taking that first intentional step
“For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better. For things to improve, you have to improve. When you grow, everything in your life grows with you.”
For me and many people, change can be a scary word or concept. I have thought about why is change unsettling: is it because we are comfortable and a change may disrupt that feeling of comfort? Are we pessimistic and believe that change will necessarily bring unwanted consequence? Lastly, making a concerted effort to change would require our admission that the status quo is not enough or acceptable….
Once we come to the point of appreciating the need to change some aspect of our life, taking the first step can be daunting. I visit the words spoken by Jim Rohn often. During seasons of challenges and uncertainty, I ponder these words, which actually portray a fairly simple idea: to make a difference, you must actually do something different.
Rohn goes on to say that change comes from two sources: desperation or inspiration. For me, it was a person of inspiration. A great friend of mine was living a life of graciousness, humility, generosity, and joy. She was an example of truly trying to live a Christ-like existence: walking that Life, as opposed to merely talking of its virtues. It was inspirational to me. I realized the status quo needed to be improved. The inner garden needed to grow, so I thought: how do I get what she’s got? The answer was fairly simple: I needed to grow in my faith, if I wanted everything in my life to grow. I started making changes.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13 My internal mantra changed. My daily actions changed. First and foremost, I began to pray often- In the car, at night, in the morning, stolen moments during the day. I began to give thanks often. My day begins and ends with a prayer of gratitude. Next, my church attendance became more regular, and I began to immerse myself and truly worship. Finally, I took a step back to see what I was absorbing in life. What I was listening to? Reading? Watching? I needed a simple concept: Good stuff in, good stuff out.
Like a body that starts to get good nutrition, a shift happened for me. Other aspects of my life began to grow. That internal critic wasn’t so loud anymore. Through lots of “work” and some hard self discovery, tears, honest conversations, I have been on a journey to discover my deepest truths and gifts to live out a real purpose. Through my pain, I have found true meaning. I am doing the work. It is a DAILY commitment to surrender, show up , be humble, show grace toward others (and myself!), take notice of my internal thoughts and replace those intimidating and upsetting, destructive self-talk with positive, empowering thoughts. It’s a journey that is just beginning.
Years ago, I would never have put this much out there for people to consume, but now, “forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not see it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:18-19.
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