Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Internal Battles

In order to function in our lives, we condition ourselves every day. We bend over backwards to fit in with what our loved ones and our society expects from us.

The main expectation here is conformity. Sacrificing happiness for material gain.

We get rewarded for this. Encouraged to choose based on the above parameters.

And these parameters betray us. Because conforming and making choices based on money usually aren't all that conductive to being happy. Content, maybe. But we know how worthless contentment can be.

Still... once we come to this realization, this method of making choices are ingrained. Our value system... our measurement of success... everything is built around conformity and money.

So when we decide to move away from this way of thinking, the process is sort of like taking a wrecking ball to our personalities.

I'm not going to lie. It's a scary process. Because suddenly, your measuring stick is gone. And you can't blend into your surroundings. You're going to be picked out for being odd, because how dare you assume that you don't have to settle for a life you didn't want? Everyone else does.

And if you don't make money, you'll end up unable to compare yourself to those around you and say: wow. I'm more successful than other people.

I think some people will roll their eyes at this, but when you're in this phase of your life. Of having to refocus on the truth, you'll know how difficult this is.

I took about 6 months doing absolutely nothing because I couldn't trust my choices. I took around a year after that venturing forward bit by bit before I managed to know what I wanted. And only then did I plan.

But hey, someone might say. You said we must decide what to do and act on it.

And that's absolutely true. But usually, the first decision is to get out of the situation. And then, depending on the person, your new life starts. But you have no idea what to do with it. And that's where the changing of our values comes in.

Because if you don't change your values, the foundation to your choices will be the same. And if so, how do you expect to choose differently than before?

I think that's why so many people want to move forward, but move in cycles instead.

Before you can change your life, you need to change yourself.



It's so dark and terrible where I am right now that I just want to run towards the first light I see. But You've taught me that everything looking like a solution isn't. And I don't ever want to come back to this place in my life ever again, so I know I need to change myself in a way You intended. 

Please guide me in this process, Lord. Help me to find the true measuring rod for success. Help me to be able to stand out to Your glory. Even when it means it sometimes feel like I'm alone. 

Thank You for always being with me. No matter what. 



Megan said...

I take great comfort in knowing that God is with me and taking me in his arms when I am falling.

Michael Di Gesu said...

You are such a smart woman... And you are ABSOLUTELY right about CHANGE... You must change your way of thinking before you honestly can move forward.

AMAZING post Misha!

Julie Luek said...

In psychobabble terms they call this cognitive dissonance. When I walked away from my career to pursue this writing thing, not only did I have internal dissonance but I had some external disapproval as well. I walked away from a career, a bit of my identity (at least what others saw) and a fairly decent paycheck. Not easy on many fronts.

I prayed and pleaded with God for direction but He remained silent. Finally, on my last day at the office, I prayed "Even now God, just show me what YOU want me to do!"

And this is what popped immediately in my head: What do YOU want to do?

"I want to quit!"

"Then do so. Just take me with you." Wow-- about blew me out of the water. There was my value that stayed constant, no matter my choice.

As always Misha, you're knocking these meditations right out of the field. Excellent.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm not very good at conforming to societal norms.

Rob-bear said...

"Before you can change your life, you need to change yourself." That is so true. Thanks for sharing this. I retirement I've had to rethink a lot of things. I'm re-sorting who I am.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting

Joyce Lansky said...

I think my biggest problems in life are that I DON'T conform, but you'll be glad to know that I kept my mouth shut today when two conservatives were whining about their gun rights.

Rosanna C. Rogacion said...

Many years ago I decided to turn my back on all societal expectations and turned inward to find my God. It was an big struggle, and I had to give up so many things. Now I am at a place where I like who I am, and who I've become.

It's nice to bump into a kindred spirit.
Great post, keep it up.

Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

I always wonder what it would be like to chase my dreams. I mean, I think I do chase my dreams, but I also settle to a certain extent with a full time office job. Selling my soul for a moderate wage, a superannuation fund and a corner desk, I suppose.