Have you ever considered the bedrock of your long-held beliefs?
Where and how did you learn some of your deepest convictions?
A few years ago, things I had always known as right began to unravel. Who told you that became a mile marker question and check point on my journey of dismantling and rebuilding.
When my marriage unraveled, I believed I was no longer allowed to serve at church.
When my plate was too full to continue in a volunteer capacity, I believed I was a disappointment.
When I felt dismissed by a leader, I believed my voice was unnecessary.
Who told me that?
It is all around us. You see and feel it, right? Wear this brand, drive this car, live in this neighborhood or area of town, have children and sign them up for all the things to ensure future success, and be sure to have incredible social media posts to prove it.
There are innumerable influences selling us information, but what they are selling [and we are often buying] is not always true. In fact, I have often found myself believing subtleties without even recognizing when or how they became “truth.”
Pausing and practicing my phrase “who told you that” has been the key to unlocking the prison of my own making. I started making a list in one of my journals when I realized I was not sure where I picked up a particular conviction. Some had been part of my repertoire for so long, I did not know where they originated, and I had never questioned their validity.
My truth source is the Bible, but I was surprised at how many things I believed that were not backed up by scripture. Oddly, many of the convictions I held were rooted in someone else’s interpretation and tradition, and I had not paused long enough to consider what I believed.
The lofty standards of others [influencers, leaders, and those deemed as successful] folded into my identity, and I began to desire performance over being still and resting in the journey and path set in front of me. This awareness triggered the season of dismantling. This season was [and is] hard work and often painful, but I would rather be free than bound by unreasonable standards of others.
Here is another way I see this play out in my life. In the writing and speaking industry, there are countless suggestions of steps to take to be successful. I am not meeting most of these standards.
Sometimes, that is a heavy burden on my shoulders, and I wear what I am not doing like a badge–as if the practices and convictions of someone I don’t know somehow disqualifies me from writing and speaking. I have to ask myself–who told you that? Is that EVEN true or necessary?
Who told you…
You should gain a huge platform or following to be successful?
You should share every conviction and opinion you hold with near strangers on social media?
You should be married with 2.5 children by now?
Your work isn’t meaningful if you aren’t a top hit on google?
You shouldn’t send your kids to public school, private school, or homeschool?
Who told you that?
Are you holding the teaching of publishers, influencers, experts, and strangers higher than your own personal convictions and truth source? If you are busy achieving a particular status or standard, you might be missing the moments right in front of you. These moments in the middle are a sacred gift we GET to open now.
Lean in and let me whisper this message of freedom for us.
You do not have to be a household name to make a difference.
Your social media followers do not have to be invited into every beautiful moment of your life.
Your voice matters in your circle of influence at home, work, and in your real life friendships.
Your sacrifice of time and talent may not receive awards and accolades, but if it helps or encourages one person, it will be worth every effort.
Pause and practice listening for the still small voice, waiting on the gentle nudge, and trusting that what you have to offer impacts the common good in your home and community.
If you find yourself berating yourself with you should statements, ask yourself who told you that. Explore where you picked up your information and conviction. Discover if it is really true and necessary.
You might be surprised whose voice you hear.
Meanwhile, I will be over here dismantling the identity I assumed with the heavy load of all I believed I should be doing instead of resting in who I was created to be.