Over the years, as I considered others’ insistence that I write a book, the first apprehension was always that I didn’t want to drown people in the sorrows of an ugly childhood, or adulthood for that matter. The latter typically follows the former and I was no different. Who wants to turn page after page deeper into a story of fear and grief? Today I feel that apprehension creeping in, and the need to assure you that the story has a very happy ending and a message of endurance.
These first two years of city life birthed a new lifestyle of ugliness and pain that no child should experience, and the unfairness of it all stuck with me for years. By adulthood, I would have every right to stomp my feet and cry Uncle! But the truth is we are not our individual experiences, and we don’t have the right to waste our life feeling sorry for ourselves over circumstances. Plus, like it or not – I didn’t like it and sometimes still don’t – every one of these experiences are beautiful. Stunning really. It took me so, so much time to see that. Like a longstanding piece of artwork, each moment of our life truly does mold us into a masterpiece, if we let it. Sometimes it is a slow and steady hand fine tuning the development of our soul. Other times it is a sudden, dramatic twist of the arm reshaping the entirety of our daily life and future, throwing all that we once thought we knew into question. Sometimes it feels fantastic. Sometimes the pain is excruciating. It doesn’t matter which point you are at really. If you lift your head up and open your eyes to the full vision for your life, you will see beauty at every point and how, when woven together, it creates the most powerful artwork on earth. It creates you. And no one person on earth can claim to be exactly like you because each of our journeys shapes us into a unique piece. See how special that is?
Nobody on this planet can provide the exact same perspective, teachings, friendship, love, talents, wisdom, encouragement, or mentoring as another person. That is powerful!!!! I realize it’s asking a lot for one to believe that hardship and trauma have purpose, but they do so long as you choose to rise above. There’s that crazy term again. Doesn’t it sound dreamy? Rise above, like a sunset over a beautiful mountain. So serene and easy and lovely. Pop! That was the bubble over your head. Forget about it. This process is anything but serene. It takes courage, strength, determination, grit and a crazy strong will to discover the truth about who you were meant to be. Not the lies you have been told or the shame you have felt or the sadness in your heart. Peeling back those layers of hurt takes endurance and belief that there is much more to you than any one moment. It requires faith that something bigger than all of us created each one of us to make a difference in this world. It is our job to seek truth in order to stay positioned on the trail of life meant for us personally.
While the process isn’t always so dreamy, shouldn’t we concur that finding our true purpose is? Just do an amazon search for life purpose once. Let me save you the time. That search provides over 40,000 results. We all want to know why we are here, but to do that we have to know who we are, and be comfortable in our skin. That’s so much of this battle. I meet countless people imprisoned by fear of judgment. It’s crazy! But, at the same time, I get it. I was one of those people. It’s just so funny because when I was in a state of fear of judgement, it was because I looked at everyone around me and thought I couldn’t possibly compare. I looked at other people and saw greatness. Everyone has always seemed so smart, artistic, musically inclined, perfect parent, nice as pie, etc and then there was me. Yet, they were all looking at me the same way. I was so busy seeing what I wasn’t I failed to see what I was. Does this sound familiar?
Go look in the mirror. Wait for it. Wait for it. Keep looking. Take yourself in and then speak the words I Love You. I dare you. I did this one time and cried a river of tears. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to do. It made me recognize just how unkind and disrespectful I was being toward myself on a daily basis. How little credit I had given myself for the beautiful person I had become and really always was.
The years of disappointment add up for all of us, and we have become a society quick to rub in the mistakes and slow to lift ourselves, and each other, up in celebration. Stop living your life as if you are the mistake. The mistake happened. It was an action that took place but if you focus your eyes on the mistake alone it will eventually falsely define you while all along your authentic self is sitting on the sidelines waving hands, red face, doing everything to get your attention.
You know who’s your best sideline peep? God. He’s sitting there waiting for you to look up and see his love for you so that you can begin to love yourself. How do you begin to see him? Well, here comes the work, determination, and will to find truth. Particularly the work. I have spent years trying to figure out how to be “normal”. I have read countless books on self development, leadership, and spirituality. I have been counseled and provided a few mentors along the way. You know what comes with finding self love through God’s love? Freedom! Freedom to be who you want to be and do what you want to do without worry of anyone else’s opinion or how the story of life will play out. You just have to keep your focus on him and everything else falls into place. As a holistic doctor friend of mine once said, “Just wrap your whole self around the Lord and allow yourself to sway back and forth freely with his movement and you will have everything you ever wanted. God is good. God is so very, very good.” He was more right than I knew at the time.
I hope to have provoked you to dig in and do the work necessary to rip apart layers of lies. Start with a good book. I recommend the bible, but there are many from which to choose, and write your positive affirmations that you can repeat to yourself daily. Your words have power over your life. Choose wisely. Take time in quiet meditation and/or prayer daily. Find a good friend and/or prayer warrior, join a church and small group, seek counseling and start journaling. Commit to listening to a Ted talk each day on your way to work or an audio book. But take the time. Commit to the transformation. Seek truth.
Below is a list of great authors I highly recommend:
Brene Brown, Max Lucado, M. Scott Peck, Stephen Covey, Eckhart Tolle, Dale Carnegie, Lysa Terkeurst, Norman Vincent Peale, John Maxwell, Mark Batterson, Jack Canfield, Christa Black Gifford, and my all time favorite, Wayne Dyer
Recommended sources of God’s wisdom:
Elevation church on Youtube, visit their site @ http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/
T.D. Jakes @ http://www.tdjakes.org
And something the pastor at Chatham Church told me to do shortly after I asking him to explain the significance of Jesus…..
Say the Our Father. Read one psalm a day three times and be sure to read it aloud at least once. And then state the following prayer: Father, heal my heart in ways I can not heal myself. This turned out to be one of the most transformational efforts ever. I have moved on to read all parts of the bible, but I still say the prayer over myself and my family.
The How To’s of Positive Affirmations:
Prayers and Blessings,