There is nothing my that drives me crazier than feeling like I am out of control. I think a vast majority of people would agree with that feeling. Now, I don't consider myself to "have it all together." But when I find myself grasping at straws trying to keep what little I do have together- I have in fact lost control.
Recently, I heard a statement by an author I love that ranks among some of the most freeing statements I have ever heard in my life. The truth in these words I believe have the potential to not only help us control what we can but also help us all begin to start making conscious decisions in our lives.
Did it get to you like it got to me? No? Okay, read it again. Slowly. One word at a time. And then, let it marinate. Did it strike you yet?
Feeling a loss of control is not limited to any particular area of your life. It starts in one place and usually spirals into everything else. But if this statement is true, how much can that change for our lives? Where in your life do you feel like you're just riding along in the back seat? For me, I just came out of a season where my work life was violently sucking the actual life out of me. And by "violently" I mean the first half of the sinking Titanic, snapping like a twig, plunging deep into the abyss, dragging any and everything in its path into icy cold, heart-stopping ocean water violent. Yeah, I know right? Excessive. But it was that real for me.
Have you been there before? Now, this work wasn't awful, but it also wasn't fulfilling for me. I had been allowing it to steal many hours of my time all in the name of a biweekly paycheck. The truth is it was breaking me down, so much so that I needed to get away and fast.
A little backstory: I live in St. Petersburg, FL. It's where my husband and I call "The Promised Land." Friends, it's amazing here. Indeed I am blessed. However, I am a Georgia girl. This Florida heat is fun. The Gulf sands are cute. The calming water is rejuvenating. But everywhere else this summer season was changing, and I needed to feel it, see it, and taste it -- figuratively and literally speaking.
So in the best interest for myself and everyone around me, I whisked myself away to spend time with one of my best ones - one of my persons. (I think we ought to make it a conscious practice to refresh ourselves with amazing people that build us up. That's a part of taking back control; grounding ourselves in healthy relationships. They are good for our souls.) Her gracious parents let us borrow a family lake house, where we stayed for the weekend. Fortunately, time seemed to have stopped those two days. The water had not yet gone away, the leaves were changing colors, and the atmosphere demanded us to be quiet. The violent, swirling Titanic waters began to still and I could see the lifeboats!
It was in this quiet where I remembered two things. First, I recalled that quote from Rob Bell. Second, a passage that I had read from Shauna Niequist from her book, Savor. In this particular story, she talks about being brave enough to make changes and awake enough to move past the planned and expected in our lives. And then it hit me. I don't have to remain stuck and unhappy. I am creating my life.
Finally, I had realized it. Two weeks later I left this unsatisfying, unfulfilling work.
From the very first moments we can recall, we live with this formula for ultimate real world happiness. For most of us, it goes like this: graduate high school, get into college, graduate college, get a good-paying job. We're told that this formula equals happiness and freedom; it's how we take care of ourselves. We're also told that living well falls into place along the way once we secure this framework.
The truth of it? A lot of us end up a slave to this formula and wonder why we get to critical "loss of control" moments in our lives. We find ourselves falling apart because our work/life/relationship isn't working. But here comes freedom, friends.
We don't have to be in the backseat of our business, our relationship, or our lives for the sake of a paycheck, love, or perceived happiness. We have the ability and the power to create our lives. And when something isn't working, we have permission to go back to the drawing board and start over.
I live my life as a co-creator with God.
If I'm honest, I didn't believe I did. Instead, I was living like Shauna describes in Savor, where, "many of the critical decisions in my life just seemed like the most natural progression." Instead, I wanted to live consciously; meaning I want to be present, aware, and actively creating my life. I want to be making decisions that are right for myself and my family. Decisions that coincide with our dreams and vision. Why? Because my life is a fundamentally creative act. Present tense. Sometimes we get stuck. However, when we realize we have more power than we understand to control our daily life, everything changes.
I believe that God holds all the power in my life. But He's also given me the authority and ability to go, work, and move. I step out, and He meets me there. I didn't quit my job because of the challenges. There are difficult seasons in life. So don't leave your job or marriage or friendships because of hardships -- that's not what I'm saying.
However, there are things that we dread doing, because they do not make us come alive. We have taken a backseat to the natural progression. Instead, what are the things in this life that when you step out into, you come alive? What does that look like for you?
For me, it was not standing behind a teller window busting my behind to meet a sales goal. See, when I took the time to step back from my spinning world, I realized that I hadn't been making authentic and conscious decisions that matched the desires of my heart. I was drudging on. I was going through the motions, and it was making me so unhappy. It was there that I trusted that I was smart enough, equipped enough, brave enough to step out and do something different.
Do you have a business that isn't going in the direction you planned?
4 things: Stop. Breathe. Make a conscious decision. Trust.
Whether you're a creative feeling stifled, or a stay at home parent feeling like you'll never make it to the other side -- remember to make a conscious decision. You don't have to stay stuck. The thought of changing it up doesn't have to cripple you in fear. You have more power than you realize.
Your life is a creative act. Creativity is not limited. It is infinite. It is achievable, and you can do it! You can step out of your yesterday and approach a new today, a new tomorrow with a new found freedom.
Let your fear subside, recognize you can be control of more than you think, and make some conscious decisions!
I'm Simone. I'm a young married twenty-something, and I love the Lord. Everything I do flows from there. Sweet Tea is a part of my genetic makeup, and chocolate & avocados are my love language. Worshipper, encourager, friend, and adult coloring book aficionado. You can find me in a good book or doing life with great people.