Reflections of yourself are great…especially when you’re getting an unfiltered look at what’s really there.
Have you ever been surprised at what is staring back at you, from the mirror’s image?
Last weekend, I attended the Titus 2 Women (in leadership) event. As I decompress from the lively gathering, I contemplate what I thought, felt and witnessed. A lot was shared, a lot was given and a lot was learned. Now, I review the ten pages of notes I took, which I think will take me about a week to study. So much information was covered in a such a short span of time, that I couldn’t come up with an individual snippet of insight, when my husband asked what my biggest takeaway from the event was.
And, it got me thinking.
If I absorbed enough and thought the content was rich enough to take ten pages of notes… Have I overstayed my welcome at my current level?
This diverse gathering of strong women was next level knowledge and guidance. Every walk, creed, color, age, denomination and personality was present. On the surface, these women had little in common. Underneath, the thread that ties us together was being a leader and having a love for Jesus. As I embraced the two day event, the image I saw in the mirror was crushed.
Have you ever looked only at the surface of your reflection? Was the reflection clear? Have you ever questioned it?
I study through a variety of Biblical resources, but it had been years since I attended a Christian function that wasn’t church. I admit I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to encounter. See, I was invited to this by the woman hosting the event. While I was curious and excited about the content, I wanted to support my friend. However, the last time I went to anything similar, I remember not getting much out of it. At the time, an elderly woman and I answered all the questions on the worksheets and we both received gifts for being the top students. I liked the pretty notebook and pen I received, but didn’t get a lot of “new stuff” out of the gathering. I knew the stories, I studied on my own and I started declining the invitations.
Before I go any further, this is a good spot to pause and be clear about something. I’m not knocking ANY gathering. “Where two or more meet…” amazing things can happen. Gathering with individuals who have a thread of like-mindedness can lead to beautiful new beginnings. What I am saying is that everyone needs fed differently and we all have relationships, study and worship in our own personal way that makes us feel closest to the Holy Spirit. Just because my way is different, doesn’t make it wrong and vice versa. It’s as individual as we are, because He made us all unique.
I believe some of my prior lack of enthusiasm for these functions was because I felt like I was going in another direction. I still do. I also think it’s a good thing to not be a replica of someone else. While everyone needs help or a wise word, we sometimes start to become reliant on the person and not the Word itself. And truthfully, this is accurate in a variety of situations in life. But, getting back to the thought above…
Has your overconfidence led you astray?
I’ve been told that I spend more time in the Bible, than a lot of people do in a year. I’m telling you that, because I suppose that was my way of justifying my lack of need to seek an outside next level. Though, I have to ask myself questions: Where did I set the line? How did I determine the placement of the bar? When did I decide this level was “good enough” for now?
If you know me, you know I don’t like those words. I enjoy learning, moving, trying and studying. But, here I was not leveling up or growing beyond my capacity to see the end of my nose in the pages. While I believe individual study, in any vocation, is absolutely essential, why didn’t I seek out others who wanted more? A different level? A deeper relationship of intimacy with God?
What’s even more interesting, than answering those questions? I realized this looked a lot like pride. That was uncomfortable. And, it was followed by the undesirable word of stagnant.
Has your reflection shown you something unsavory?
Pride and stagnation are things that I’ve prayed against. It’s part of the reason I dedicated my books to God. When I pray over my writing, I ask Him to lead me, without guidelines or restraints and open the door to somewhere awesome. A Guardian Chronicle series was born, because I placed my faith in being led by Him. As I read over what I wrote, I realized my mind, heart, spirit and fingers opened and dictated that answer to that prayer. To not give Him glory would have been a lie. I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen, because He’s the main influence over my mind, my spirit and my heart, resulting in a magnificent flow from my fingers. Over the years, He rewired a lot of who I was into who I am becoming. I say it that way, because the process won’t and cannot end, until I die. In my mind, if I don’t grow who I am, I’m already dead.
Who are you?
Oftentimes, stagnant shifts to complacent, creeping from I’ll find something else to I don’t need something else. The desire fades a little each day, until it dies. Sometimes we’re in a situation so long, that we don’t see a way out or a reason for another step. But in reality, we’ve become lazy and aren’t putting the effort into moving our feet. (Desire of your heart, dedication, drive and discipline, my friends!)
We become prideful, because after so long of not being around those at the next level, we think we’re good. And, we begin doing it alone…on our own…until it morphs to our own way.
Have you decided you’re good where you’re at?
Our lives are meant to be impactful. It’s circular. We’re meant to be involved and interact with those around us. We’re meant to lead and we’re meant to follow. Our sphere of influence and those we randomly meet, they look at us, they look to us or they look up to us. Whether or not we know it, we’re all leading someone and are being led by someone else. Whether it’s a friend seeking advice, a father talking to his son, a session with a therapist, or following an influencer online, it’s a sort of leadership.
How are you leading? Yourself, as well as others? Are you making that choice actively?
You know who you can be and who you are. It’s the small whisper, vision or feeling. The desires of your heart are there for a reason. Be proactive. And, run with them!
When you look in the mirror, what have you accepted about your reflection? I’m not talking aesthetic wise – beauty truly is found in the eye of the beholder – what I’m asking is deeper.
Don’t accept, without another thought on what you’re accepting.
See who you are and who you can become. Ponder that…honestly. You must be truthful with yourself to grow to your next level. It may be followed with a punch of anger, or shame, perhaps embarrassment, but the key is to keep moving forward by not accepting.
My reflection showed me that I’m not where I’m meant to be and that I need to grow to my next level. Does yours reflect the same?
Let me be the first to share, it’s not too late. You can do this. You can get there, but you have to want it.
Allow your eyes to see. Allow your mind to open. Allow your spirit to breathe.
Take a moment to accept where you failed, before acknowledging it as a step on your path, not the end of it. Unfold what your next level is.
Then, allow yourself to acknowledge what you need to do. You know what is needed.
And, believe. Believe. BELIEVE.
Now, crush that mirror and go do it!