Forgiveness is free. Grace is expensive.
The very thing you hold onto to keep doing things "your way" is the very thing that keeps you from realizing your full potential.
Why do you believe you can't CHANGE a certain aspect of your life, no matter how hard you try? What is it that you know if you KNEW it for sure, would permanently CHANGE your life?
If you're like me, understanding something in your mind and making it change the way you live, sometimes takes longer than I can imagine. I've learned the process is much more cumbersome than just changing my mind.
Rather, it's the result of my initial decision to CHANGE & willingly making successive choices to remain on task until obtaining the desire sought. This willingness is tested by your response to 1) difficulty, 2) desire, 3) direction, & 4) joy.
BUT IT ISN'T EASY!
Sure you and I have ability. Yes we're smart. We think we're smarter than we really are. We know so much, however we have such minute coping skills to get us past "our stuff." But how can this be so? The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know.
This got me to thinking about how much better my life would be if I would promise to make a "I don't know list" before entering uncharted territory toward whatever goal I target to permanently CHANGE.
I decided to test this premise in my life and provide you with the navigational coordinates which will get you past those deep, internal wounds that keep you on the sidelines of life. No more band-aids for me!
The subject I challenged myself to CHANGE was perfecting my love walk. WOW, this was a huge undertaking, because I'm a self professed amazing, loving person. I immediately began to reflect on all of the loving things I do, say & think; how I'm such a wonderful & supportive person.
So after I finished feasting on my fully developed pride & ego, this little voice began challenging me to go deeper; to get past the nice stuff that keeps me SATISFIED, yet STUCK.
This voice helped to reveal the following I don't knows...so I could go & finally be at peace (professionally, emotionally, relationally & physically):
1) I don't know all there is to know about forgiveness. I'm ignorant about what it takes to win this battle.
2) I don't know many people who've successfully forgiven others.
3) I don't know many people who see much wrong with being unforgiving.
4) I don't know how to ALWAYS remember the benefits of forgiveness when in the middle of reliving "what was done or is being done to me by ________________."
5) I didn't realize that the reason my love is flawed toward people & certain situations is because I hadn't slain the giants of my past. How could I change when I didn't know how to reconcile the past wrongs done to me by people I no longer see or speak to?
6) I don't know how to stop being perpetually uneasy, worried and anxious about my life. I'm so wonderfully processed in certain areas of my life & so perplexed in other areas...I'm certain my husband & closest friends see with relative ease.
7) I didn't know the more I worry about what I don't know, the more time I lose focus on cultivating the ability to stop worrying
about what I cannot change; That I have to become committed to eradicating arrogance in my life. Nothing positive can come from worrying about the changes I wish I knew how to change.
Change only happens when I make a SHIFT in my behavior- where I choose to invest my time & thoughts.
8) I didn't understand ruptured relationships had affected me so deeply because I just covered up the emotional wounds with
busyness, people pleasing & telling myself to just get over it. This was nothing more than a band aid.
So you get the picture. I allowed myself 15 minutes to complete this exercise. I wrote down the most honest thoughts. Do this quickly before you begin to worry, feel worse than better about this area of life, & could make up some excuse which would allow you to get some false comfort enabling you to remain SATISFIED, yet STUCK.
Remember, honesty comes quickly! The longer you take to complete the exercise, the further entrenched you'll become in your issues. It's time each of us see our needs, grasp our innate value & see everyone as worthy of your intentionality. The economic downturn we are facing challenges us to think about what matters most & eradicate what doesn't.
NO LONGER BLINDED WITH PRIDE!
So equipped with my list I set out to tackle these vices & eliminate them completely.
The first step toward my escape was to IDENTIFY what makes me weak & susceptible to unforgiving, anxiety &/or becoming fearful, in certain instances, while not in others? I did this step so I could stop being ignorant/blindsided by assumptions. Many of my challenges have been resolved because I NOW know the when, where, who, what & how I get myself into challenges with unforgiving which leads to a compromised loving of others.
The second step is pre-planning avoidance. I plan by design over default. I have to get intentional about the changes I desire to make to keep myself free of arrogance & self-sabotage. When pre-planning avoidance, I remain cognizant of the role self-talk, & interaction with others play.
STOP ASSUMING ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE!
The third step is learning to ask for help! This steps the most challenging because people count on me & look to me as their resource...so where does this leave me to turn? So I turned to the Internet so I would know exactly where my focus should be when I did speak to one of my friends, family, counselor, or even a well intentioned stranger. I did exhaustive FOCUSED searches on "choosing joy," "prayer," "unconditional forgiveness," "learning to think in ways that are helpful for me," "forgiveness superstars," "how to permanently forgive," " grace & heart transformation," "why forgiveness is so difficult," "why me," et al.
This step was extremely important & enabled me to candidly speak to others about the challenges in my life. This focused intentionality allowed me to become aware of the envy, jealousy, fear, worry, loneliness, anxiety, frustration, & mistreatment that was dormant in certain aspects of my life.
The fourth step cements the process of CHANGE together. It builds accountability into your life in a way that shifts attention & consistently has defaults which re-calibrate your life. Its imperative that you and I are the most effective beings humanly possible.
What you & I refuse to face, literally has us by the balls (so to speak). Let me prove this point quickly. Just think about something you hate. Ok now STOP. Did you stop, or are you still thinking about it/struggling not to think about it? The more you think about something, the more it upsets you; before you know it, this is all you're thinking about!
We all need a road map!
This proves the key to change is to focus on something else & promise yourself, to no longer embark toward change alone! You need people I like to call "wise traveling companions" who will support you in the process of change. You also need resources-text message reminders, intentional & highly focused thought cards, written statements which embed your brain with permanent CHANGE! Always keep reminders of your targets on the dashboard of your mind!
Become the serotonin you need to put everything to bed that no longer serves you!
To your best life! You're more phenomenal than you think. More powerful than you know. If I can change, so can you! Transform yourself and your relationships.
Please post your comments & share your process of change. Lets each show up to the campfire with our log (for explanation, see prior post).