I need to remind myself of these things, as a kind of reset for my daily life – what small things do you need to remind yourself this week?
Try not to take other people’s actions as a reflection of value or worth.
Has there ever been a moment in your life when someone disappointed you? Whether it was via their actions, words or just their general attitude towards you. Here’s a fact for you: you usually can’t control the thoughts, actions or emotions of others. But you can take ownership of your own. It’s so easy to get downtrodden and believe in the lies that tell us we’re unworthy because of how others treat us. Well, they said this, so that must mean I am not worth it… Or they didn’t do this, so obviously I’m not worth doing this for…
Take ownership over your emotions and responses to how others treat you.
You may not be able to change what they did or said or even how they reacted, but you can decide what you do with your emotions and keep your attitude from being negatively influenced by them. Sometimes, it really isn’t you and it really is them.
Begin every day in the Word and with prayer.
Being in the Word everyday is essential to the Christian walk. Over the last year or so, I’ve learned this well. I mentioned that I also utilize the Abide app for daily prayer. Take the time to “let the Word in before you let the world in.” We can’t afford to skip time with God – it’s just too important.
Show up, if you’re able to.
I don’t know about you, but on some days it’s harder for me to show up more than others. Introverts, I’m talking to you. If you say you’re going to be somewhere and you physically feel well enough to be there – go. Most likely, you’ll end up enjoying yourself and silently thanking yourself for following through on it. Follow through on your commitments and your word, as often as you are able.
If you can’t do it, say so.
I don’t know exactly what it is, but for some reason, sometimes, I think I am Wonder Woman. Either I’m wrong, or I just gave up my secret identity. Most likely the former. The truth is, I can’t do it all. But oh, do I want to. I can drive myself crazy trying to do everything and anything all at once. But I just can’t. And that’s okay. Make sure that when you feel like things are just too much, you don’t take anything else on that you’re not able to complete or follow through on. In other words, learn to say “no”.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Once, I asked someone if they’ve ever wanted to live someone else’s life, even if just for a day. They said, without hesitation, “No, not really.” I wasn’t convinced. You mean to tell me, that you’ve never – not once – seen someone else’s life and wanted to just knowhow it felt to be them, for one day? They were insistent that they have never thought this way before. I was immediately jealous – I hope you catch the irony there – and confused. I’ve struggled with jealousy many times throughout my life. It’s not that I don’t love, appreciate and enjoy this life – it’s just, sometimes other peoples’ lives look so enticing. Comparison is a funny thing. It likes to trap us into thinking that, no you don’t have enough – look what they have – you need that too. And it never ends. It’s a vicious cycle that is perpetuated by our human nature that is never fully satisfied – and truthfully, never will be. It’s a thief of joy and happiness and contentment and thankfulness. So the next time you get on Facebook, the ‘Gram or any turn on that “reality” TV show, remember – it’s all heavily and well orchestrated to show only the best of times.
These days, people are eager and ready to show the good and exciting parts of their lives to others. It is much easier than showing the authentic and true parts of life, that may not be as glamorous or flashy.
Put your hope and trust in the God of the universe – and let Him pursue you.
In my last post, I reflected on the ways in which it can be hard for me to fully relinquish control and just trust in God. Honestly, God shows up. Sometimes, He’s the only one who does. Through time spent in His word and devotions, I’ve come to realize just how awesome He truly is. Often, I find myself blaming and lashing out on God for things that didn’t go my way, or in my timing or in the way that I thought He would do things. But He is never late. He never puts my calls through to voicemail and is a caring God who loves to hear my voice – even if it’s just to complain. He is constantly beckoning me to trust Him, with everything, and sometimes, that’s just too hard. But He always pursues me and it’s with humility and vulnerability that I allow Him to.
Vulnerability makes one heck of a difference.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned that’s gotten me anywhere in life, it’s the power and act of being vulnerable. If you want real and committed connection and relationships, you’ve got to be real and committed. As humans, we are created to be in relationship with others. We have been created with this desire to want to be known – fully and wholly. How can we be known, if we’re never truly ourselves? Unfortunately, we can’t be. Take a lesson from the late and great author, C.S. Lewis:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
If you want to be known, be willing to let others know you. The real you – please, because the world needs your authentic self. It’s already filled with veiled, inauthentic people, too afraid to be themselves and let others love them as they are. I promise you will find what you’re looking for, if only you’ll allow yourself to be who you are – and then let others do the same.