Hello there! Ever feel like you are living someone else’s life? Well quit it. Start living yours!
Does your daily life reflect how God has uniquely crafted you?
This is one of the greatest challenges we face.
God invites us to ignore the distracting voices around us?—??regardless of their source?—??and to pursue wholeheartedly leading out of our God-given life. This is no small task. Just consider the pressures Jesus, Moses, and David faced.
5 essential practices provide essential guidance for us in this journey:
Take Time to Discover Your Integrity
The journey of living your life instead of someone else’s begins when you discover your integrity. This requires recognizing and defining what is important to you.
When helping someone who is struggling with an inner conflict, I often ask, “What is your integrity calling you to do?” Most people hesitate before responding because they have rarely thought deeply about what they believe and value.
The question behind that question is this: “What is important to you?” If you do not take the time to answer that question, other people’s fears, expectations, and agendas will drive you.
For me this means I am inviting God to help me be the same person on the inside that I am on the outside. It is important to me that people continually experience deep transformation in Christ through my daily work, my time with friends, and my family. A commitment to bridge racial, cultural, economic, and gender barriers, as well as the poor in spirit or in life are also core values for me.
Listen to Your Inner Rhythm
There is a spiritual discipline called the Rule Of Life and it’s based on understanding a healthy rhythm that allows us to be our true selves more often than not. All creation has a natural rhythm. When we ignore this wonderful gift from God and work too much or push our bodies beyond their limits, everyone around us suffers.
If I neglect my relationship with God, if I go beyond my physical, mental, social or financial limits, if I don’t nurture delight and joy, my soul begins to be neglected. Rhythm has to do with timing?—??when it is time to engage or disengage, to remain or to transition, to be with people or be apart, to work or to rest, to play or to be serious. Mindy Caliguire talks about this on SoulCare, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality talks about this and most importantly the Bible invites us to live within our limits each day.
Set Your Boundaries
With whom do you need to set boundaries? The answer is simple: with everyone!
It’s not bad that people want what they want. People will always want things from you?—??your time, your emotional support, your expertise, your money, your participation. This is normal.
However, the fact that someone wants something from you does not necessarily mean God wants you to provide it. We need to practice boundaries on our emotions, thoughts, actions, needs and desires. Our stuff is ours and others stuff is theirs. We can share but do it wisely. Remember, a healthy boundary always serves to promote healthy relationships. Dr.’s Cloud and Townsend famously write many books on practically applying boundaries. Healthy relationships always let us be who we are in Christ, fuel us to learn more of God, and invite us to connect with healthy community.
Let Go of Controlling Others
To quit living someone else’s life requires not trying to run other people’s lives. It means not overfunctioning – doing for others what they can and should do for themselves. Controlling the lives of others takes time and energy; it also takes the focus off God’s call for your own life.
One of the litmus tests to discern my spiritual growth in letting go is to detect when traces of resentment, frustration, and judgmentalism prevail in my heart.
The miracle is that when you do these things, you enter into the joy of your own beautifully God-given life, where you now carry out your own God-given purpose.
Plan your purpose
As you practice the previous 4, remember to plan your purpose each day by actually making a plan. Your plan starts with your vision of the future and breaks it down into annual, monthly and weekly goals that are achieved a little each day. If one of your purposes in life is to be a healthy person, this will need to transcend into most meal choices, at least more often than not. If one of your purposes in life is to build a unique business, then each day will include some skill building, networking and overall health management. Taking responsibility for what is your role in this life means inviting God to show you your next steps and then actually doing the part that is yours to do.
Adapted from The Emotionally Healthy Woman (Zondervan, chapter 8, by Geri Scazzero with Pete Scazzero). http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/product-category/eh-woman/
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs the Streams Counseling Center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
Diving girl by covetliving.com, reposted on Pinterest