“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
I’m doing this thing where I just open up my laptop and start writing what’s on my mind without fear, hoping that something worth sharing comes out of it.
OK, here we go…
Last Sunday was my first Sunday back to church since Bulgaria. I had missed the previous 2 Sundays and knowing how church folk are, I contemplated missing another one. I was tired from the flight and to be honest I enjoyed not being actively involved in church for a while. I didn’t want to be asked to do anything except being present in the service. It may not be right to feel that way but I did do.
One of the things I learned whilst in Bulgaria was that it’s OK to feel how I feel when I feel it. It’s OK to allow myself to be in that moment for a while. Not for too long, but long enough to gain something from it and do something with it. They are my feelings and I’m allowed to have them. So with this new found knowledge in mind I finally did it! I finally listened to my feelings and acted on them.
Moments before the praise and worship was about to start I was asked if I wanted to help lead it. My response was No. I had no intentions on leading anything when I made my way to church and I planned on sticking to that. So I said No. I didn’t explain, I didn’t hesitate, I simply said No not today and walked back to my seat.
I know, you must be thinking OK Lydia but what’s the big deal about saying No to that? Well if you’ve read this post then you’d understand just how big of a deal that was for me.
Was it the Bulgarian air or the free wine I was drinking all week that did it? Or perhaps it was the experience of travelling alone for the first time? I don’t know, but something gave me a new found opinion of myself, my values and what I have control over. Whatever it was it finally made me trust my own feelings and act on them without excuses.
Usually these last minute requests from a dear sweet aunty would make me crumble and change my mind. Not this time. I found some courage from somewhere to not ignore my own feelings or allow my actions to be externally influenced. I wanted to just be a congregant in the service and I made sure I was. Don’t get me wrong, as I made my way back to my seat I felt a little guilty and tried to justify my decision to myself but then I remembered what I wrote in my previous post.
“There are parts of my life that I want to change”. This lack of trust in my own feelings is one of them.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. I’ve been in that situation before where I’ve allowed my actions to be externally dictated and not feeling completely satisfied with the decision after. I would then beat myself up for not trusting my feelings and even after promising not to do that again, I’d find myself in the same position the next time. And the next time. And the next time after that.
Why is that? Why did I do that to myself? Was it a lack of self-confidence or a lack of self-discipline? Maybe it was both or something else, I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t like it and I want to change it!
A lot of people around me say that I’m confident, and trust me I try my best to carry myself in that way, but to be completely honest I’m not. I act confident because it’s something I want to be but if we’re being honest here, I’m not. It’s all externally shown as my way of fighting my own insecurities. I’ve never said that out loud because I’ve never understood it. How can you appear confident yet lack self-confidence? I’m a walking oxymoron!
Since starting this “Finding Your Voice” series I’ve noticed it. At work, in my relationships, in my skills and abilities, I’ve noticed my lack of self…something.
Why am I sharing this?
Sometimes, when we get lost in acting the way we want to be perceived, we disconnect from who we are. Who we really are. There’s a difference between who we are and who we think we are.
Sometimes, who we think we are is actually who we want to be but haven’t taken the time to get there. An illusion or a mirage we form of ourselves to ourselves. Maybe we’ve allowed others to make us form this view or maybe we’ve been putting on an act for ourselves. But how much of this “act” or opinions from other people do we believe is actually true? I’m not talking about negative things here because to me negativity is always easier to believe. I’m talking about positive affirmation. How much of the positive things that we project externally or hear about ourselves do we actually believe about ourselves? How much of that can we confidently say it’s who we know we are rather than who we think we are or want to be?
Am I making sense?
For me there are very few positive things I truly believe about myself. We’re being honest here, right? I may not show it but I feel it. This to me is an indication that there is a disconnect between my inner and outer being. That’s my attempt at explaining this place I’m in. And when we find ourselves in this place, it’s time to reconnect with ourselves. To be honest with ourselves and who we really are right now – no more bs or flattery.
I believe that finding out who we are is the first step in moving towards who we want to be. If you are like me then I want to encourage you to take that first step. Perhaps we’re already where we want to be we just don’t realise it. Maybe there are things or people that are preventing us from seeing that. Perhaps we are preventing ourselves. Whatever it may be, let’s spend more of our energy getting to know ourselves and reconnecting with ourselves.
I want to be present when making decisions about every aspect of my life. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I have no idea how, I’m just as clueless as you! But I’m making a start now by being honest with myself and trusting in my feelings a bit more.
I don’t want to be a walking oxymoron any more. Do you?
Stay tuned for my next post.