It is never easy to walk a separate path but it is important.
At the end of week I like to spend time looking back at the week, find lessons and places of growth. I know people who don’t like to look back because it shows them where they have failed but in my case, it is the only way I can grow consistently. It hasn’t always been easy to do but as I have gotten older (ha…I never thought I would use that phrase), I have learnt the value of looking back to grow and not to stagnate.
A few years ago, every time I looked back all I saw was the things I didn’t do well, the ones that failed, the places I embarrassed myself and all the other similar stuff. I would beat myself with a big stick and wallow in the mud for months on end even as I walked around with seeming confidence. In this period I learnt the fallacy of ‘fake it till you make it,’ in reference to my life. I faked it, and faked it and faked it but never really made it.
It took a candid self-evaluation to see the challenge.
The pattern of my life doesn’t allow faking or pulling the wool over people’s eyes. As I have learnt that, I have come to see the value to real, personal evaluation to get ahead and keep moving forward. It took collapsing businesses and really challenging situations to stop me in the tracks and begin to do different.
Can you imagine sitting with yourself starting the day with a to do list and at the end of every day, looking back at the list to find what you hit or missed? That was my pattern for a while. It got me on track and kept me moving forward because there were specific things I needed to get done and nine out of ten times I got more than eighty percent done and done well. It was disheartening to have things left on the list but it was encouraging to have things ticked off.
This worked until the list became a tether.
The reality that a good thing can become a hindrance really blew my mind open. Are lists good? Absolutely! Can they become bondage? You had better believe it! This realisation pushed me to find a way to have trackers in life that are supportive and not hindrances. It wasn’t easy but in time sense came.
- Track life: I began to look for patterns in my life. What factors came together to indicate change was afoot? What mental postures happened in the middle of change? What indicators showed progress? Are there recognisable patterns in my life related to years, places, people, work etc? Can I see patterns that have repeated themselves? If there are repetitions, what is the time frame and extenuating circumstances? Wow!! The realisations blew my mind because I realised my life was built around patterns of four, seven and twelve (story for another day).
- Think: For decades I heard the call to meditate and I thought it was a thing I couldn’t do. I was raised to do avoid things I didn’t understand and meditation meant some really weird things for me. In 2018 I begun to understand that meaning of meditation in the bible is tied to reading scripture and thinking deeply about it. taking the concepts of scripture and turning them every which way to gain clarity. Joshua 1:8-9 means to spend so much time in scripture that your mind is shifted and changed so you are able to see more and understand deeper.
- Time out: The need to take time to get away from regular patterns to recharge, regroup and reposition stood out like an elephant in the desert. I always said that I could not afford to go away and it bothered me until I realised I could get away right in the confinement of my home. Time out is getting away from the routine so if I left my phone in another room and just take time to chill, read, pray, meditate or just be…it would really help
Life’s reality is that nothing remains static permanently.
Understanding that my life is bound to change and preparing for it as mentioned above, changed the trajectory of my life. I no longer throw sissy fits when people shift goalposts but I no longer stay if I am no longer needed. I have learnt to walk away from places I am no longer needed or where our values are no longer in sync. It has been hard sometimes because that meant I walked away from income but in the end the peace of mind and provision from my Father has resolved all the questions.
I have also learnt to hold my peace when arguing to defend my position won’t make a difference. It is more important to live a life that changes minds and creates possibilities than to talk about things that haven’t been seen before. So I check my walk constantly to ensure continuation and consistency. I also allow my people to take me to task about my behaviour and patterns because I know they are looking out for the Word God spoke over me.
Steady does it, so that is how I live my life going forth. Join me!!