I’m guessing that since you clicked on this blog you have also felt this way before too. Felt that you screwed up an opportunity, that you really messed up, or that you missed an opportunity and it seems like it’s passed you by.
So have you felt that way?
Me too because I’m old enough to have not been courageous in the past with a presented opportunity…or two.
But someone told me something that helped me and today I hope it helps you too.
I was told a fact that takes away the sting of that feeling and then gave me hope and help to move forward.
Here’s the fact: “If I’m still breathing, there is still time to do things differently.”
Why it stings when we feel that we have screwed up
It stings because the core desire feels neglected. The core desire might sound something like…we want the best for our lives and for those we share them with. Plus, if we follow Jesus then we also want to live with purpose making a difference for humankind that glorifies God.
It stings because we experience some fear. The fear might be fear of failure, or fear of not having the result we desire, or fear of disappointing others, or fear of circumstances that attempt to confirm a lie about feeling incapable, or not unique or not courageous.
It stings because it just plain hurts. Hurt is experienced in our whole selves and in our brains, those emotions connect to past memories of other hurts, fears, or times of neglect. When those get triggered in our brain, the anxiety and the depressive chemicals start churning and begin to make it feel AS IF there’s no stopping the pain and there is… no. way. out.
Ok, breathe because it doesn’t end there. Remember the fact?
“If I’m still breathing, there is still time to do things differently.”
This is where it gets really good! Now for taking action!
How this fact changes things to help you move forward:
It affirms the core desire—The fact says to our souls that yes, this is important. The fact affirms it hurts, it’s scary and it’s important, down to the depths of your soul important. Affirmation is critical. Grace is the ultimate affirmation. I love grace, the empowering and powerful gift from God. Need some grace in this season? Ask God.
It resolves the fear—The fact resolves the fear by in effect saying, I hear the “but” statements of “yeah that’s true, but what about…”. I’m not going to receive those “buts” because I’m still breathing and there’s time. You are human and you are in relationship with other humans so there’s opportunity to still be connected. The clock is still ticking and so are you. When fear is resolved the “buts” are canceled, the deep desire is not only affirmed, it is also comforted through reassurance of these ongoing supportive relationships. Healthy relationships provide unconditional love and love is the ultimate fear but-kicker.
It provides fuel for hope—The fact says hope is just around the corner because you can do things in a different way or with a different perspective or with a different group of support. You do have energy and breath within you to act, think, relate, pray, and believe in ways that are different than you have before. You still have a unique voice that is needed now and you can still share it. Hope that affirms your unique identity in Christ brings a refreshed heart and soul so you can think creatively again.
So that’s why it’s ok. Really.
You didn’t screw things up. Things might look a little different than you thought. Things might not be resolved as quickly as you planned. Things might involve different people. But it didn’t pass you by completely. You still have time to do things differently.
Are you in a position to allow this fact to encourage and help you?
Who do you know who might be encouraged and helped to hear this too? Go on…send away.
And, I’d love to hear from you!
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center ministry 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
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