“To remember who you are, you need to forget who they told you to be” – Unknown
Have a moment of reflection with me… Think back on the things you have learned over the course of your life, whether through formal education or through the school of hard knocks. Both have relevance and have probably helped to establish you in life today, whether professionally or personally.
There is nothing like learning and I look forward to discovering something new every day, especially when I can apply that something towards my life in real-time. As of late, I have found myself gaining new insight with thought-provoking books, intriguing blogs or a good old fashion heart to heart conversation with a trusted friend, however as much as I am down for constantly being educated I equally understand the importance of how the knowledge that I possess, transcends to the knowledge that transforms me, because what I actually allow to work, apply and become a part of me is what will truly matter. Anything less is probably based in pride, a self perpetuated illusion or my unwillingness to grow.
Due to the fact that I have spent the majority of my life teaching, counseling and helping others, taking my own advice is sometimes an area that I fall down in. It can be so easy to read a good book or hear a great sermon and automatically think about who it can apply to, not thinking it was meant for me. Have you ever been there?
It easy to do, especially for those of us that spend more time giving of ourselves than not, but unfortunately it does not provide an excuse nor does it provide a remedy for performing the hard work of changing the (internal) ugly things about us.
What happens when we put that great book down, come home from a life changing church service or had that in-depth talk with a wise and thoughtful counselor or friend? Are we finding ways to apply the truths we have discovered about ourselves, or are we in denial and making excuses for the way things are still?
No, it is not easy and will more than likely cause you grief, distress and ultimately become one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, but when we fail to grow, evolve or change we quite honestly short-cycle our own blessings. In other words we get in our own way and become our own worst enemy. Been there, tired of doing that!
I cannot say that my desire to grow or change has come by the way of epiphany. It has usually come by the way of pain, whether self-inflicted or by outside sources. Either way it hurts the same and has been a motivating factor towards not repeating the things that brought me such travail.
So if you are anything like me, keep helping others and blessing people with your life-giving words, heart-felt thoughts and life changing deeds, but please do not become remiss with your own personal work. Once you are done with all that, do not fail to recognize who is number one (that would be you). The ones we support depend on us to take care of ourselves well, otherwise we will have nothing to give that is worthy.
Keep doing what you are doing, just make sure your words line up with your life choices.