. Reaching so far as to hold ourselves accountable for the mistakes and wrongdoings of others. As if we have some kind of control over the people around us – the WORLD! The illusion of control allows us to distract ourselves from the real problem – “WE” are not, have never, and will never be – in control. EVER! I see it now – the constant need to consume myself with tasks, problems, drama – other people’s drama, problems, and tasks. My own!

Always seeking approval. Desperately needing people to “see” me, all the while staying silent. Only skimming the surface. Never truly committing to who I was meant to be. Overwhelmed by fear of abandonment, neglect, and failure. Grasping for every crumb of acknowledgment slung my way. Forever thinking my worth is tangled within those crumbs. Frantically collecting and storing every last one. Hoping… always hoping. If I do enough, if I make them happy, keep them happy, they will love me? A small token of kindness only afforded in response to right behavior. It’s like Pavlov’s dog – Oh my God, I’m Pavlov’s dog!

Aren’t we all?

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10


Photo by Baptist Standaert on Unsplash

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