Thursday, December 22, 2011

how to see yourself as who you are

Saying it aloud, I surprised myself by what I heard.

I need to start seeing myself differently. 

This year has wrapped up into a heap of challenges that began as *invitations*--Yes's that became something real.

Runners don't just hop on bikes and brave the road all strong-like.

Owning half the road and running two-wide doesn't phase a runner. Motorists must yield for us. But, cyclists share the space with those others. They can't just eye 'em down and demand space, they could be blindsided at any time. It's scary out there on a bike dozens of miles away and fully reliant upon others if something happened.

Runners also don't just hop in the pool and swim. 

It's hard to breathe in there. Water goes places deep inside and doesn't just shake off with each step. Breathing becomes deliberate with each stroke; something to be learned and practiced. And, there's no side to grab onto. It's lonely in a big lane, several dozen strokes away from start.

Runners don't choose to focus on arms for strength. 

Racing hills is the hardest workout for us strong-leg types. Push-ups seem foreign and unnecessary. Taking a day off of running to spend time on arms just seems like a colossal waste of time; training seems sidelined.

Runners tend to be soloists. 

The go-it-alone type, we're a weird bunch. Self-focused and introverted, runners are competitive and shy about their own pace. Partners can be fearful to have as pace becomes spotlighted even more. A leisurely run becomes a job.

So, His *invitations*--
     to get a bike...
     hop in the pool...
     focus on push-ups...
     and get a canine running partner...

--just didn't seem to make sense.

They were challenging Yes's for a girl like me. 
A part of me wishes I could say it was all easy

But, those *invitations* weren't nothing to me.
Those were very real challenges.

...just as was applying for two jobs in the past year--positions that I just knew I wouldn't get. Positions I felt were meant for my consideration, though not for my shoes to fill.

...and, then there were the three other non-paying opportunities I raised my hand to. Ones that would call me out and make me connected, and visible to others--doing things I never imagined myself doing.

...and the conversation with a colleague with hope that he would see me differently. The one where I shared my passion and tried to plant a seed, if ever there arose an occasion where a need would define my strengths.

These were all risk's others often can't understand. And ones I felt with every ounce of who I am, I needed to say Yes to.

The willingness declared that I am important enough to choose strengths instead of shoulds

There was a time, recently, when I went to a store and bought myself good, high quality trouser-pants. I paid a lot of money for them. And it was a risk.
Because, do pants really have to cost that much?
What if I don't fit in them a year from now?

At the same store where I bought the pants, a woman suggested I try on a sweater in a size I'd never imagine for me. After dismissing her suggestion, and then quickly considering, only to be pleasantly surprised, I immediately thought out loud that I need to start seeing myself differently.

And right there, at that very moment, the entire year worth of experiences collided into one magnificent firework in the sky of my mind.

I need to start seeing myself differently. 

The Boy dresses up in all funny costumes, using whatever pieces of rubbish scrap he can find. Carefree, a pipe cleaner becomes a necessity to his idea of something. He sees himself as some. one. With a vision that I don't have, he uses everything around him and makes some. thing.

I am astounded at how this speaks to me.

With a conscious decision--a deliberate willingness--
     we can travel a completely different path, 
          seeing things we never could imagine we would, 
               if only we would say Yes to the *invitation.* 

Not always seeing the beauty, I look at the Boy's creation with wonder over what he could possibly thinking. The real astounding thing is to see that he has made Some. Thing.

Choosing Yes gives way to Some. Thing. 

I didn't swim in that race within record speed. And probably not even close to my full potential. But, I said yes and stuck it out. I learned how to breath the best I could, and in the process of trying I learned some valuable things.

The bike I bought isn't a lightweight one that's the most efficient for 25 miles. It's not even a technical road bike. But, it works for me. It's the bike that allows me flexibility to ride with my son on sidewalks still, or grab the old railroad tracks between my parents house and my own.

100 push-ups are broken into five sets, though they're the real ones. It's been my hardest challenge yet, aside from keeping my marriage and raising our child--all three emotional mountains. It took nearly six months to complete and only possible with a willingness to keep on.

And the dog, she slows me down and has her own set of fear when we trod outpre-dawn. I'm not always patient with her and sometimes I complain about her stinkyness. She has helped me bend and flex with the changing weather, demanding that I notice things more.

Those jobs I raised my hand for were definitely not gimme's. Applying for them may seem pointless to one person, and yet necessary for me.

Choices are individual.

How my groom and I make time for each other isn't in the way of advice suggested to us. We have made adjustments and constantly re-adjust, still--seven-years in to belt-tightening family decisions. What we do on a daily basis is the exact reverse of what many in society expect of us.

Being *willing* to See is the first step to seeing yourself as who you are... is surrendering the glasses we see through and trusting that we'll be given the vision for Some. Thing. 

When we live our own story, we never want to go back to living it for them.
We ache inside at the thought of doing something that isn't made for us.

Truth reminds us:
     not everyone is called to every. thing.--
          but, we all are called to some. thing.

As this year concludes and another one attaches to my story,
and as I look around at the different choices of others,
I can't help but long for acceptance--of myself.

I want to See myself as He does. 
I want to live out my commitments. 
I want to inspire you to choose Yes

...because, All. Is. For. Purpose.

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  1. There's so much to love here - the way you talk about the year and how it's changed you. And how it wasn't all easy or beautiful. And how you know another year is on its way and it will change you, too. And me. Thanks for sharing yourself right here with us.

  2. Amy~ What a lot to absorb. What a year you have had, I have been considering the way I percieve myself as well... I'm sure in a while I'll have to blog about it, because it haunts and burns and needs to be set free... Look at how HE sees you. Look at how HE is stretching and growing you- So many blessings. Praying for you!