It happened three years ago. There were 10 of us in the room, and our facilitator, Rachel, tapped on her keyboard and the following words flashed on the screen…..
LEADER, WHAT ARE YOU YEARNING FOR?
Up until that time, I had never asked myself that question, and if I am honest I didn’t know one could even ask themselves that.
Everyone in the room took turns to answer. I tried not to think of what to say ahead of time, so when it was my turn, my mouth opened and a lot of words fell out but the last thing I remember saying was..
” I am yearning for me…..”
Not an earth shattering answer by any measure. In fact, I doubt my mind fully understood the full weight of the words, but I believe my spirit did
Years later, I’m getting closer to both understanding the question and the answer I had given. I’m certainly no Pastor, but I know we all come to this earth with two things- our body and a spirit. But as the years go by, most of the things we do feeds our body. We judge the external, build the external, modify the external and make it acceptable to what other external parameters dictate. Rarely do we look into our spirit- the real essence of who we are. And even when religion makes us turn inwards we spend half the time asking God to give us things the external requires. Not necessarily what our spirit wants.
So how did I finally start to hear my spirit? God sent me pain- and lots of it, to make me stop, listen and introspect. The result? It was hard at first, questioning, confusion…but finally I stopped comparing and wishing I could be like others. I found myself. I understood my secret sauce, my value, my strengths and how to apply them in the world.
Now its your turn to answer that question….
what are you yearning for?
Do you know?
Can you say it out loud?
Here are a few things to help
1. Search your pain- mine was a quadruple combo- illness, heart break, being really broke, the death of a close friend and a higher degree that seemed like it would never end. But somewhere within all that mess, tears, frustrations, loneliness and brokenness I found myself and the things that were important to me. What is your pain pointing you towards?
2. Let go of fear and shame- if there are any two things that will keep you from following your dreams, it will be fear and shame. The fear of what ifs and the shame of rejection. I’ve learnt that these two friends only listen to what you feed your mind. If you feed it with external validation and negative thoughts, they grow into monsters with teeth. But if you do the opposite..they tend to turn into toothless lions. Still roaring ever so often…but unable to do as much harm as they promise.
3. Accept confusion as part of the game- people say God is not the author of confusion, but in my experience he has a knack for not showing you the full plan before He requires you to make a move. In finding yourself, you will be confused. You will have false starts. You will be frustrated. But its all part of the process.
4. Follow your strengths- believe it or not, but we really do come to this earth equipped with the things we need to succeed. The problem is we focus way too much on the things we cannot do, instead of the things we can.
5. Forget perfection- there is a reason why the story of the tortoise and the hare remains etched in memory. The old, scaly, greenish grey four legged animal vs the fluffy, bright eyed cute sprinter…no prizes for who you’d bet on to win that race. But in the real world, embracing who you are, going at your own pace, facing your lane has multiple benefits.
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