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Who we are…

Earlier this week I was having a conversation with a friend. And I mentioned to him that sometimes we don’t realize that we need to be delivered from ourselves. We spend a lot of our energy and our time being delivered from the things that others have done to us. But after we’ve grown through that and have begun to heal and those things no longer bind us, sometimes there is something else.

I can’t quite remember what we were talking about. However, it dawned on me that I can’t even tell why I put the yokes on myself that I did. The yoke of being perfect in every single thing. The yoke of I need to know everything. Somewhere in my formative years I figured I wasn’t enough in and of myself, so I decided that I needed to be perfect at everything. So every single thing became a competition subconsciously. I needed to become a doctor, a neurosurgeon at that. I also needed to study law so that I could hold a Juris Doctor degree and defend people in medical practice. At one point I wanted to be like Nancy Drew. I also needed to have business knowledge so I could run my own business. I was supposed to hold all these degrees. I was supposed to know everything about everything and anything less than that was just not good enough.

Additionally, I was supposed be physically fit, boss wife, mom, sit on multiple boards and all this madness. And I said to myself the other day, it is no wonder you are tired now. You have spent all your life trying to be every single thing. And why? I cannot tell you why. I tried thinking about it and I cannot say that a particular event happened and caused me to become that way. My “diligence” was a cover up for feeling less than and having very low self esteem. I wasn’t “pretty enough” so I had to ensure I was smart enough. I had to have something going on for me through what I could achieve because by myself I was not enough.

I remember my friend listened quietly and intently then he said. Don’t try to figure out where it started. That could take you several lifetimes. Focus on your future and how to move on from here. When I spoke again he said to me that I sound disappointed. I said well, I feel deflated. It is just now as I am writing that I realize that I was about to slip right back into that cycle of needing to know everything. Like, guys I don’t do anything that would remotely make me feel or look foolish because I don’t want the embarrassment. So I will not have fun so that no one can laugh at me. I used to be more bubbly but somewhere down the line, I figured I needed to be serious to be taken seriously.

My friend said focus on your future…I wondered why is it that these things are just now coming to the fore. You see the thing with healing in the right environment and with the right support and love, is you start to see! I am beginning to realize that I have been so packed up with traditions, norms, philosophies and they are somewhat baseless. Like who says I have to do all these things? If I choose to do something because I love it and I feel definitely that this is what God has called me to then fine. If not, why am I stressing myself out to do it? Who says I have to do one thing or another? I put all of these things on myself unnecessarily and then I feel stressed and sometimes complain bitterly about all that I have to do. Talking about it as if it is some badge of honour. I have imprisoned myself to these stronghold thoughts in my mind. I have placed yokes on myself that God never gave me and they are not necessary at all.

I have been weighed down for years with these things that were never God given responsibilities and I have locked myself into my own box and I need to just set myself free. I mean, there have been some positives to it, don’t get me wrong. I have learned and grown but now, that I am in a better place mentally and emotionally, the question is, who am I? It doesn’t mean I won’t work…doesn’t mean I won’t still navigate many things simultaneously.

I didn’t enter into some identity crisis. The truth is some of these things that I do really give me joy. There is purpose in it. However, anything out of proportion, anything out of balance, takes us out of alignment. So what to do now? Re-evaluate. One thing’s for certain, I am going to definitely be less stressed out. Another friend put it this way, “you have the liberty to redefine how you show up and what you show up for”. We don’t have to remain fixated on where we are…we can give ourselves permission to change as we learn more about ourselves. I am learning that who I am today can change tomorrow. It doesn’t mean that I won’t have core values and guiding principles, it just means I am giving myself permission to continue growing and healing.

So, what about you? As you reflect, have you taken on responsibilities that God did not give you? Have you stopped to consider why you do what you do? Have you figured out why you are so tired all the time? Are you wondering why you no longer have the drive to do things that once came easily to you?


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