Last week I announced that I was starting something new. I decided to publish that post but not before I felt fear. What are people going to say, how do I explain the idea, and so many more thoughts flooded my mind. I felt that feeling you get right before jumping into ice cold water. Even though I felt this “flinch” I knew I had to share the post and to start this new project. Sharing the post means I now have accountability to actually follow through.
It is so easy to think that we control ourselves. We aren’t a puppet. We don’t have strings hanging from us. We are the ones who choose to wear certain clothes, drive a certain car, go to a specific school, or work in a specific career field, right? What if I told you that those aren’t decisions you made on your own…
Have you ever just sat and people watched? You sit in a spot and just notice all the people who walk past. You notice the kind gesture of opening a door, the frustrated parent scolding a child, the couple who is clearly in a silent fight…
It is so easy to just look outside of ourselves and notice what other people have going wrong in their life. We stare at our phones and see the Instagram picture of people going on vacations or we sit on a bench and notice the fights people have and we make judgments. We say that person is so fake, that couple needs some therapy, or that person has to be in debt if they drive that car. It is so easy to look at other people’s lives and make judgments, but how often do you look at your own life?
Here is what I mean. A couple days ago Kenzie and I went to this class. We signed up for the content, but we were also hoping to make friends with other couples attending the class. We got there a few minutes early which meant we were the first to choose a seat.
There were six tables and we chose one at random. Slowly other people started to trickle in and sit down. There were about fourteen people in the room and no one sat with us at our table. They sat together at other tables, but ignored our table.
Why did I notice this? It’s because it stirred something up in me. You could have sat in the same situation and not even noticed that no one sat next to you, but it hit something important to my story. The fact that I recognized I was alone at a table tells me something about myself. There are plenty of these situations that show something about who I really am.
Instead of getting hurt or upset I noticed the feeling and then told myself the truth. These other people were not ignoring me. It was not a personal attack on me or Kenzie. If I had the emotion but I didn’t address it in myself and instead I took offense I would have ignored the message talked about in the class and I would not have been present with my wife. Mine and Kenzie’s conversation afterwards would have suffered due to my offense.
Looking into your own life you may see times where you felt rejected, alone, a failure. What caused those feelings? Why do you feel them? When is the first time you felt that way? In a society where it’s so easy to see into the lives of others we must be intentional with looking into our own life. Our emotions tell us a lot about who we are, but we often ignore them. Instead let us begin to embrace and explore our feelings.