I Do Not Need to Be Assured of My Sinfulness

On #adaywithoutwomen I walked out of my job—for good.

Well, I turned in my two-weeks notice and the connection to a day without women was an unplanned (or subconscious) coincidence. The choice to walk away is one of the most difficult I’ve ever made. But not for the reasons leaving a job is normally difficult.

It’s because, deep inside myself, I didn’t feel that I deserved that job in the first place.

Or success. Or the respect I’d finally gotten up the nerve to demand before the comments that pushed me to finally–after 12 sickening months–deliver my resignation.

I’m the queen of the “well, yeah, but…” when it comes to accepting (or deflecting) praise, success, and accomplishments. For example:

“You graduated summa cum laude! That’s awesome!”

“Well, yeah, but it’s not like I went to Harvard.”

“You have a Master’s Degree?”

“Well, yeah, but just from a state school.”

“You sewed that thing? That’s so cool!”

“Well, yeah, but I used a pattern.”

Maybe it’s misguided humility. The result of being taught “gender norms” and responding to praise. A side effect of chronic depression. But thinking I am less-than comes naturally. Self-confidence? That takes days (months) of reflection, meditation, research, and preparation.

So in a particularly bad cycle of “what did I do? I think too highly of my abilities and should never have thought I deserved better” last week, I paused to pray. (Did I mention I’m Catholic? Maybe that has something to do with it…)

I didn’t trust myself to be alone with my thoughts, so I did a “3-minute meditation” from a source I won’t name. And at about minute 2:50 I found myself saying the words:

I am assured of my own sinfulness.

And it made me…angry.

Here I was, trying to engage in legitimate self-care (not even the #selfcare with a bellini and a face mask, which actually sounds pretty awesome right now), and all I get is a reminder to think about everything I’ve done wrong.

You know what? I’ve got that part covered. #thanksbutnothanks.

I love my faith. Well, I love the pure parts of it. The parts that haven’t been tainted by politics and people. I love it because it can be distilled into these four points*:

  1. Love God.
  2. Love Others.
  3. Love Yourself.
  4. Do Good Things.

And I need those four things in my life, desperately. But you know what I don’t need when I am already broken, on my knees, and desperate? To be “reassured of my own sinfulness.”

How are you taking care of yourself this week?



*So can most other religions, spiritualities, and secular systems of belief.

2 thoughts on “I Do Not Need to Be Assured of My Sinfulness

  1. Alison Doherty says:

    Congratulations! Learning to quit things/jobs that were not working for me is the biggest/hardest thing I’ve learned to do … and I don’t know if I’ve fully learned to do it. But whenever I can do it, it has come with the biggest rewards. Wishing you luck, strength, and self care as you transition into something new.

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