As humans, I think we can be out right stubborn. We really like to dig our heels in the sand and not budge. Or maybe we are afraid. We are afraid of what others will think of us. How do I know this? Because I am stubborn, and I have been afraid. Afraid of change, of moving in a new direction. Afraid that I might fail, or I might not be good at these new ventures swirling in my head. I was afraid to tell anyone, or at least to tell them the extent that I realized I needed to write. That I needed to go out into the world and make a bigger difference- I knew they say does that pay? Don’t you have enough to do with three kids, and their schedules? The problem was, my desires to pull back who I was before, what I had worked so hard for, my current ventures, and efforts were beginning to weigh me down instead of lift me up. But slowly I began to give myself permission to spend time each week on my writing. I began to give myself space to think, and dream, to brainstorm and write down ideas. I am writing this to share with you what I learned, that you have permission to change any part of your life that needs changing or tweaking, or erasing. You can write a new story and you can start today.
Regardless of the reason you might be afraid to try something new, to move towards the desire of your heart, to move towards the thing you feel pulled towards, know you can move towards it. Whether you’re afraid to leave a job to follow your dreams because you might fail. Or afraid others won’t take us seriously. Our maybe we are scared that we will not be good enough.
And we are rightly afraid, because others do judge us, they do question our actions when they do not understand them. And honestly if they have not followed their dreams or taken a stand to make a difference, they may not understand it because they have not realized their own desires to move towards greater things. Maybe they are not being honest with themselves.
I want you to know that you have permission to change directions. You have permission to be yourself. And you have permission to be happy. You need to be true to yourself and move towards the things that pull you. That pull your heart strings even if you have no idea why. Listen to your thoughts and the things that matter to you. As you listen and make small changes you’ll find happiness in unexpected ways. You might even surprise yourself.
Why is it the need for acceptance and approval of those around us still haunts many of us into adulthood? Why can’t we shake off those cobwebs in the corners of our hearts and just go towards what we know in our hearts is what we should do or a journey we need to take. Even if its not the popular, trendy, or prosperous career?
I am here to say to you- life is too precious and too short to live with hesitations, regrets and the need for others acceptance. Let it all go and move towards the person and place you are meant to be.
Go towards the things God has put on your heart to be a part of and do not let others stop you from changing course or sailing your ship the other direction. Just because something was right for your parents, your sister, your spouse or friend does not make it the right profession, path, lifestyle or desires for you.
First be honest with yourself and then be honest with others. Tell them what sets your heart on fire and go after it with abandon.
I promise you will find happiness and contentment when you allow yourself to follow what is on your heart.
And we will find enormous happiness once we understand what we are supposed to be doing and then go do it. It could be helping out at your church, raising your children, being a writer, a grief counselor, a teacher, and so many other things.
And here is the really magical part- when we live out our purpose we not only find happiness, and spread hope to others who we touch through our own ministry, we give hope to family and friends who might be trying to find their way to find their own path. And we are allowing our children, our nieces, or nephews to see what it means to go after our passions and find a way to make it happen. We need more change agents in this world and each of us has a role to play in changing the world.
In a book that really touched my heart, A Million Tiny Ways, I was struck by how well the author spoke of finding the art you were meant to share or create. Specifically she speaks about those times when something reaches us so strongly that it brings about a emotional reaction in us such as crying or being moved by something.
She explains: “Or maybe our tears are tiny messengers, secret keepers of the most vulnerable kind, sent to deliver a most important message- here is where your heart beats strong. Here is a hint of your design. Here is a gift from your inner life, sent to remind you of those things that make you come alive. p.110
There tears carry the gift of your desire. Listen to them. Change in the world comes when we acknowledge what moves us and why. It could be injustice or a sunset by the river or the Super Bowl. I don’t know what it is for you but you need to know.” p 108
“And in the tear-fall, I realize that this movie, this novel, this musical, this song holds pieces of my story after all. Maybe it’s the same way for other kinds of art we make.
As important as it is to embrace the gifts you have and the unique ways you can offer hope to others, you also need to recognize and embrace what brings out the hope in you.
What touches your soul so deeply that is causes tears to come out?
We’re talking about magic water that pours out of our eyes. Maybe paying attention to what calls that water forth will give us a hint as to what it is that makes us come alive.” p. 111
I love these thoughts because it reminds us to realize the things in our life, in our days and in the moments we experience that tung at our heart strings and bring about something deep within. I love it because it makes us think about those things and the more aware we are of those things that move us, we can do something with that information.
I hope you approach your day with more awareness and honestly about what it is that moves you, that brings you joy and the things or topics that tug at your heart. Find those things and follow them to where they lead you. Don’t feel you have to follow one path or never veer off the path to find where you were meant to be. You have permission to change directions- go be who you were meant to be.
For me I feel a tug to encourage people, especially women. To tell them that they are amazing, capable, and beautiful. And I feel a strong desire to speak out and help children with parents in prison, and kids and families who do not have food and the things they need in our own country. I am moving towards being a change agent and going towards those things that tug at my heart and the things that give me hope and to move towards making a difference where I fall to my knees and weep because it should not be this way. It is a process and I am still moving towards changing directions. I am still working towards spending my time purposefully, and with purpose instead of moving in the same direction I have always gone.
“If Your Find Yourself in the Wrong Story, Leave.