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▪️COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE

Her own choices.

I was proud of her, my friend that is. She’s not shrinking back from the discomfort. Instead, she’s systematically put one foot in front of the other to get to this place, a place she had no idea would be laid before her. I can relate to this kind of uncomfortable. It’s been a decade since I laid my career aside to be more available to my family. I’ll admit, for me, this has been the most painful sacrifice I’ve ever made.

When we start a new season of life, or embark on a journey, or respond to the unexpected, we often begin with one hard choice. Once that choice is made, there will be a succession of choices behind it, that for the most part reinforce that first choice. It’s more like tipping the first domino in a sequence than facing a series of crossroads. Once you make that first choice of right or left, most of the choices behind it are almost already made, that’s what makes her so courageous, she’s allowing herself to be led down the path of her own choices.

We don’t just get where we want to be by making one huge choice, we get there by making one small first choice to get outside our comfort zone, then we keep heading down that path. Choosing our own path takes courage.

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You could say that what is unknown awaits us outside of our comfort zones, it’s our choice to discover it, or leave it unknown. It’s not easy to transition back into the workforce when you’ve laid that down for a long season, it’s even more difficult when you’re 40+. I admire her, she is courageous.

Having made both the transition out of and transition back into the workforce, on multiple occasions, I can speak from some experience to the exhaustion she will face, the insecurity that’s heading her way, and the emotionally fragile state she will find herself moodily swinging in and out of, because I’ve been there myself. But even still, with all this she is still courageous, not shrinking back, but making the choice on the path she’s created for herself. She’s heading into her great unknown, and for that I applaud her.

If you’re in a season of role transition, I applaud you too. Taking the risk to leave the comforts of your known to explore what’s out there for you is courageous.

▪️WAITING

Time’s up.

Silence is the sound that floods a space when time is up. Nothing more to do, nothing more to say, nothing more than discovering what’s on the other side of waiting. Many weeks have passed since those doves were nestled in their little mess above my garage. (see last week’s POST to fill you in) Yet, I haven’t brought myself to remove that mess. I’m still waiting. I’ve yet to discover what’s on the other side of my waiting.

In late October of last year, hubby and I bought our 6th house, technically we’ve had 8 houses to call home these last 2 decades, but 6 of them we’ve owned (or at least the banks did.) You can do the math, we don’t stay long in one place. The most recent purchase we’ve loving dubbed as a “fixer upper.” I suppose that means we might actually have to do some reno at some point. However, when to the eye everything needs an overhaul, you do what you can, which in my case was hit it with some lipstick and dry shampoo (aka…new fixtures and paint.)

There is one old fixture, that was kept, which I’ve come to appreciate. An old ceiling fan that moves the air near my writing desk in our kitchen. The ceiling fan has its own heartbeat, a constant ticking similar to the hands slowly inching their way over the face of a clock. It’s calm consistency gives the surrounding atmosphere a pulse. But more importantly, it keeps time with me. The end of waiting can only be signaled by one thing – knowing. Knowing the answers to your questions. Asking the hard questions takes courage.

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Why? Because we won’t always like the answers. But having the courage to pursue the questions we won’t always like the answers to is courageous. Avoiding asking the hard questions of life, might help you make your little mess more comfortable, but it will never let you leave.

You have the power to release the outcomes in your life before times up, and you know what the outcome will be – this is strength we gain in the waiting. Our waiting doesn’t always lead to rainbows – but I sure hope yours does.

*The original post included a FREE resource. I will repost this in another offering early fall.

Next week I’ll be done WAITING, and will be moving onto the other Attributes of Courage. Thanks for hanging with me friend.

 

 

▪️WAITING

How long must I wait?

Last week I shared that after having thoroughly embraced that courage is hard to describe, seems to be subjective, and is a force unto its own, I’m confident in this…a waiting heart conceives courage. When I embarked on this journey to explore courage and all its attributes, early this year, I found myself unsettled by one thing. I had settled in and settled down on a list of attributes I had sourced from an article in Psychology Today. The author sites six different attributes that make courage what it is, and helps us define it with examples. Sure, this is not an exhaustive list, it is however the one that addresses my deep belief that courage is indeed a virtue. This is the courage I was chasing. The virtue.

Yet, with all my pondering and reflection these six attributes continued to fall short. There was something missing. Yet, I couldn’t put my finger on it until several weeks ago.

Late this spring as I leashed my terriers for their afternoon stroll down our street I spotted a little mess that had moved in and settled down in the crux of the flood lights that hang above my garage. Something about that little mess called my attention. I wasn’t aware of its meaning at first, it needed unfolding. The days turned to weeks and as I kept my eye on the little mess it began to teach me.

The first lesson was the significance of a number. I’m not proposing that I adopt numerology as a religion or science, but six attributes of courage, SIX, that’s just not a number worthy of courage. Now seven, that’s a good number if ever there was one.

Now, if there was a missing attribute from the list, what would that be?

Then one day, as I walked toward the little mess, gently rolling onto the tip of my toes just hoping to get a closer peak, it occurred to me.

Waiting. Waiting is the seventh attribute of courage.

Waiting, is what I saw in that little mess above my garage. In 5th grade I had the opportunity to select a short elective class to take as a reward for my good grades. I remember it fondly, my selection, a short course entitled “Bird Watching.” That’s how I knew it was a couple of Mourning Doves who occupied the little mess above my garage. They are accustomed to waiting. Mourning Doves are some of the most reproductive birds in North America which means, they wait a lot.

I thought long and hard about waiting in a mess and how that takes courage. The more I thought, the more I knew that this was a good lesson to learn. When we’re tethered to a mess, we must allow courage to be conceived, to come alive, to give way to hope. That’s what I spotted as I peaked into that little mess and stared those doves in the eyes, hope. When we are forced to wait and we watch a life we want to engage pass us by, knowing we cannot leave our little mess until the waiting is over, we must have the courage to hope. I knew that look, that look of waiting, and I reflected on some lessons I’ve learned during seasons of waiting.

Waiting, the seventh attribute of courage, not only makes the list complete, it also completes the cycle. It is the attribute that conceives all others, the origin. It is the beginning of courage and it lives deep in our hearts.

Next week I hope to share my first resource on waiting with you. Until, then my friend, be strong and courageous.

▪️WAITING

Waiting.

After thoroughly embracing that courage is hard to describe, seems to be subjective, and is a force unto its own, I’m confident in this one thing, this one thing alone, a waiting heart conceives courage.

This is timely for me as a long season of waiting will finally reach its gestation by the time this post is shared. I’ll be adding WAITING to our list of attributes as a result. If courage is the virtue that supports all other virtues, then WAITING is the attribute that supports all the other attributes.

I’ll be sharing some scripture with you, personal reflections, and resources to examine your waiting, but until then I leave you with the lyrics to a song, an anthem of sorts, that have carried me through my current season of waiting. I hope they bless you.

I’m with you friend, cultivating courage, holding onto hope.

▪️PURSUE YOUR PASSION

Being bored is an offense against life itself.

If you don’t think that it matters if you ever pursue your passion pause and imagine a world where Steve Jobs never tried to give his vision for technology life. Or if Leonardo DiVinci never painted the Mona Lisa, or Michael Phelps didn’t swim – image a world without passion. If you’re not living life doing the things you’re passionate about then you are bored – and boredom is contagious, and not in a good way. Do you want to contribute to global boredom?

Being bored is an offense against life itself. Why you ask? Because passion breeds inspiration, and we all need inspiration. It’s like once ignited it burns like a trail of gunpowder from human to human just waiting to reach a point of explosion. We need you to be a part of that sequence.

I’m not going to lay the heavy burden of being the spark that sets the chain reaction ablaze, but certainly you can do your part. So now that summer is in full swing I ask you this, “what are YOU, yes YOU, going to do that you’re passionate about over the next few months?” It doesn’t have to be fancy, think accessible.

Like to bake? Do it more, give it away, or try to raise your baking game a bit. Scrapbook? Set time aside, invite some friends, share your memories. Sports? Adventure? You name it – but also, do it! Let this be a renewed commitment to being a whole, alive human, one who has dimension and uniqueness. Take one small step out of drudgery and responsibility to reconnect to a freer part of yourself. It takes courage to let go.

We all need to let go, get off the dot of our life on occasion, so we can reenter with a renewed energy to live well. When we see each other in action, we stir up the flame of inspiration, and who knows what might happen it we all get just a little inspired.

Will you take a step in the direction of your passion today?