Over-functioning is taking responsibility for your own life and for the lives of everyone around you. With the over-functioner, there’s a fear that if they don’t do it, it won’t get done. Terri Cole

Meditation: Often first born children, oldest girls, children of low- or over-functioning parents or anxious personalities have the tendency to feel highly or overly responsible. For themselves, and then also for all those around them. Spiritually the challenge for these persons is to let go of perfectionism and of extremely high standards for themselves and for others. An over-functioning person’s basic emotion is often anxiety. “What if I don’t do this?”… “What if the other person does not do this?” Often they have grown up with worst case scenarios being painted on the walls of their childhood homes. The anxiety of loss of control, of chaos, of helplessness and imperfection is great. One healing balm for over-functioning persons is to experience themselves in a healthy way as dependent. Dependent on other people: “There is somebody else who can do this or that.” And dependent on God:  “There is a God who holds the universe in balance and who allows me to be weak at times, and imperfect or exhausted.” When an over-functioning person can allow to rest, healing happens. Additionally under-functioning persons then get a chance to step up and to step in. New balance and healthier functioning for all can come about.

Prayer: God of balance, You see us when anxiety overcomes us and we become driven. You see us over-functioning and forgetting that we can depend on You and on others. Thank You for reminding us to trust more, to obsess less and to not allow our anxiety and our need for control to drive us and those around us insane. Heal us from over-functioning. Heal us from perfectionism. Free us from feeling responsible for everybody around us. Help us to rest and to let go. Amen

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28


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