Apparently Jesus wants me to notice something. It seems I can't quite shake last week's fitting in themed post.
The other day Hubby and I met up with a friend. Both Hubby and Friend are ENFP's on the MBTI, so occasionally they find shared similar struggles. Me, the ever ISFJ, observe, reflect, and wonder as they empathize with one another on the burdens of ENFP-ness. On this particular lovely day at Starbucks around the corner they were discussing finding work that fits. As ENFP's it can be difficult to find employment that maximizes their intensely intuitive relational skills. Often times tasks like those are a small footnote on a job description filled with a long list of administrative tasks, often draining to their personality type. I related as they talked -- as I've stumbled my way into my current career(s) I've felt the pain of not knowing where my dual right/left brainededness fits.
Listening to their conversation I recalled my own frustration of not being able to find a fitting official job description or title. The frustration of having to try (and fail) at things that sort of fit, to find my way to the right ones, surfaced. And I don't feel I've "arrived" at my final vocational destination, even now. So I wonder if it's less about "nailing it" the first time, and more about being willing to make a mess while figuring it out.
So what am I afraid to make a mess of? Well, one thing is PhD work. Afraid to ask my husband to move across the world with me (which he would in a heartbeat) and fail. Afraid to apply and get denied. Afraid to get accepted, and then not have the scholarships to pay for it. Just one thing, of many, on my mind lately.
What's the worst thing that could happen? I could get rejected, flunk, or get denied funding. And the world would carry on. We would survive. Maybe I should try making a mess of it -- who knows what Jesus and I would find on the journey.
What are you afraid to make a mess of?
Where are you afraid to fail?
May we fail forward, together.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
Recently I started taking yoga classes nearby. Bought my own towels and mat after finding a local studio I enjoy.
I was introduced to yoga on our trip east last month. The farmhouse we stayed at offered us several relaxing activities to participate in while we were there. One of the activities was morning yoga. After being cramped and stuffed on planes all day, the idea of stretching and unfolding my body sounded great. And it was. It wasn't at all like I had been taught to believe in Sunday school.
After getting home, and another long travel day, I searched for a local studio and found one nearby that looked interesting. So I signed up and started taking classes. I love it.
And then I decided to buy my own mat. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. What color was the least of my troubles. There was texture and material to consider. Plus, brand, style, thickness ... oh, and size.
After struggling most of my life to fit in, for not wanting to be noticed, being 5'10" and female proved challenging. I learned to slump my shoulders, or cock one knee to not "rise above" the crowd.
One month into yoga with a standard 68" mat, I realized it was a bit too short for my 70" frame. I was initially delighted to find that most yoga mats come in different lengths. So after zeroing in on a brand, color, and thickness I liked, I, like Goldilocks, went with the "just right" 74" mat.
It arrived in a long box and I was thrilled to open it and see its rich raspberry color and squishy touch. Then I got to class the next day ...
and unrolled it.
Those extra 6" suddenly felt obscenely exaggerated. I felt like a giant and instantly afraid of being told it didn't fit ... or worse, that I didn't fit. Yet no one said a word, even as I tried to use my blankets to hide the extra length. My fears didn't materialize, even as I rolled it up to go home.
Today I took a huge step towards self-acceptance. Even in my fear I stayed true to what I needed -- even in my discomfort I chose good fit over fitting in. Even though I was afraid, I didn't take a step back or shrink into the shadows.
In ordering, and later using, the mat that fit my 5'10" I honored the body God gave me.
I believe I am the beloved of Jesus, and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made -- help my unbelief.
...and love yourself for Pete's sake," is what I told myself on my drive home this morning.
Heart-deep ideas and thoughts usually occur, for me, in one of two places: the freeway or the bathroom. Today it was the 405 fwy northbound. And today it was a reminder to love myself.
I am so critical often times (though increasingly less) of myself, which leads me to criticize others, an it's just gross. Neither is it what Jesus said were the highest commandments. But I do it still.
Today I chose something other than fear -- I chose joy. I pulled out my camera, grabbed my dog, and hit the dog beach. Consciously choosing to ignor, nor be surprised by, the tapes in my head telling me I would fail and why bother.
"Because it's what Jesus asked me to do, damn it." I was angry (as you may have noticed) at all the days and times I've let myself listen and obey those other voices. Today I didn't. (And I'm working with Jesus on the anger.)
Jesus didn't ask me to succeed (which I often assume) -- he asked me to try, and to be faithful. So if my ideas and businesses and attempts fall flat -- great! At least I tried, and obeyed Jesus' voice -- and his voice asks me to be above do, and his voice offers Grace. And Grace allows me to love others better when I love myself, and follow his voice -- not to succeed, but to try.