It is so easy to focus on what other mama’s, women and families are doing. It is easy to see perfectly posed children, smiling in a picture. What we usually do not see is the mom and dad jumping up and down trying to get the shot. We don’t see the imperfect moments. All we see is what we didn’t do what they are doing.
It’s one thing to think it, it’s another thing to dwell on it and then list it in your box of another thing I failed to do. Whether you are a mama or not, the comparing game is not only unhealthy, it is mentally dangerous.
The unique thing about our bodies is they are interconnected. If one part of our body is affected, the whole body is affected. There is no way to get around it.
If I do see something in someones life it should cause me to take ownership of my life. I may need to get angry and then sob over not being in the place I want to be. I may need to get angry at all the road blocks I feel are in my way, keeping me from being where I want to be. Then I need to take ownership of the life I want and begin to do something about it.
Lately, the Lord is working in my heart to help me live in the present. In so doing he is helping me to release the dreams I use to have when I was young. I once heard someone say, “don’t hold onto your dreams so tight, you are unwilling to let them change. Don’t chase a dream so full on you are not willing to change direction when your life changes.”
I wish I had heard this sooner. I wish someone would have told me, it’s ok to let your dreams change, it’s ok for you to change, you don’t have to stay on the same path. Part of me didn’t want my path to change, I wanted the direction I had set out for. Yet, hanging tightly to what I wanted had become unhealthy, and actually prevented me from going forward.
I have had to stop and reassess who I am (perhaps this is what they call a mid-life crisis. I can’t believe I’m old enough to have a mid-life crisis, much less be in the middle of one).
How does one re-chart their direction? In northern Minnesota we have what is called the boundary waters. Beautiful, connected bodies of water you can paddle/portage from one lake to another. Some portages are harder than others, some sections of the lakes and interconnected rivers are harder to paddle than other areas.
To portage you have to pull to shore, pull up your canoe and then carry it (often times on your shoulders) over rocks and other such obstacles. It usually requires a moment of rest to mentally and physically prepare for the next section of portaging or paddling.
This is true in life as well. When we see a direction coming we need to pull our mental canoes out of the water. We need time to sit back, eat some lunch and ponder where the river or lake will take us. We need to seek God for direction. We need to acknowledge we cannot paddle or canoe on our own. We need a master river guide. Someone who knows the uncharted water, someone who knows how to get through or around the rapids. Someone who knows where the lilly of the valley is and where the sweetest berries are along the path. We also need someone to say, “it’s just a little longer”, “you can do this” and/or “I’ve got you”.
Once we have had some lunch, looked over the river of life map with our heavenly father, we can then set our courses again. We can take a deep breath and take baby steps as we figure out where to go from here. It may feel rocky at first as we try new things to figure out our direction. We may circle back around and find out we are going to finish pursuing the first dream, but the journey of discovering we were on the right track after all can be freeing in so many ways.
Right now, my canoe is pulled up on the shore, I’m eating some lunch, talking to my Jesus my savior and getting ready to launch my mental canoe back in the river. Anyone want to join me?