I loved myself enough. I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. I call it self-loving.
I have always been a mission-oriented girl. I’ve always been good at taking general excitement and making it specific. But there are things I’ve been terrible at: setting boundaries, saying “no,” using discernment when it comes to my time, efforts and energy. I haven’t been great at creating and sustaining balance for myself and my schedule. And I’ve had to come to a harsh truth with myself: I was being reckless with myself and with others who loved me.
It’s easy to get caught up with hurriedness. In fact, I had gotten so accustomed to living like a tornado, that I couldn’t understand those non-tornado people around me. Didn’t they feel they were missing out? Didn’t they have somewhere to be? Didn’t they want to be somewhere? Here I was thinking that people who were doing nothing were causing the problems. It took me heartbreak to realize that the tornado is what causes harm and pain. Not the community of people it’s rushing through.
So I stopped.
One day, I looked around and saw nothing but destruction. I didn’t realize what was happening because I’ve never had malicious intentions. I just didn’t realize that hurry had taken over and was seeping out in small comments I’d say, in my decisions, in what I wasn’t doing, in what I wasn’t saying. Whoa.
Dallas Willard said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
Ok. But where was the hurry originating in my life? Where was it coming from?
And this realization was a tough one for me but I’ll say it.
I tend to think I’m right. Or at least that I’m pretty smart. (Ugh, that was difficult for me to put in letter form).
“Being right is actually a very hard burden to be able to carry gracefully and humbly. One of the hardest things in the world is to be right and not hurt other people with it,” Willard said.
When I read these words in John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping, I felt I had found the root of my problem: I tend to always think I’m right (or at least pretty close to it) and I was not carrying it gracefully or humbly. At all. Most likely because I felt hurried and I’d proceed recklessly without thought because who has time for that, really?
I’m making time for it now.
Ask yourself: “Is it possible that your mind with its values and conscience are not even troubled by what your will has chosen and your body carried out?”
I was troubled with it. So I’ve made some directives for myself:
Listen up, Sheena.
- Move on from old Sheena. Let her go.
- Don’t give away your power. Do good work, but don’t give away your power.
- Embrace change.
- Don’t complain.
- Be kind, fair and unafraid to speak up if something doesn’t work for you.
- Take calculated risks. (And do the actual calculating for yourself. Don’t let someone else do it for you).
- Evaluate your core beliefs.
- Invest your energy in the present.
- Accept full responsibility for your behavior, your choices, your thoughts and your responses.
- Celebrate other people’s successes.
- Be willing to fail.
- Enjoy time alone.
- Be prepared to work and succeed on your own merits.
- Have staying power.
There are three reasons why people change: 1) They have learned a lot 2) They have suffered a lot 3) They got tired of always the same thing. Here I am – at the most challenging journey of my life so far – approaching change because I have all three reasons within me to change.
I am so honored to get to be me! I feel grateful every day for my family, my experiences, my education, my peers, my life. But I can be a better Sheena, and I’m on it to be just that!