A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those weeks.
You know the kind. Busy, stressful, messy, too much to do in too little time, one thing after another mounting and making you feel like you’re in a pressure cooker about to burst. Yeah, it was a lot like that for me.
I don’t know about you, but when I get stressed, my to-do list RULES. Whatever I can do to get things done and checked off that list (i.e. anything I can have control over) is where I turn to provide me with a sense of satisfaction and that “all is well” feeling. I can’t relax until something gets done. Working out. Laundry. Housework. Yard work. Fixing something around the house or the office. You get the picture.
In the interest of honesty and transparency, I will tell you that I am about as Type-A, perfectionist, overachiever as they come. From high school to the present, I have been and am a person who is constantly striving, doing, working, achieving, and raising the bar on myself (and sometimes others).
Now there are some good aspects about these qualities. I’ve done well for myself and enjoy a comfortable, happy life overall. No complaints there.
But I’ve been struck by the burden these qualities put on me as well. The constant urge and effort to be better and do more and achieve this and take on that is, quite frankly, exhausting, anxiety-provoking, and often very daunting. The thought came to me, “When will it ever be enough?” followed by, “When will I ever be enough?”
I think this is the heart of the whole thing for me – because really, it all comes down to that, doesn’t it? The feelings that if I just do this, or succeed at that, or get it all together and present it perfectly, then I will truly have “made it” and unlock the key to contentment and peace everlasting.
Oh, but wait. I live in the real world and this world will NEVER offer that to me. Because the truth is that I cannot and never will be good enough, or smart enough, or organized enough, or pretty enough, or have the perfect house, the perfect marriage, the perfect job, the perfect family, the perfect life. All this hustle and bustle, hurry and scurry, striving and doing – it’s all for something unattainable. And then I laugh out loud because I realize how ridiculous all of this is and I just want to go to bed because all of this thinking and realizing has made me even more tired than I already was in the first place.
One of my major goals for 2014 has been to cultivate more balance in my life, “letting go” of things that in the grand scheme, are not really all that important. So following ‘the week of crazy’ and recognizing where I’m at in my life journey, here’s where I’ve decided I want to go from here …
- I want to focus on letting go of all the self-junk. I want to say “goodbye” to the insecurity, doubt, and chronic anxiety of having to do this and do that. I’m over it. It doesn’t work for me anymore. It’s burning me out. I’m ready to let go.
- I want to focus on what is true, noble. right, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy, and excellent (Philippians 4:8). No more listening to or believing the lies, the fear, or the world’s dark view of things. I want to steep myself in those things that last and are worth going after, not the things that are here today, gone tomorrow.
- I want to continue to make lists (because honestly, if I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen – and they keep me organized) – but I don’t want the lists to be KING over my life. I want to be able to let the list go when necessary and give myself to what my heart beats for – my God, my family, my friends, my dreams and passions.
- I want to give myself permission to take breaks when I want to take breaks, not only after everything is done and put away and spotless. I don’t want to be so rigid and hard on myself about getting everything done at once. The thing is, it’s never really done. There’s always more (or more of the same) to do, so let’s relax and live a little.
- I want to make more time for hammering out the stuff in my mind and heart. Whether it’s good conversations, or writing in my journal, or getting on here and developing some new content – I don’t want to limit this to just certain days/times. I want to jump on it in the moment, and be present with it. I do my best work the moment inspiration strikes, not when I’m tired and muddied by everything else.
- I want to accept myself for who I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. My journey doesn’t look like yours. Your journey doesn’t look like mine. And that’s perfectly wonderful. It’s supposed to be that way. I want to love myself more – not in a creepy, self-indulgent, self-absorbed kind of way – but in a genuine, “I like me, I’m okay with me” kind of way. I want to honor God by loving who I am in Him and what He’s given me to do here on Earth. I’m getting better at this, but I still have a way to go.
Essentially, I’m talking more freedom, more grace, more humility. It’s time for a change, a reinventing. This current mode of operation was maybe good for a time, but it’s time to move deeper into “Living the Good Life,” becoming the best version of myself without all the irritation of trying to be perfect, when perfection is far, fleeting, and honestly, nowhere to be found. It’s time to let go and just be for a while.
It won’t be easy. It’s going to be a process. But I’m ready. This is a long-overdue change, but it’s so necessary and I’m excited to move forward on a better, more healthy, and empowering path. So, here I go …
* * *
Surrender changes everything
But we can’t choose to surrender. It chooses us.
It finds us and meets us in our pain.
When we are at our lowest point. Our weariness. Our longing.
It enters in when we have run out of our own strength.
When we start to believe that things may never actually change.
That our lives don’t really matter … and we break.
Then we see it. The crack of sunrise. Just a glow on the horizon.
Pink and orange starting to rise and create a hue that colors the sky.
It’s God whispering: I am here. I am true. I am strength.
I love you as you are. Broken and fragmented. Let Me carry you.
Let Me show you a life you never dreamed or imagined.
Let Me take you on a journey so marvelous you point back to Me.
Let Me rename you.
Let Me bring you back to your truest self.
The way I ordered from the beginning.
All this for My glory.
:: Rebekah Lyons, Freefall to Fly ::