Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape. Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place.
Meet Eileen. Oh, I'm sure you've seen her around. She's the one who can write just 3 words and somehow, it will touch your heart so deeply that you didn't even realize you went that deep. I've had the honor of meeting her in person and someday, I'm going to crash her house (because I love her and because she lives near the beach!)I've come to refer to my 20s as my "stupid years". Now, I am not making any generalizations about twenty-somethings. As a woman who is pushing 40, some of the smartest people I know today happen to fall into this twenty-something category. I marvel over both the wise words they say and write and the good directional choices they are making in their life at such an early age.
However, when I was in my 20s, there was one lie that would replay in my head after each not-so-good choice I would make.
You made your bed...now you have to lie in it.
It's very cliche and yet I silently repeated it to myself over and over. My 20s were a time in my life when I moved from one mistake to the next. This tape proved to be an incredibly effective way of keeping me from making more positive choices in my life.
During the time when I said those words to myself, I might as well have been hitting myself with a baseball bat. I didn't admit it then, but this is what I was really telling myself: If I beat myself up sufficiently for my choices, if I am miserable enough, then somehow I can make things right. I deserve this. I have to be punished.
Here's a quote I love from Seth Godin "If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you've already made a serious error."
I've come to understand, that at the root of my "poor me I deserve to be miserable" attitude was one overriding emotion: Fear
Even though I was far from being comfortable during this season in my life, my misery was familiar. The idea of making a different choice terrified me.
However, the only way to experience the freedom I was really searching for in my life, was to make the choice to walk through that fear.
And you know what? It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I was uncomfortable and I was "out of control"...or rather my perceived control.
You want to know something else? It turned out to be the most incredible journey I have ever taken in my life. I grew in ways I never thought I could.
When I made the choice to step out into the scary, God met me there. He took my hand and we walked through it together.
What is one scary choice you need to make today?
Grab hold of His hand today and trust Him despite your fear.
Eileen Knowles is a small town Arizona girl who studied English at The University of Arizona a long, long time ago. She now lives in small town North Carolina with her husband, Roger, their eight-year old son, and one quirky dog named Bisbee.
When she is not working part-time loving on animals at the local animal hospital, she thoroughly enjoys drinking coffee, running, playing Scrabble, leading Women's Bible Study at her church, and writing about how cool it is to journey through life with Jesus holding her hand.
Eileen is passionate about leaving a legacy for her son and encouraging others along the way who might need a dose of hope poured into their weary lives. You can find her taking The Scenic Route atwww.eileenknowles.com.
Facebook: The Scenic Route
Linking with Emily for Imperfect Prose, Jennifer for God Bumps, and Shanda for On My Heart.