Thinking out loud while "changing my thinking"

in Him


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Time

(Exhale)… For the first time in several months, as the chaos dissipates… I hear silence.

I have missed moments like these… moments where I can hear the birds chirping, watch the deep green leaves rustle in the wind, and hear insects crash into my glass patio door – though today one ended up in a gecko’s mouth.

 I have longed for this stillness for so long, it seems surreal. 

This morning, I am reflecting on where I am today with a level of gratitude…yet, I can’t help but ask myself, “What just happened?”

It’s like I was swimming blind folded underwater for months and now I have come up to take some air, and find myself facing a completely new land… and I am wondering is this where I belong? Is this real? How did I get here? Am I happy? Or better yet, content?

Years ago, the process of “sitting – planning – expecting” stopped. I learned to accept the patterns and cycles I found myself trapped in, though I always put up a fight or attempted to resist. I gave up on chasing some “idea” of what my life should look like. I made peace with where I was, and made the most of it.

During this period, I also found some level of satisfaction in being confident in whom I was, and more free to walk to the beat of my own drum. While others anxiously desired the model happy life of success, companionship, or whatever else… I learned to just watch and evaluate myself along the way.

Some might think this meant I was protecting myself from feeling disappointment, or that I had lost hope… but really I had just learned to separate myself from the limitations of time.

Time is the ultimate source of pressure for most of us. There is a sense of failure when we think of what little we have accomplished or experienced at a certain point in time. There is a sense of fear that our “dreams” will never be fulfilled within this lifetime. But at the end of it all, who says your life has to fall on the same scale as everyone else? Who instilled that scale… and why is it the standard?

Don’t get me wrong, taking double the amount of time I expected, to complete my graduate studies may never be something I look back on with pride and happiness… however, EVERYTHING was worked for my good (Rom 8.28)… and boy did I go out with a bang! 

I have officially attained my doctorate in chemistry and it still has not sunk in… who knew there would be no climax even after attending graduation. I have secured a job that I am extremely excited about and can’t wait to give my undivided attention to…and in one sweep, I have gotten engaged to a man that could not be a better complement to me… a man that I consider my friend and family… a man who’s presence has given me a sense of home.  Yet I am still asking myself, “What just happened?”

In my next post, I plan on slowly addressing some of these questions as I reflect on the happenings of my life these past few months … but what I am really grateful for, in this moment, may have been missed.

It’s like I was swimming blind folded underwater for months and now I have come up to take some air… 


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“(I can’t get no) satisfaction”

satisfaction by rolling stones 2

The old rolling stone hit, “(I can’t get no) satisfaction,” seems to capture a very present reality in today’s society…(feel free to click this YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoxRFOr_sQ0).

The lead singer starts off with the title line, and follows it with the repetition of how he has “tried”… over and over, to no avail. But as simple as these lyrics may seem… the summary of the efforts placed on reaching satisfaction, and the message, of how “ideas” are sold to us through marketing/branding… is absolutely brilliant.

From radio to TV to magazines to social media… there is practically nothing left that is NOT designed to feed our imagination with “must-have” desires. The conditioning is almost inescapable.

But reality is…You will never become fully satisfied and secure in any position in your life…until you stop comparing. Whether this position is within your job, relational, activities, material possessions or even in self-reflection …it is a losing battle.

Over the years, I have spent a great deal of time evaluating myself and people around me, against what I believe… and what I have come to realise, and agree with, was well expressed by Neil Anderson…we all have the same basic needs: identity, acceptance (love), security and significance…But the real challenge comes in how we choose to have those needs met.

For me, I have constantly looked to the world to fulfill my needs… and boy has it failed on every level possible.

From my wild partying, dare-devil days… to indulgences in sexual lusts for the sake of wanting to “feel” loved and important to someone…to pleasing people for approval…to wanting some role or status that will place me in the lime light of admiration.

Each and every one of my strivings, have failed miserably. They have left me broken, lonely, angry, confused, without hope… and crazy enough… coming back for more. <SHOCKER>

The idiom “kill two birds with one stone” is not unfounded. In one sweep, the attempts to fulfil my needs have given me instant gratification….but have also left me fearful of loss.

What the world does not tell you… is that the very platform you are striving to take hold of, waivers. Just as we are guaranteed to get older the longer we live… we can also rest assured that people’s opinions of us will change…jobs can be lost…trends modulate… you name it!

Yet, there is a tendency to “come back for more.”

I can not even go into how many times I have repeated destructive cycles and found myself asking “how did I end up here again?”  Completely illogical when you lay out the cause and effect.

The earnest search for fulfillment…the longing to be satisfied in life…can not be found in what the world offers.

Working out for the sake of being healthy is great…but should not be confused with weight loss obsessions that give you the illusion of being more acceptable to people…or even yourself.

Peoples compliments/encouraging words about our character are timely…but should never be the source of our identity and significance.

Attaining degrees, having the “six figure” income, a place you can call home, a spouse and children, (etc) are all gifts…but should never be what we place our security in.

THEY CAN ALL CHANGE IN ONE SWIFT BLOW

At the end of the day, God is the only constant. He is my source of hope. He is the only one that will meet my needs the way it should be. Please do not interpret this, as me saying I don’t need people… because that is not true. We all do. The harmonies God creates through the right relationships… “are vital to becoming a whole person” (Keep your love on by Danny Silk). What He has made available is where true satisfaction can be attained…and that’s the beauty of this journey.