We are in a season of waiting. My Christian faith teaches us that advent is a season of preparation. Of excitement. Of expectation.
Seasons of expectant waiting lead to an anticipated end result in an often understood time frame. There is a clear goal and reason. There is a plan.
We are not meant to live our daily lives waiting to live.
Are you in a season of waiting to be content? If I lose weight I will love myself more. If I get the promotion or finish the race I will have purpose. When we get through this hard time or navigate this hurdle it will get easier. If I arrive, I will be happy.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait. And we shouldn’t. We can make progress toward our peaceful existence right now.
As humans we are blessed with the ability to continually grow and evolve. And I am sure we have all had the shocked moment of realizing that where we worked so hard to get to for years didn’t give us automatic internal joy. Changing your physical appearance, reaching society’s definition of success, getting through each stage of parenting, conquering stressful times of life… you keep arriving, but there is still something missing. You still feel like you are waiting.
My memories of growing up are mostly happy. My parents blessed us with the ability to make mistakes and still be accepted with love. This led to confidence. But, it was tested in my college years. I was challenged mentally and emotionally in new ways. At some point through this struggles I began to naively believe that once I arrived at around 35-40 years of age I would be automatically content. Life would be void of immature issues of youth such as insecurities, gossip, backstabbing, lying, and emotional outbursts. My family and I would have an automatic sense of peace. If I did it all “right” I will have arrived at a place of smooth sailing ease for the rest of my time on earth. So, I waited.
I am not a fan of acronyms, but there are a couple that are an effective and perfect way to describe this way of thinking. WTF and LOL.
Why would I ever think this? Why would I ever want to arrive to a stagnant place of sameness and comfort? I stopped waiting and started trying to control circumstances. I concocted a plan to focus on on a people pleasing that I believed would allow my life to be easier. I could be a better wife, friend, and person if I could dull my emotions to avoid the outbursts. I would bear all burdens myself instead of giving them to anyone else. I would sacrifice the bubbling joy and excitement to not hurt others with my anger. My life and personality would more closely resemble a straight line rather than one of extreme lows…but also void of highs.
This plan did not lead to expectant excitement. It was sad and dull and left me feeling broken, bitter, scared, and constantly victimized. I was not a better person and I was not on a path to arrive as one. My light was dim.
Luckily, I have many amazing mentors in my life. They built me up, challenged my thinking, and provided resources for me to learn that I did not and do not have to wait. Instead of practicing being someone that I believed would be better for others, I could practice learning how to know and accept me. They let me fail and learn and grow. They shared themselves. And now I blessed to share with all of you.
We will never arrive at perfect circumstances in our lives. We will always have days and seasons full of obstacles and hurdles. Don’t try to find ways around them. Go through the obstacles and hop directly over the hurdles. You most likely will find that your exhaustion was caused by the long and overthought process to avoid them.
You might not be able to make big life changes right now to honor your outward wants. But don’t wait to practice loving yourself more. Do it now from acceptance and excitement for yourself, not from disgust and unworthiness. We all change (thank goodness, can you imagine being stuck as your middle or high school self?). Sometimes this means old habits stop working. Don’t wait to grow toward awareness.
As you move forward consider this in life and in racing. With so many factors going into both you have to be aware of the need to adapt your habits or your training. You very well might fail in order to eventually reach your goals. If you keep doing what ‘works’ you will keep getting the same ‘good enough’ result. Don’t be afraid to change your mindset to be great.
Growth should not be forced, but instead is a loving awareness and acceptance of where you are now. Then embrace your continual personal evolution.
You will never always be happy. Be content. Aim to focus on a constant state of living in the moment. Be grateful. Be real. Be you.
Anticipate the season. Shine your light brightly. Don’t wait.
Practice loving you so you can live now.