This! Challenges. Inspires. Brings hope. And the hard work of faith never disappoints. Love you bother. M
One day in the future, when the vaccine or herd immunity arrives, we will leave our rabbit hole life and we will have changed, but how? The world will be different and the habits and fears we’ve acquired may well make us different.
Here’s the question we will need to ask: Will you like this new version of you?
I was reading an article by Brianna Wiest about things we need to leave if we want to change our lives and I realized, “These things are universal.” Her list was longer. Here are 10. I excerpted the following from her Medium article.
1. Your pride
“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ”— C.G. Jung
To change your life, you have to admit what’s not working. You have to humble yourself. You have to ask for help. You have to learn, and you have to accept. Your ego will defend your current circumstances, but you cannot allow a fleeting feeling of shame to eclipse reason. You cannot live the rest of your life as you are just because you are too prideful to admit something isn’t right.
2. Your emotional crutches
“Courage is feeling fear, not getting rid of fear, and taking action in the face of fear.” — Roy T. Bennett
Do you know why you haven’t yet changed your life, why you’re stuck, stagnant, and still making excuses? Because you are leaning on emotional crutches. Staying small, being afraid, remaining controlled and refusing to take action are all symptomatic of not wanting to lose that which is familiar, known, and dependable.
3. Your avoidance techniques
“Me with nothing left to lose, plotting my big revenge in the spotlight. Give me violent revenge fantasies as a coping mechanism.” — Chuck Palahniuk
Whatever you are doing to numb the nagging feeling that something isn’t right––whether it’s eating, drinking, sexing, whatever––you cannot push that feeling away any longer. It is not here to torture you needlessly, it is here to inform you. It is here to instruct. The first step is to remove the coping mechanisms. The second is to listen.
4. Your hedonism
“Pleasures will never make us whole.” — Eric Greitens
It’s counterintuitive, but living the life of your dreams very infrequently involves responding to your impulse desires. In fact, deeply fulfilled and wildly successful individuals understand that pursuing pleasure is a dead end, a road that leads to confusion, sickness and laziness.
5. Your comfort zone
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” — Roy T. Bennett
Leaving your comfort zone is not as simple as challenging yourself to feel a little uncomfortable now and again. In reality, it’s more like stepping into a new life wherein everything is unknown and anything is possible and all of it is terrifying.
6. Your 5 year plan
“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” — John Green
If you know where your path leads, it’s probably because you’re following somebody else’s. When you’re truly living on your own terms, you can project, but can’t assume to know, what the next few years will bring. Thinking you could possibly know exactly where life will lead you in a handful of years is an illusion anyway. Do yourself a favor and shatter it while you can.
7. Your composure
“Composure is the ruler of instability.” — Lao Tzu
If you want to change your life, you are going to need to cry. A lot. You are going to need to show your emotions. You’re going to need to be uncertain. You’re going to need to be authentic. You’re going to have to exchange the expectation that you should always be composed for the realization that you need to be honest.
8. Needing recognition
“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
What you are willing to do even if nobody claps is what you need to be doing. It is the true litmus test: if you are willing to do it without an applause, you are doing it for the right reasons. One day, recognition may come. It won’t matter. It isn’t the end goal.
9. Needing revenge
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” — Criss Jami
It’s time to set to rest the idea that your life could be a source of envy and pride, a way to stick it to the kids who bullied you and the peers who underestimated you. It is time to stop building your life around the hope that it would enact revenge on all who wronged you.
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” — Francis Bacon
There are no certain choices in life, there are only paths that have been walked down so many times those who have made it to the end can return and say: this is the way––the only way. Certainty is an illusion of the highest form: there is nothing guaranteed in a life, so it’s in our best interest to do that which is not least risky, but most worthwhile.
Yes, as we leave Covid-time, we will enter a world filled with ambiguity. But while we may not be certain of much, those of us who place faith in Christ can walk in a place of conviction and peace. And our re-entry will go so much better without extra baggage.
My encouragement, comfort and direction comes from the truth in John 5:30 and the implications of that verse.
Hey Mark – good to hear from you. Love you too.
Dang, Seth, you knocked this one clear out of the park. Well said. Convicting and very hope-filled. Thank you!
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