Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Calling Me

Over the course of our lives we will try many things. We will go to school, get degrees, work in jobs, and have relationships. In all that we do, ultimately we are trying to figure out where do we belong, how do we fit in, what is my purpose. Oftentimes through the conditioning of society, we go through the motions of life without truly experiencing it because of certain societal norms, rules and wishes of others upon our lives. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and fear of rejection, just to name a few, act as chains upon our dreams, passions and desires keeping us from moving forward in what is truly down in our souls to experience.

It is a scary place to ask yourself the question, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Where would you go if circumstances proved favorable for the journey and resources were not a question? These are the questions of what some people would call daydreams but I consider them the “questions of the soul”. It is questions like these we are afraid to ask ourselves because we are fearful or uncomfortable with the answers. It is questions like these we fail to give ourselves permission to ask because the answers may result in something that someone else would not approve of. It is questions like these that we should ask ourselves to check our own pulse every once in a while. Are we living or simply maintaining?

The questions come from a calling deep within. As we are molded to the confines of the world, we learn to drown out this questioning. We drown out the questions of the soul with the cares of life – a j.o.b (just over broke), an endless string of unfulfilling relationships, the American dream of a house, the spouse, 2.4 kids, and a dog, bills, memberships to clubs and organizations just trying to achieve a little status, titles and degrees to make ourselves feel important. However, even at its loudest point, there is still something calling from deep within that begins to pierce through the noise and confusion of life. The questions begin to call out to us. There is an unfamiliar yet familiar voice which speaks, gets our attention and we feel uncomfortable and unsettled until we begin to answer back. We try to ignore it but it continues to press and call until we yield and begin to answer.

The voice calling from within is named Purpose. It is the voice that desires to call you into your destiny and out of your displeasure. It is the voice that awakens you in the middle of the night to let you know that where you are is not where you are supposed to end up. It is cultivating you for your future. It is the voice that lets you know that you have chosen to settle rather than tenaciously fight for what you believe in the depth of your soul. Purpose calls, purpose beckons, purpose wants us to return to our first love that we will maximize this thing called life and experience it more abundantly. For purpose knows who we really are, where we are going, and purpose desires to steer us to our appointed destination.

Today I choose to answer the call of purpose. I choose to answer the questions of the soul, confront every fear and accept the call of purpose on my life. I will go where it takes me and live it out authentically and fully. As I answer this call, it empowers me to help others awaken to the call and answer it for themselves. It’s calling me and I have to answer. It’s calling you too but what will you do?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Journey to Here

There is a battle which rages to keep us from becoming over confident to the point of being vain. Yet sometimes it is important to give ourselves permission to love ourselves and appreciate who we are and where we are. It is at this point, I find myself. I am learning to give myself permission to love the person I am and where I am in my life.

I think the struggle of self acceptance or self esteem and weight have been an on-going challenge in my life. Though I have always appreciated looking nice sometimes it is easier to wear the mask than to live out who we are authentically. As I have started a journey towards my “new self”, it has caused me to take into account or really reflect on where the weight began and what has served as a true wall preventing me from taking care of myself. It is easy to try to blame our issues on other people or on different circumstances but to get to the root of things we have to consider what are the deeper underlying issues that prevent us from moving forward.

The truth of the matter is I can say most of the issues came as a result of not knowing who I was and not being able to appreciate and love myself. Every bad relationship, everything I simply “settled” for, and most unbeneficial decisions were a result of not being true to myself because I did not really love myself. There is a phrase I have heard Pastor Paula White say over and over again. It simply says “You cannot conquer what you will not confront”. In order for me to become the person I knew deep down existed, I had to confront some things. Things such as my need to try to please people, the need to listen to other people’s opinion rather than trust what I felt in my gut, and believing that the only thing I could be is someone’s showpiece rather than realize there is more to me than looks.

When we feel out of control or feel like everyone else controls us, we try to hold on to the one thing we feel that we can control. Or we feed our insecurities and frustrations with other things. Turning to food and not wanting to be physically active were only two by-products of a deeper issue. I could blame it on being too busy or not feeling like it, but the real issue was I didn’t want to fit into anyone else’s image of what I should be or look like. As a result, I didn’t take care of myself, leave the food alone or seek to have a better way of life out of my own rebellion against anyone or anything that tried to define me.

Though I cannot say the issue is 100% cured, I am a successful work-in-progress. It has been over 10 years since I have been able to look in the mirror and say that I truly love and appreciate the person I am now. The decisions I have made have not been at the hands of anyone else. I have decided to live for me and that is the only way I can effectively be available to minister to others. Out of a healthy sense of self, I can identify with the struggles of others and help them know they too can overcome. It has been a long journey to here but I can say confidently, I am so glad that I made it and I am looking forward to what is ahead. The best is yet to come and I am so excited about it.