Do you know what that means?
An excerpt from the book “Finding Your Voice”
Written by: Natalie Grant
Shakespeare famously said that all the world is a stage. With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and more, there is rarely a moment in our lives that isn’t recorded or shared. Often, of our own choosing, we are “on stage” twenty-four hours a day.
While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does have enormous implications on the kind of life we live and the kind of person we are. Now, the social pressure to be successful, marry well, raise brilliant children and look stylish in skinny jeans while doing it all is exponentially higher. Now, instead of our immediate family or circle of friends and colleagues the entire world is offering their opinion on who we should be. “Having it all” has become more of a cultural mandate than an ideal. Individual aspirations become narrowly defined qualifications. Dreaming becomes striving. Before we know it, the joy we once found in our hopes and plans for the future is replaced by stress and a frenetic lifestyle that promises the world, yet leaves us empty.
Many of us, including myself, find ourselves compromising our authenticity for the sake of conformity. We put our dreams to sing, write, fundraise for a good cause, adopt, or (fill in the blank) on hold to maintain a personal profile online, in person, or on paper that culture has deemed acceptable. Somewhere along the way, we can convince ourselves that the opinions of others trump our self-perception. In a society that has placed a premium on belonging, the risk of pursuing our own path seems too great. Suddenly, having it all becomes having what everyone else has. Maybe you take that corporate job you are dreading because it offers premium health insurance.
Maybe you lay down a microphone, a paintbrush, or a pen to pursue a “real career”.
Maybe you go on that extreme diet or buy those clothes you really can’t afford or even surgically alter your appearance in order to look the part.
But here’s something to think about…What part? What role are you convinced that you must fill? Can you remember what’s at the root of all this desperation to be more or better?
Are you afraid that people will see the real you behind your polished persona? Are you so focused on what you think you should be that you’ve forgotten who you are? Have your tireless efforts to look connected to society created a disconnect with yourself?
Personally, I find it all to easy to be so caught in the chaos of life. So overwhelmed with being busy that the only way to get through is to go on autopilot. Life becomes less about living and more about surviving. In the din, not only is my own voice hard to discern – there are moments where I barely remember the sound of it.
It’s tempting to chalk up this culture of disconnect to social media or technology or the changing demands on women in the twenty-first century, but that’s not only a narrow assumption; it’s a dangerous one. When we start blaming external circumstances for our internal conflict, we minimize the consequences of our actions. We also unwittingly declare that we don’t believe our Creator can handle our situation.
** Back to RL: **
Did any of this resonate with you? Did you hear “yourself” when you were reading and realize that maybe you are one of those women in the mirror? There is a different look that we need to consider and learn to love. It’s one that is all about us, our individual self. Our unique self. The self that GOD made to be unique. The self that has certain characteristics that make us who we are and sets us apart from other women. The reason why our husbands married us, the reason why our friends “truly” like us. The reason that we were put on this earth. Even if we haven’t figured it out yet, there is a definite reason.
If you want to biblical and see where God wants us to know that’s it ok to be “our own” selves…then here you go.
Romans 12: New International Version (NIV)
A Living Sacrifice
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with yourfaith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Did you know that the 10 Commandments are really all about relationships? How to live a life as a Christian and love towards God, and towards our neighbors.
The one that stands out is that we shall not covet our neighbor. The more we learn, the more we realize what this means. We aren’t to live like the Joneses! We are to live our lives like the “___________’s” (fill in your name here)
So you are now asking, “Robie Lynn, what does this mean???” Well, it means that the Joneses next door are different than you and you need not to worry about them! It means that what happens UNDER YOUR ROOF is unique to your family. It means that the $40 that Mrs. Jones spend on getting her nails down just actually paid for the additional CASH money that you need to help with the extra gas you spent this past week. It means that the extra cash you need to pay for the dogs to go to the Vet this month came out of pocket and not something you just paid 13% on a credit card.
So what if you painted your own nails instead of being in a tranquil massage chair, what’s suppose to be a massage and quiet time, yet you are listening to the nail technicians speaking in their own language, one you don’t know, and now you are worried that they are talking about you! Imagine the tranquility you can have at home, you own lighting, your own music and own thoughts. That’s saving you money, and not spending money on what is ‘perceived’ as a tranquil time. Face it, it’s one of life’s jokes that we know they are speaking about us. Just one more way we PAY to keep up with social pressure when it really causes more anxiety and a little bit of discernment in our hearts, during that time. It’s not until we get with our friends and “compare” our nails to theirs. Really? “Is this what your life is about?”
If your answer is yes, then there is more to this. You need to remember that YOUR life is about you and your family and what takes place UNDER YOUR ROOF! It’s about Loving your life an not theirs! (another great book written by Rachel Cruze) how to not compare yourself like Ruth Soukoup teaches us in “Living Well and
Spending Less”. It’s a process. Well, I lied. It’s a Journey. It’s not easy. It’s learning how to say no so you can learn to Live Life like No One Else. And the day you get it, you GET IT!”
Please reach out to me if you want to know more about any of these books, or ways to learn how to let go! I am the QUEEN of Loving a Life a “seeming to be” High Maintenance. I love clothes! Well it’s all changed for me, because I am DEEP in the heart of my home, my family is looking AHEAD to where I want the Morrison’s to be in 5 years, 10 years, where we are not even sure that the neighbors and some friendships of today will matter, and surely the impromptu spending of a quick girls night out will help the family in a year from year, or next month. But family, and our lives, will matter today, tomorrow, and throughout the years!
So ladies, go look in the mirror, and FIND YOU! The UNIQUE You that God has made! NOT the other ladies that are being too busy to be like others!
I Love the REAL YOU,