3 Ways to Wake-Up
There is excitement and even a little bit of sexiness in the face of a good wake-up. For a lot of us, these wake-ups tend to occur around the new year, or our birthdays or Mondays. There's hope and possibility and excitement for what is to come when we get to a place where we're ready to leave the old unhealthy stuff behind. But what about when we don't want to wake-up and face reality... or even worse when we don't even know we're asleep?
I had my own wake up about 8 years ago. We had just received a home from our community and Extreme Makeover Home Edition and there were lots of eyes on us. I wasn't used to being in the spotlight and I felt the pressure to perform and give back for the tremendous gift we had been given by so many. I had been chosen to dance in a community fundraiser for one of our favorite non-profits. We had practiced for weeks and I was still barely mediocre but determined to give back... at that point in time, I was on a mission to convince everyone that we were, in fact, worthy of the gift we had been given. I was so afraid of disappointing people or being judged that I became obsessed with playing a part.
The day of the competition arrived, I was pregnant, but just barely... and I knew something was wrong. My suspicions were confirmed and I realized I was miscarrying... again. I was distraught and full of emotions and then there was a knock at the door. It was a family who wanted a tour. Up until that point, I had always dropped everything to be a gracious hostess. On the outside, I was chipper and kind, but behind the scenes, I was horrible to my family. It felt like the house was more like a museum than a home for our family of 5 and I would get crazy angry when the boys would make their McPhail size messes because someone could show up for a tour at any given time. But this specific day I couldn't oblige. I couldn't mask the pain and anger and I said no. A few hours later I was on stage dancing to some sort of 70's night club dance all while dealing with the really painful and embarrassing logistics of losing a baby. No one knew what was going on. No one asked me to go on... in fact I'm pretty sure my husband begged me not to. But I was so driven by the opinions of others or what I thought their opinions would be if I backed out, I slapped on a smile and pretended to be tough.
THAT, was a low point. I remember sitting outside reading my bible the following week and a gust of wind turned the pages, when I looked down, this is what it said:
"Arise you sleeper! Rise up from your coffin and the Anointed One will shine his light into you."
I realized I had been asleep... or maybe worse. I had lost myself in the pursuit of proving that we were worthy of the sacrifice made by so many in our community. It was then that I knew we had a choice to make. We could continue on and I could be a driving factor in ruining our marriage and family, or I could wake-up to the fact that I/we had nothing to prove and my family and my health were more important than pleasing others. I knew I had to choose option #2, but I wasn't sure I was brave enough to fully embrace the waking-up process and all it entailed.
Isn't it crazy how sometimes we get lulled into thinking the unhealthy versions of ourselves are fine even though we're miserable ... because at least it's safe right? I feel safe being a people pleaser, and I feel valued when I perform well. I had created an identity that was masked by those two key features. It was so painful, but it was what I knew so I stayed there for far too long.
Sleepwalking through life looks different for us all. We mask it so well that sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking it's all life has to offer. But here's what I know from experience: I would rather live one uncomfortable day being fully alive than an eternity asleep to all I was created to see, feel and experience.
Yesterday, my friend Kristy said, "The magic is on the other side of what you're comfortable with in life."
There is magic waiting for us all when we're willing to wake up to who we are and what we were created for. It's usually really uncomfortable. It may require forgiving ourselves or others, it might even start with learning to love ourselves.
Where do you need to wake-up? Do you need to be more present with your family? Do you need to get out of debt or stop emotional eating? Do you need to start exercising or volunteering? Do you simply need to stop pretending to be someone you're not? We're with you on this journey! If you want to join a community of others waking up to their own greatness... join our Outsider Nation, facebook group. You're not alone friend! Here are 3 ways to wake-up right now:
1) Evaluate: Is any area of your life controlled by other people's opinions -OR- what you think other people will think of you?
2) Make a list: What are 3 things you've dreamed about doing but never pursued because they seemed unrealistic or you were just too scared? Write them down.
3) Take a risk: Sometimes we think risks have to be big and scary... but in reality, what moves us forward is taking small risks on a regular basis.