Do It Anyway

do it anyway

A few years back now, I trained as a professional dancer. The entertainment industry can sometimes be a negative and ugly space that offers huge highs and equally deep lows. There are often more performers than jobs available which can breed comparison and bitterness if left unchecked. What I noticed after graduation is that it wasn’t necessarily the ablest and talented that found and kept work. Rather it was those that continued to work hard and persevere. It was those tenacious in their self-belief and/or pursuit of work that enabled them to find success. It made me realise that our beliefs are so crucial to our victory. We hear it all the time from self-help quotes, podcasts and books and yet I wonder how many of us actually take note and do anything to actively guard our hearts and train our minds. When we get to the edge of ourselves do we give up or keep going? I once saw a greeting card which a picture of an elderly couple on it that read something along the lines of, “People often ask us how we’ve managed to stay married all of these years, we answer, ‘we come from an era where if something was broken we’d fix it’”

For some reason, we’ve grown up in a western culture that can feel entitled, that feels like just because, we want something we should have it, just because we’re passionate about something we should be able to do it. Previous generations who fought wars for our freedom were just grateful to be alive. No doubt they fought for the freedom of opportunity that we have today, and in many ways, it’s a blessing. However, our ease of opportunity if we’re not careful can lead us to lose the fight to make things work. We must remember and learn from our elders that victory doesn’t just happen.

So today’s slightly late #wednesdaywisdom which is now technically a #thursdaythought is a bit of a throwback to an insta post I did a while back entitled: DO IT ANYWAY! Whatever you ‘it’ is – keep going and do it anyway.

Do it anyway

When it’s hard, when it’s going well and when it’s not, if no-one notices, if it’s slow going, if it feels like you’re not making the progress you thought you would, if it’s scary, when people don’t understand, if you’re standing out there on your own..

Do it anyway

Keep going, persevere, keep your head down and plough on. If it’s a labour of love it will require some pushing. Speaking as a Mum I can tell you that actual labour isn’t fun! In fact, it’s a lot of hard work! Sienna wasn’t birthed in the ‘natural’ way, I had a c-section after a looooooooooooooooonnngggg labour without my preferred result. So even when things take an unexpected detour, and the road doesn’t look like what you envisioned – keep going and DO IT ANYWAY

Three ‘W’s to help keep you going

Know Your Worth – your validation doesn’t come from others, culture or any outside influence. It’s an intrinsic value you’re born with as a human and discover when you know Him who created you for purpose and died for you out of love for you. He believes you are worth His sacrifice. Before any success or accolade, triumph or failure you’ve made or will make, before any kind or ugly words were spoken over you – your worth was already established

Know Your Why – why are you doing what you’re doing? You started because you thought it was worthwhile so remind yourself of that often – like all the time! “Your vision could be someone’s only hope”

Know Your Where – what’s the vision? “Without vision, the people perish” or in some translations “they cast off restraint” Proverbs 29 v 18. In other words, without vision, we lose sight of things, forget the goal, let it slip, don’t care. Set the vision ahead and look at it often as you take each step

Hope that encourages someone today. I’m encouraging myself to. Tag someone who needs to hear it. Love y’all 😊❤️

 

Validate Me

VALIDATE ME

There’s been a lot of coverage in the media over the last year regarding social platforms and the detrimental effects they can have on mental and emotional wellbeing. Statistics for anxiety and depression continue to grow at an alarming rate and male suicide is at an all time high. Social media sites aren’t bad things, and in fact, when used for good can have a positive social impact and be a useful marketing tool. However, I do believe they have highlighted some of the deeper heart issues that affect us as a society. They are platforms which magnify the void of their users. The truth is, we all long to feel important, loved and that we have something significant to offer. Social media, along with the constant access to a continuous stream of everyone’s consciousness, helps magnify the brokenness of our humanity which seeks validation and value in the wrong places and for the wrong things.

Little children are the greatest truth tellers because they are unable to mask their feelings like adults. Sienna often searches my gaze for approval when she’s built a tower or swooped down a slide. She now preempts my response with self-applause followed by a proud exclamation, ‘wow’, before I even utter a word. In her little mind, she’s developed a confidence in my affirmation after consistent reinforcement.  Naturally, children seek approval and validation from the significant carers in their life. I’m sure most of us would agree that giving praise and encouragement are an important part of raising healthy children and therefore hopefully healthy adults. As a parent, I’m acutely aware that the way in which I respond to both good and bad behaviour, success and failure, will set the foundation for how she approaches life. As I observe Sienna’s innocence as she gleefully awaits my praise, I can’t help but think that wanting and needing approval isn’t such a terrible thing. Maybe it’s even innate.  However, what’s more important than me praising her achievements is the reassurance of my love in all circumstances. Whether she’s succeeded or failed at a task and whether she’s exhibited good or negative behaviour I try my best to always let her know that no matter what mummy still loves her. What she’s ultimately looking for is acceptance.

Validation:

The action of making or declaring something legally or officially acceptable.”

“Recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.”

It’s interesting that the word ‘validation’ finds it’s meaning rooted in legal terminology. When something or someone is validated, it brings credibility and right standing. In a court of law validation of a person’s testimony or innocence could be the difference between freedom and imprisonment, for some even life or death.

When we look for likes and comments on social media or rewards and praise from external sources, what we’re really hoping for is that someone will justify our existence and efforts. The trouble with this is that we will always be required to do more and to be better in order to feel that our existence has purpose or that someone somewhere cares.

The good news for all of us is that there is Someone who always cares, always sees and always approves because we, His children were created in His image and He longs to be connected to us. His approval and acceptance aren’t based on our achievements and what we can or can’t do for Him. The truth is we would never measure up. Our validation is assured because he stood in front of the Ultimate Judge and took all of our pain, shame and guilt upon Himself in order to make us eternally in legal right standing with Him. We are legally approved and accepted with full access to to the goodness of His Kingdom.

Let’s work hard, make goals, post our highlights for family and friends but hold everything lightly and remember that there’s a big fat tick that presides over our lives whatever season we’re in.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Romans 8 v 1 – 4

 

#wednesdaywisdom

INSPIRATION NOT IMITATION

We often hear the phrase “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..” which is taken from a quote by Oscar Wilde. Usually, it’s spoken in the context of frustration or pride as someone attempts to imitate another or their work. However that’s only part of the quote, here’s the full sentence,

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”

Ouch!

It’s good and quite natural to look up to others, to aspire to be like those further along the path. Children do it naturally as they learn from their loved ones. It’s also important and necessary to be teachable and glean wisdom from others, to seek different opinions and keep a keen eye on experts.

What’s not ok is when we start to imitate others. Imitation can stem from comparison, insecurity, laziness or even admiration gone too far. When we imitate we will only ever be second best or second rate and an incomplete version of ourselves. Imitation only takes away from who we really are. We will never fully and truly discover the light within ourselves whilst we’re mimicking someone else or what they do. We must trust in our ability to bring our unique expression to any given situation. It might be similar but it doesn’t have to be the same.

Just as children grow in the discovery of themselves so must we continue to do so as we grow older.

Fortunately, we are connected to and created in the image of the ultimate Creator. He is the ultimate Artist, Physician, Communicator, Scientist, Teacher. We have free and loving access to His unlimited resource. The only person we should imitate is Christ. Beyond that, we can trust Him for what we need in order to fully be free to create and use all that He’s placed within us.

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