It's SO easy to let life happen around us. It's also super easy to just let life happen TO us. We're going to unpack this a bit and talk about how to live the way you were designed to live!
Man, it really makes me sad when people seem to float through life unconsciously agreeing to the false idea that life is something you're just meant to survive.
We are not meant to just survive! We are designed to create, enjoy, explore, discover, mourn, be happy, grow, experience dynamic things - all from a position of understanding that we are worthy.
Learning to Live on Purpose
Finding a Foundation in Your Value
All my life has felt like a struggle to obtain a sense of value.
"Am I good enough? Am I worth being friends with? Do people like me? Am I worth people's time?"
These thoughts have been, and to some extent still are, often in the back of my mind. Even when I got the car, had the girlfriend, achieved financial success, the feeling still haunted me like a tender scab on my self-esteem.
I often think of the movie The Neverending Story when this subject comes up. In one scene the son of a rock giant brings a few large boulders to his father asking if it's a 'good rock'. His father takes the rock and bites into it causing it to crumble into nothingness. He then proceeds to tell our protagonist that the world has been afflicted with something called 'The Empty' and they're on the verge of starving since their food has no substance.
We can't get what we need from the things that don't have substance any more than we can have a healthy diet consisting of things that make us feel good temporarily but have no nutritional value.
Eating an entire bag of Doritos at once is AWESOME during the process but man do I feel icky afterward. And sadly afterward, I don't even have room for the good stuff - I just feel awful.
For some dumb reason, we humans have a knack to gravitate towards whatever unhealthy substance, whether its food, sex or anything in between, makes us feel good but isn't actually healthy for us. What's worse is that all too often we don't give these decisions (you read that right, decisions) any thought.
The Habit of Striving
When we operate from a position of lack, we begin to focus on quantity instead of quality.
If 2020 taught me anything it's that our natural position during times of lack is self-preservation. We hold so tightly to what we think we need (due to fear) and begin to elevate circumstances and things over the value of lives - others and our own.
It's called striving.
Maybe it's because America is such an abundant place, but it seems like our culture has a lot of us convinced that we need a lot more than we actually do. In fact, this need has a lot of us believe that we're only ok - or we're barely making it - if we have two cars, a house, a degree and a 401k.
It always feels like there's a next step - if we could just make it - that might make us feel good about our welfare or position in life. The crazy part about all of this is that what takes us months if not years to yield is frequently ripped from our grasp in the form of a car wreck, market change, physical injury, etc.
Guys, it's exhausting trying to prevent that from happening. And the funny thing is that you can't!
As You Are
So if we're not supposed to pursue things that make us feel good and we're also not meant to focus on achievement, then what the heck is the point of life?
Understanding that you are valuable
Understanding that nothing can change your value
Ya see, whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, whether you accept the simplicity of it or not, you are the son or daughter of God. He made you without any weird pretense or qualifier that our world would use to define our worth in the eyes of others.
You are enough. As you are. Right now. No exceptions.
And that's a tough pill to swallow. For some it's too simple, for others it's inconceivable. We spend our entire lives trying to understand our worth in the eyes of the world. It's such an empty pursuit - you're never going to be enough in the eyes of the world. That's because the 'eyes of the world' consists of individuals like you and me who compare our statistics in a fruitless attempt at creating our own controlled, fabricated substitution for what God has already given us - value.