Okay folks. Thought I had this blogging thing down but apparently not. My upbeat blog, as opposed to this one which tends to be depressing can now be found at A Fresh New Life
I was watching a rerun of an episode of Outlander on Starz. Claire is intent on stopping the battle of Culloden. She is also intent on keeping Alex from Mary because she believes Jack Randall is the ancestor of her modern day husband Frank.
I didn’t really think about this when I read the book or watched the episode the first time around. Claire can not change the future. She is wrong about Frank’s ancestors. Her meddling caused all sorts of problems and ultimately nothing changed.
I see myself in Claire. I’ve spent so much of my time trying to “make” things turn out the way I want rather than getting out of God’s way and letting Him handle my life. The more I get in the way, the slower God is to act because He gives me free will and I insist on blocking my own way.
Outlander is just a book, a story but like in all things we can learn something about ourselves. I’ve begun a study of Psalms. One or two verses at time. Following Luther’s suggestion I read for instruction, then thanksgiving, then confession and finally prayer. This simple study is opening my heart and teaching me to get out of the way.
Some of you might be asking why? Saying to yourself it’s the way I keep up with my friends. How would I know what’s going on in their lives? My response is simple, Facebook is impersonal. It’s information at a distance. It’s like standing and peering through a telescope at a scenic view. You can see it better but not truly experience it because you are too far away.
Friendship, true friendship is about connection. Connection through a phone call, a letter, a visit. What started out essentially as a site for college students to connect so they could date, has become a public brag book or a place to beg for sympathy. I’ve been guilty of both.
Our society pits us against each other. All you have to do is spend a little time watching television. Between commercials which tell us we can out do our neighbors with the right car, better paint (yes, paint), the better body, faster car etc. and Facebook plastered with all our “friends” successes most of us come away feeling inadequate. We’ve been put on a never ending treadmill chasing meaningless things. Facebook gives power to comparison. As we all know photos can be manipulated and they do not tell the entire story. A picture is no longer worth a 1,000 words anymore. It’s only worth a I’m better than you or feel sorry for me.
Facebook gave me the ability to sit on the sidelines of life. I didn’t have to actually connect with my friends and they could feel they were being supportive by a quick comment. No need to actually pick up the phone. How does a person actually have 800 friends? I’ve have made more progress with my depression since I’ve removed Facebook from my life.
I haven’t exited social media completely. I blog. I have a Twitter and Instagram account. I just have chosen to no longer have a Facebook account.
It is fairly common for most businesses and churches to have mission statements. They can be quite simple or complex but the mission statement helps define who something or someone is and how they want to contribute to the world around us. I’ve tried writing my own personal mission statement but always seem to lose focus. How specific should I be? Do I need an individual statement for each area of life? Can I write it so it is clear, concise and helps me become the person I wish to be? Whatever step I take, I need to begin by trying.
I have found a great, FREE, online tool which can help you write your own personal mission statement. At Franklin Covey they walk you through the process. They ask the questions and you supply the answers. When you are finished with the process, they provide you with a well written and concise mission statement. You can go back and tweak it if something does not reflect your original meaning. Once you read it you may find you want to go back and add or delete something. It is very easy to use. Below is my personal mission statement made at Franklin Covey.
- I am at my best when I am helping people.
- I will try to prevent times when I have no purpose.
- I will enjoy my work by finding employment where I can write, read, answer questions, and be creative.
- I will find enjoyment in my personal life through writing, reading, creating, giving back to the community, spending time with my daughters and traveling.
- I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as making people feel welcome and included, explaining things, being a friend, writing and being creative.
- I can do anything I set my mind to. I will write a book, travel the world, and learn to speak French, Spanish and Italian, buy a home so I can invite friends and family to make memories with me there, and volunteer to help girls.
- My life’s journey is about loving my ex-husband, freely offering forgiveness and ultimately being betrayed. It is how I am healing from the hurt with the support of Heidi, Chris and Kari and rebuilding a full life including the possibility of love with a new life partner. My journey is about making a positive contribution to my family and community.
- When I am 80, I will be a person who is surrounded by my daughters, their husbands, my grandchildren and my life partner. My church and community friends will be there to celebrate the positive and loving impact I have had on them and my community. I will be celebrating what I can accomplish in my time left on this earth, my faith in God and the legacy I will leave behind.
- My most important future contribution to others will be my daughters’ deep faith in God and the knowledge he is always with them and will never leave them. I will have also taught them the importance of forgiveness, loving support and leaving behind toxic people. These qualities will enhance the lives of everyone with whom they come in contact.
I will stop procrastinating and start working on:
- Taking better care of my health through diet and exercise.
- Returning to my faith by joining a church and becoming an active participant.
- Believing in myself and my ability to succeed, be happy and to be loved. Giving up the idea I am doomed for unhappiness and to be alone for the rest of my life without a loving life partner.
I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life:
- Unconditional love
- Compassion in action
- Deep and abiding faith despite unanswered prayers
I will constantly renew myself by focusing on the four dimensions of my life:
- Taking control of my health by choosing a healthy diet and adding an exercise program.
- Joining a church, getting involved and beginning to study the Bible again.
- Signing up to learn something new
- No longer isolate myself by finding areas in my community in which to become involved.
I started another informal class at the University of Texas tonight. It’s a French class and for beginners. I’ve taken French off and on for years but I’ve never been able to get beyond beginner.
I asked myself why and the answer is simple. It’s fear. Fear of sounding dumb. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of being tongue tied and making people frustrated. Fear. It’s why kids learn languages so quickly. They aren’t afraid of trying. They don’t worry about what other people think.
The class is too easy in some ways but when I try a group where people are fluent, I can’t keep up. So I have to find a way to learn and progress. I also have to walk a fine line and not be overbearing in this class. It’s easy to want to answer the questions because you know the answer. But I know how it feels to be totally lost in translation with people speaking at what sounds like lightening speed.
So as I give it a shot again, I hope it sticks and I don’t forget it and I hope I no longer worry about sounding stupid.