Flawlessness. In what you say; what you think; what you do; how you do it. I want it. Long for it. Pursue it, but find it to often be so elusive. I think because at times, I am unrealistic – not intentionally, just factually. As a part of my faith, I always ensure that it is among my goals, but I learned that I have to do something else very important along the way – forgive myself. Who knew that could be so difficult.
I was reminded this week as I stopped by someone’s cubicle that it’s so important that we click zoom-out on what I’ve dubbed our “Life Lens”. When I saw this on her wall, I politely asked if I could take a pic, not realizing ironically that I literally “saw myself” in the words; but, they struck a chord with me.
In everything I do, I try to grow. In my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband and children, my parents and siblings, my career, and as I learned this week, even my relationships with my friends. As I paused to digest this quote, I realized we can focus so much on living a long life that we forget that “quality of life” can extend far beyond mere happiness.
And so I began my journey to think about the moments that have taken my breath away. Can I be honest? I’d have to say the biggest would be God’s acceptance of me. I think about everything that He is, everything that I’m not, and how He’s blessed me with so many things I don’t deserve. Sometimes, I try so hard to show my thanks, I get lost in the misconception that good deeds would be the perfect response to grace. But, I think that’s incorrect.
I think God is more pleased with whether my life reflects my faith. I think He’s less concerned with whether I make perfect decisions every time and more concerned with the condition of my heart and its natural flow to my actions and convictions. Nevertheless, I think I get so preoccupied with my mistakes that I miss the bigger picture. I think He has forgiven me on occasions that I haven’t forgiven myself. I’m making a conscious decision to change that.
I told one of my besties tonight (tearfully), that there are so many things that I wish I could change. Decisions I made in the distant and recent past were haunting me. Lurking, reminding me how different my life could have been if I just would have said; just would have done; would have listened; would have taken this opportunity; would have passed up that chance. Coincidentally, she could relate! But we agreed, we won’t be lapping up any spilled milk – because there are too many smoothies on the horizon.
I’m learning from life, my faith, and all of the blissful and beleaguering situations in between, that my happy moments – and my hardships…have been a gift. I remember my pastor telling me when I was a little girl, “If you can stand the stretch, God can pull you through.” I’m convinced he was right.
The purpose of my sharing is not to convince people to believe what I believe, to convert someone against their will, nor to condemn one who doesn’t concur with my faith. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and I am not a judge. What I do know, is that I have – and continue to make mistakes. I am grateful and humbled by those who forgive me as I grow. I am thankful that He helps me to make better decisions and choices as I use what I learn from Him to become wiser.
Nevertheless, I’m not despising the dark days. I’m embracing the epiphanies they bring. I won’t punish myself for my shortcomings when I unintentionally missed the mark. I won’t allow others to “comfort” me, by pointing out my flaws in manners that aren’t constructive or with my best interest in mind. I’m going to do better for me, so I can do better for others. I love Him. I love those who love me most. And I’m learning to love myself. Forgiveness is my fuel for forging ahead – and from here, the view of my future is great…
Picture: A reminder to me and my favorite peeps that we’re going to make our breaths count. #onamission, #pursueyourpassion, #catchyourdreams, #betheone