Four months ago, as I wrote about my plans for my 50th year, I included the following: “I also want to be more in service to others.”
I have found one way to be more in service, but I didn’t come to it easily.
On Sunday, I was installed as the communications coordinator for the United Methodist Women Mission Team in the district that I live in.
My duties will include doing the quarterly newsletter.
It’s a volunteer position that seemed to entail more responsibility than I was at first willing to take on.
Being responsible for something that affects others has been a problem for me for much of my life because of my obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Mostly it has to do with being responsible for the safety and welfare of another creature, whether person or animal.
For example, that’s why it was so difficult for me to take on the responsibility of having a pet.
But my concerns about taking on more responsibility also have to do with taking on anything that I might get anxious about or worry about.
With this volunteer position, I worried about whether or not I would be able to do the job. What if I couldn’t do the newsletter? What if I did it incorrectly? What if I sent out incorrect information? What if I was unable to stop thinking of the responsibility? What if there was always something to worry about?
I considered whether or not to accept the position. Finally, I decided to say yes to the responsibility and no to the OCD.
*I don’t have to do it alone. I can ask for help. In fact, I’ve already been told that there’s help available if I need it. And I’ll receive training later this month.
In most situations we find ourselves in, we can ask for help, and there’s no shame in that.
*I’m not responsible for the world. I’m just responsible for one position and those tasks.
*I can learn to live with the anxiety. I may worry about the work in between assignments, but I can learn to tolerate it. I am developing tools to manage anxiety,.
*I can learn to live with the uncertainty. I don’t have to be certain that I’ll do a great job. I may, I may not. But I can’t see into the future, no matter how much I imagine it. I don’t have full control over the results. All I can do is put in my best efforts.
*I can help others. And wasn’t that the goal in the first place?