Second-guessing our best

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. (Proverbs 31:18)

How many times do we second-guess ourselves? Even when we’re pretty sure that the dress we’re making is turning out nice, or the meal smells really good, or that story is well-written. I’m not talking about being the kind of person who constantly needs approval, but of doubting our own abilities– even in something we’ve done well, maybe even successfully, more than a few times.

I love to write. Right now, that means blogging (mainly because it’s short pieces and I’m short on writing opportunities), but I’ve written a lot of poetry, and parts of stories. I have 3 or 4 novels floating around my head just begging to be written. But I doubt my abilities, even though I’ve been praised for my writing (for the record, I feel very uncomfortable having anyone read my stuff– except for blog posts). So, I tend to second-guess myself.

I think maybe that’s where the “candle not going out at night” part comes in. The Proverbs 31 woman knows her merchandise– the stuff she makes to sell– is good. And she works at it late at night to get it done. She knows it’s good enough– and worth enough– to push through late hours to finish (also for the record– I sew, and do a fairly passable job, but make way too many mistakes if I try to do it at night when I am tired).

There’s this common notion that Canadians are rather self-depreciating. We seem to have an overdeveloped sense of modesty, and tend to downplay any praise. But, we do have a sense of quiet pride in those things we, as a nation, do well. We are known nearly worldwide as being polite; we turn out awesome hockey players (although it seems they seldom play for the Leafs); we’re known more for peacekeeping than for active battle (unless you go back to WW1 & 2, and ask people in Western Europe); Tim Horton’s coffee. A few years ago there was a beer commercial that, despite it advertising alcohol, hit the nail on the Canadian head. The spots were called “I Am Canadian” and they resonated with most of us. For once, it seemed, we were allowing ourselves to be openly proud of our nationality.

We need to acknowledge when our work as wives, mothers, is worth something. When we know we have something to be proud of, we need not be ashamed of it, or the work it took to produce it.

Just sayin’.


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