This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for September, 2018

I Don’t Want Dead People’s Goals

I have been told many times in my life to guard my heart, including recently. I mean it is Biblical right? “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” Proverbs 4:23. I believe this is not unwise advice, but Proverbs are just that, proverbs. They are good reminders but not exact doctrine to live by. 

I mean, if you literally “guard” your heart, would you ever let anyone in? We were not created to live on solitary islands. That being said, there is a lot of hurt that happens in the world that was never the intention either. So how do you balance it? How do you live vulnerably but still not be a doormat?

I am a super passionate person and when I do something, I am all in. I work all in, I parent all in and I love all in. I don’t do things half way. I understand the wiseness of slow and steady but I can’t remember a time I have ever done it that way. I feel like I wasn’t wired that way. The problem with this is that I make decisions that are not always the best and my heart gets fully invested very quickly. I am also a very visionary person, so often I see things as they could be (not that I am ignorant to reality) and believe that they will get there. I believe people can change, I believe goals can be achieved – because they can, but they don’t always.

So when things don’t work out I am devastated. I get so heavily invested, sometimes and somethings you need to be fully invested in. When the market crashes and all you have invested in is gone, what is left? I have the broken pieces of my heart and I hold those tight and say ‘Never Again!”  I swear that I won’t love people recklessly. I start to build walls around my heart. I put armed guards at the door and I try my best not to feel.  When Susan and the babies died I could not imagine how easy it could be to lose something and someone you loved so much. When my marriage ended I never wanted to love someone that way again. The pain that comes with loss is so enveloping you can’t feel anything else and you never want to feel again.

Susan David has a powerful Ted talk I have watched multiple times, the gift and power of emotional courage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDQ1Mi5I4rg). She says people have said those kinds of things to her about not wanting to feel and she says to them, “you have dead people’s goals.” She’s right. Dead people don’t feel. We don’t get to pick and choose our emotions – we either have them or we don’t. You feel pleasure and pain, hope and sadness, excitment and disappointment. Your alive or your dead. I want to live.

I do still understand the wisdom of healthy boundaries and I will do my best to hold to those even when they hurt. I will screw them up. I will try again.  I will not give up, because I want to live. Not a day before God decides to take me home am I going to give up. I will lean into the pain and let it craft me into a better person. I will admit my mistakes and work at change.

My heart will hurt, it will also hope. It can harden or it can heal. You chose.

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It’s what you do after

We all fail. Repeatedly.

My ethics class is really about examining failures. It’s fascinating to see where people crossed the line and what were the factors that influenced their compromises. We all have them. Some are bigger than others. Of course it’s easier to see these in others than in ourselves. Self reflection is sometimes as productive as trying to lick the back of our own head.

Eventually we are confronted by our own decay. So what then?

Do you deny, minimize or cover-up as much as possible?

Do you downward spiral into a pit of dispair and self loathing?

Do you run and hide?

Or do you own it?

I am working hard to not own my mistkakes in the way that they are part of my skin or my DNA. I am not the sum of my mistakes, but in order to grow and be free I do need to own that I made them. They were an article of clothing I had put on but am deciding to take off. It looks like, “Yes I did that, but it is not who I am.” This is not easy.

Shame says, all those people who talk and think negatively about you are right.

Guilt says, that was wrong but you are better than that and can make good choices.

What do you do wtih people who fail? You look at their behaviour after, you err on the side of grace, and most importantly you remember that you are one of them.

It’s Time to Quit

Bob Goff says you can quit anything on a Thursday. I decided not to wait till Thursday and on Monday I put on my big girl panties and rolled out the chopping block. Yesterday and today I have/am quitting a lot of things. It’s been long overdue and it’s painful.

My favorite song is by Avicii and it says “all this time I was finding myself, and I, didn’t know I was lost.” One morning you wake up and think, who am I or where am I? You learn things about yourself that you didn’t realize because you didn’t notice getting off track. It’s just a slight degree in deviation and it can change your whole trajectory. It’s like cooking a lobster slowly but lobsters can still realize what’s happening and jump out of the pot – at least this lobster is.

Priorities are important. Going for what you want in life without compromising who you are is essential.

Quitting things that need to be quit means I may have to hold off on some big dreams, but if I get there in a way that is not true to me then it’s not worth getting there. God called me a long time ago and He still does. If He wants me to achieve these things then He will find a way. I have to follow Him and make the right choices- even after I have made wrong ones. I own my story – the good and the bad, it’s all me. People can make any judgments they want, it will not change who God created me to be and that when I forget that, He will remind me and call me back.

There has been so much ongoing pain since last October and it has not ended. I thought yesterday that quitting things would help bring an end but I realize today that that might not be the case. It probably will, in fact, get worse before it gets better because moving away from things and people you love is painful. A whole year (and possibly longer) of constant pain is a very long time and makes sense why I compromised in some areas. But today I decided that even if the pain doesn’t end, I will find a way to live with the pain, acknowledge that it is there but still live a healthy life.

I am His child, dearly loved and daughter of the King of Kings.