Losing Myself, to find Myself

We laugh now, but 20 years ago not so much. It was our first time canoeing 🛶 together, which ended in a big fight.

First, neither one of us knew how to communicate in a loving manner that comes from trust.

Second, both of us naturally wanted to lead. Additionally neither one of us knew anything about leading in a healthy and respectful way that would compliment each other’s abilities. Basically, we fought against each other in hopes to dominant and have position that we thought would give us respect from the other.

Third, at the time, neither one ☝️ of us knew that it would be a long and rough journey before we could truly understand the sacrifices it would take in a marriage.

Now, we laugh 😆 together in the car about how the both us just turned in circles for hours, before giving up. Also, note 📝 we were both 😡 at this point, which caused division. And, it even gave false perception about who we truly are as individuals and leaders, which effected our parental roles and kept us at odds for years.

Joe asked “ how have we grown from that day?” I said.

Looking back, and now knowing myself better, I would probably just grab a separate canoe 🛶.

Joe laughed 🤭 and replied , “ so what if there is just one canoe 🛶 and just the two of us, without the kids?”

I said. “Well, I think 🤔 we both have grown in trusting one another, which allows us to give one another freedom in letting the other lead when needed or wanted.”

There is so much to know about one ☝️ another, and it is definitely a priority that both parties in a relationship must grow in understanding their spouses, just as much as themselves.

Looking back now, I recognize that it was during these moments that we began to see what each of one us is capable of. We had to access and be honest in our understanding our own strengths and weaknesses, and realize it is a growth process.

Confront

Alessandro Pronzato counsels, “If you… go to the desert to be rid of all the dreadful people and all of the awful problems in your life, you will be wasting your time. You should go to the desert for total confrontation with yourself.”

In the time it takes for us to realize that running away with hopes of finding something new, a complete circle has been made. The same voices surround and cloud our thoughts and take over our minds. Eventually, we think to ourselves where has this taken me? How much time has been wasted? Am I still battling the same conversations in my mind?

Just recently, well to approximate the time I have spent that last 3 years living in this desert, facing myself. I even had a tattoo put on my arm to remind me of the times of the desert. The tattoo has trees growing out of a light bulb. The tree represents the desert and the light bulb represents me being the light. Whether we are living in the desert season or not, we are to be the “salt and light” to the world. However, that means we must change our perspective of what that means. My initial response was, this sucks!! I would like to run and hide especially from the thoughts, “you’re not a good mom, leader, or soldiers wife.” All I hear is, “you hated the world, so now you must suffer, for the hurt you reflected upon others.” What made matters worse is when close loved ones said, “that it is all your fault,” or “I know what it is like to live with someone like you.” As if, my own thoughts are not strong and loud enough at keeping me from freedom. Do I really need more people telling me how much infliction or pain, I have caused?

Facing myself meant taking a new perspective. This was going to be a season in the desert for healing, renewal, and redirection. That meant listening and admitting to all what others were saying about me. It also was a time to make me face the realities and truths of God’s love and purpose. The desert seasons will vary from person to person and can be different lengths of time, that is determined by God. You may want to avoid, numb yourself out or not admit you need it, but remember that the renewal of our hearts are not to benefit ourselves. It is made to unite and prepare our hearts for the presence of God’s Kingdom to bring about an eternal change.

People ask me, “how do you handle all of what you face?” Let me point out some important steps with handling the things we face. First, confront yourself. It will always be the first and most important step to change the circular, and dead end pattern you have been making. Second, time is to silence your own voice. When our voices are silenced we are intentionally creating time for God’s voice to intervene. Third, replacement. Where the heart is placed bleeds a reflection to whether we are listening to what God is doing through us. Forth, direction determines whether you stay or go. We sometimes face what is true, but never act on it to move us away from what is keeping us in the same pattern. These steps are meant to renew and strengthen our hearts for a sound mind and soul.

 
Our predetermined perception of the desert is what stops us from what we do not want to confront. A changed perception will determine our new destination.

 

Calling for Change

Calling for Change
As leaders, it happens from time to time that we become more concerned with being right, losing sight of what leading really means.

This is how having an attitude of always waiting to right will look like in our leadership.

We lose every opportunity to have influence with an individual, a team, an organization and the community.

We forget to seek opportunities to hear and see from the perspective of others, but instead, we try to push our perspectives on others.

We miss opportunities for Truth to prevail, by believing we are the only ones who know the truth.

We compromise our own development, the ones we are working alongside, and any future leaders.

We become stuck in the moment and day to day situations

Transitioning your Influence

Start by creating an atmosphere of leaders around you that will point this out to you and are not afraid to speak Truth. Self-evaluate on a regular basis and ask yourself:

Am I hearing more of my own thoughts or others?

Do I feel stuck?

Are others asking me how to do things or asking for advice?

Am I growing?

Are others growing and challenging themselves and one another?

Is my area of influence growing or shrinking?

When we become to concerned with being right or getting our input out over others, we slowly slip into no longer teaching, developing or leading. As leaders, we should want to grow in leadership, but it is just as important to allow others to rise up in leading. One day, we will no longer be here nor have the chances to engage opportunities that present themselves to us. Take charge of your mind by putting others First.