I grew up sitting on the sidelines.
Wishing I were there. Experiencing that exciting life. Savoring. Enjoying. LIVING.
But, there I sat watching. Thinking there was something remarkable I just didn’t possess. Imagining that God had just chosen to leave me out. And day-dreaming of what I could do if only…(insert character trait, magical age or possession that would change my life HERE)
Then I read a book. A book that rocked my world.
And I attended a workshop that changed my life.
Finally, I saw the truth…
It was a choice. And I had been actively choosing to hold myself back from all the possibilities for a variety of reasons which included the fact that it was scary, fear of failure, false ideas that everyone else had it much easier and a foundational lie I’d believed that convinced me I wasn’t capable.
I guess I’m talking about this because a lot of the times I’ve told people about our big move to Atlanta and how we’re chasing a dream, I hear, “Wow. I don’t think I could do that.” (or I get a “you may be certifiably insane” look.)
But the truth? You can. It’s your choice. And you can start choosing to truly live at any moment.
I’m not saying that you need to move yourself across country. But I am saying that you should take some time, shut off your phone and facebook and see if there’s a dream that you’ve been stuffing. And whenever you have a moment where you start to say, “I can’t because…(insert money you don’t have, reason you aren’t like everyone else, difficult circumstance you face, etc.)” tell your mind to shut up. And go back to that dream. Get lost in it. Get excited about it. And think of one little thing you could do TODAY that might push you even one itty-bitty baby step closer.
Then, throughout your day, start taking little steps to really LIVE.
I’m realizing more and more everyday that we don’t get this time back. Do I really think I’ll wish that I’d spent more time on facebook? Probably not. Will I wish I’d taken more time to compare myself to others? Doubtful.
So go… Get lost in your significant other’s eyes. (This should take more than five seconds.) Go crank up the volume on your iPhone and have an impromptu dance party with your college roommate – right in the middle of finals. Break out the flour, the chocolate chips and everything else and go make some cookies with someone you love. (Bonus points if you have kids and you allow them to actually stir in all the ingredients.) When your husband gets home, drop everything and fully experience kissing him. Grab some Starbucks and go drop it off for a friend. Look at the grass – really look at it – be amazed. Find a quiet space and think about the fact that the God of the universe made you and loves you. Go have dinner with your parents…no phones, no distractions and ask them what you were like as a kid. For even more fun, ask them what THEY were like as kids. Take a random road trip with a friend or with your family. Grab some fingerpaints and have fun…
A special note: your mind will come up with lots of excuses as to why this can’t work. Why you can’t. Though you may have to get creative, you can find SOMETHING. It may take work. It may have to look a little different. But you’re worth it.
To close, here’s something I’m trying to remind myself of daily:
“fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.” – Donald Miller