Thoughts from the Sukkah 2018 Day 5

Yesterday got away from me.

I’m dealing with the reality that one of the things I deal with is FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.

Becuse life is temporary I want to do everything – I want to not miss out on anything. I want to be with all the people and do all the things.

Now, I’m not as young as I used to be and I know my limitations – some things I know I just don’t want to do. Either the toll on my body will be too much, or I know from experience I just don’t enjoy some things.  For instance, I want to enjoy camping – and the idea of it seems so fun. But it’s not.  If we had access to an RV, or glamping in some way, or even staying in a yurt that is already established and has a bathroom nearby . . .  that would be different. I just know camping that in any way involves roughing it in a tent I do not want to do it.

I’m also not as young as I used to be, or as fit as I once was, and I think dealing with health issues the past few years has negatively impacted me in this way as much as, if not more than, others.  I missed having the energy to do things. I missed seeing people and enjoying group activities.  My illness’ more psychologically damaging impact was increased isolation.

But in the continued examination of “life is temporary” I am working hard to emerge again and I am finding that I still love socializing and spending time with people.  Even though I’ve learned to enjoy my time alone, and my personality always needs time to process and recover after social events, I am extremely extroverted and I come alive when I have regular interactions with people.

At different times in my life I’ve been cautioned about this. I’ve been told that it’s a character flaw, or not how a person in X stage of life should behave. I feel like so much of my life has been about trying to figure out who I really am because so many people were allowed to critique and define me. I’ve had to spend years sorting through those definitions and figuring out who I really am.

Am I someone who is “unhappy with being alone and can’t be content focused on my duties and responsibilities?” Or am I someone who loves being around people and was created by God to be an extrovert who thrives in social settings?  I lived in fear of being the former but I’m the latter – so much the latter!  The energy that I get from being around people I love and enjoy will energize me for long after the event.

I’ve gone through this redefining in so many areas of my life.  I grew up being given the message that I have to figure out the will of God for my life and make sure I’m being and doing what God wants and if I don’t then I’m falling short. But instead I have come to see that I am who God made me to be. If I do what is most genuinely my response in a situation then two things happen.

1) I do exactly what I should be doing in that situation


2) Any mistakes I make bring beautiful lessons that are personalized to me and what I need to learn.

Now I stop and think about the situation. I consider what I want to do in it, what feels right, what seems to make the most sense. I ask questions like, “What is the most loving response in this situation?”  Or, “What is the safest response in this situation?” Or, “What is the thing that will protect the innocent or victim here?” These are the questions that I find move me to the most genuine response for who I am.  And when I ask those questions, discern those answers, and respond the way that God made me to respond, I have the most impact for the Kingdom.

And in my parenting I have worked very hard to help my children figure out who they are – from early on in their lives.  I point out their character qualities, focus on their strengths and help them find solutions for the things they struggle with.  I am seeing as my children get older that they aren’t struggling with the same fears and questions that I have had to as they embark on life. They don’t second guess themselves as much. They are confident and know who they are. They make wise choices and have less lessons to learn in order to be themselves.

My encouragement to you today is this . . . Be who you are.  Accept yourself and tell the voices that suggest you aren’t enough or you aren’t right that they need to zip it. If you are struggling with health issues (mental health or physical health) then get help. It’s not weakness – it’s okay to acknowledge you need help.  Seeking help is part of being who you are and doing what you need to do.

Loving yourself requires accepting yourself for who you were created to be.

Just be who you are – and find your people. If someone doesn’t like you then you don’t need them in your life. If someone requires you to change to be with them, move on.  Find your people and they will love you for who you are. They will bring value to your life and you will like each other.

Life is temporary. Be unapologetically you and you will impact your world! Be who God created you to be and you will impact the world for the Kingdom! I’m honored to work alongside you in that.

Speak Your Mind