From the archives of 2015, but with a new quote and photo. Enjoy!
“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” – James Baldwin
Sometimes I’ll watch my children from afar and pretend to not be listening to them. I’ll hear my youngest asking her older siblings a question or simply calling their names. Mind you, they are in ear-shot of her, but you would think they were on another planet by the amount of times she has to call them before they finally decide to answer, if they do at all. By that time I’m usually yelling at them to answer her. This scenario caused me to reflect on the times I have felt like my youngest, as an adult. Like no one is listening to me or my voice seems to not matter to those around me. As she feels discouraged from being ignored, so do I, so do we. How is that we can become so dismissive to people, especially to the ones that we love and in turn give our best to others that may barely know us? We’ve all been guilty of it. I can recall having a long day at work, then an equally long commute to get home. During the drive, any energy that remained in me was typically zapped away by the time I pulled into the driveway. If I did not make a conscious effort I would disengage and my family received the leftovers from my day.
Sometimes we want to become that piece of wood that blends in with everything and impacts nothing. We want to hide, silence ourselves due to the circumstances we face or like my daughter we simply get tired of no one listening to us and ultimately we make the choice to disappear and fade away. After my first divorce I was so ashamed of the failure, that I didn’t want to speak to anyone. My voice was shut down (by my own means) and any words of wisdom I once had regarding relationships were kept inside out of sheer embarrassment, feelings of defeat and self-doubt. I had deduced no one wanted to hear me and my words had become worthless and it was best that I just remain quiet. Essentially go into my corner. I became my worse enemy.
What life situation has silenced you? What happen to those dreams you once had as a child or young adult that was placed abruptly on the shelf? I have seen some of the most important people in my life stop believing in the dreams and purposes for their lives. This was especially important to me because their purposes affected me significantly and when they stopped – something in me stopped as well. I am not saying that people should become our idols, but someone is believing in you and counting on you to do what you say you will do. Why have you stopped? Failure, you screwed up or let some one down that was important to you or did you simply get tired? We all have, I know I have in many ways. Did the failure teach you anything? This can be the key to your renewal, essentially getting you back on the saddle, but you have to make the choice to try again. You have to believe that you matter enough to yourself.
I use to believe that never making a mistake was best, but now I believe that brokenness is. Brokenness is what has caused me to slow down, take deep breaths often and reflect on my choices regularly, even the simple ones. Brokenness has revealed the holes in my life, my heart and in my beliefs and ideas. It’s the one thing that has forced me to see myself authentically. That can be an alarming discovery if you have never truly stopped to reflect on you, and only you. This was a sobering season in my journey, but once I accepted who I truly was versus who I was portraying to be, it literally set me free, with my holes an all. So today I no longer look to disappear and fade away. I have a voice, a voice that speaks courageously, profoundly and with authentic truth.
Although it can become quite comfortable to remain living a life in the shadows, we have to force ourselves out. Figuratively speaking, we have to open the curtains of our hearts and minds and allow the sun to warm our souls and renew the vigor we once had, or perhaps for some, for the very first time. We have to find our voice again and choose to shout it at our mountain tops. One day at time we can begin to live vibrant lives that display all that we are, perfect and imperfect, no matter the circumstances. One thing I can learn from my youngest, is she never quits when her siblings ignore her. She will go to where they are and say, “did you hear me calling you”? She is relentless. That is a great characteristic to have. One that causes her to act with resilience and sometimes downright indignation. She will not be denied. She realizes that she matters. I realize that I matter as well. Do you?
Please take the time to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this topic. If not for you, maybe it’s for someone else. Thank you.