I am so lazy when things are going awesome.
Really, I am. Contracts in, rent paid, traffic up, contacts made, some charitable giving and then I am RIPE for a full day of HGTV marathons. Like a boss.
You know – when something doesn’t go the way we thought it would? When we’re lost and have no idea what the hell we’re doing? Extreme disappointment when a life changing opportunity falls through? When life seems to be going perfectly, then all the sudden someone you love leaves you?
Well, I’m glad you asked. I indulge in a total panicky meltdown, mixed with fierce determination, sprinkled with self-doubt and sleepless, crazed nights mumbling “Why? WHY!?”
But what if we flipped the script a little bit?
What if, when life hands us a shit sandwich, we get excited? It doesn’t mean we have to like it or not cry about it. But what if we could see it for what it really was?
The epic kick in the butt that causes us to move?
I wish most of us didn’t need suffering for clarity, but we do so we might as well look at this phenomenon with curiosity and excitement rather than laying face down defeated.
“WHY ME!?!?” and “Why me?” are the same words, but when you say it with curiosity rather than victimized panic, suddenly a world of opportunities starts to roll out like a carpet.
Hmm, why me? Why now? Something interesting must be happening, so I better pay attention.
That feels so much better than that one time I said my life was over with snot running down my nose.
I want to be clear that I’m not referring to tragedies or abuse. That’s a separate post and I’m confident I’m not fit to write it.
But I am talking about hardships. We can suffer tiny tragedies everyday. From cold shoulders to angry emails from our bosses to medical bills that might make us go bankrupt.
The book deal we so longed for falls through, a friend’s betrayal. You show up with a big grin to the event and people treat you differently and you don’t know why.
I know all the right mantras. I know that no one adds a day to their life with worry. I know the gifts of positive thinking – I’ve experienced them. I’ve surrendered and I’ve felt peace. But sometimes when bad news hits at all the wrong times, I can drop my faith like a carrot when someone hands me a cupcake.
So what if we do something crazy? What if instead of falling apart when we hit an obstacle, a disappointment, or terrible news – we get excited?
I’m talking, really, really excited. Because our faith was so big, so resolute, that we get all “Real Housewives of New Jersey” on fear when it keeps rattling off nonsense?
What if we truly believed that every obstacle was a masked opportunity, waiting to propel us, push us, sometimes drag us to the next level? The next exact place we’re called to go?
I remember flipping through channels and I caught an Oprah interview with Joel Olsteen. He said, “You have to come to your closed doors before you get to your open doors. What if you knew you had to go through 32 closed doors before you got to your open door? Well, then you’d come to closed door number eight and you’d think, ‘Great, I got another one out of the way’… Keep moving forward. You’re learning from them and you’re one step closer to the open door.”
There’s something about this that hit my brain like a tuning fork.
Is it possible to have a faith so big that when a door closes, we start immediately pelvic thrusting because we know we’re that much closer to the right door opening?
The answer is yes. It’s simply a matter of doing the work. The work of – continually blocking out lies we’re tempted to tell ourselves and embrace the truth.
You are worthy. You were perfectly and beautifully made. And you have a purpose. Period.
As an aside, am I the only one who starts pelvic thrusting when I start winning at life and/or Scrabble?
Faith isn’t sitting on the couch waiting for miracles to come to our door like the Dominos guy. Faith gets up and does the work.
Listen, I’m in the valley, y’all. I’m in a transition and I literally have no idea what I’m supposed to do.
I was talking with a wonderful woman who has been helping me process my transition. I expressed to her all my fears. I’m dependent on technology and social platforms for my growth and as these platforms change the impact on me can be great. I perceived myself going backwards instead of forwards and there is literally nothing I can do about it. I felt like I had pushed a boulder up a huge mountain and right before I made it to the top, the boulder took hold and it started pushing me backwards down the hill. No matter how hard I push, my feet keep sliding in sand as the boulder pushes me farther and farther away.
Did I mention I can be dramatic sometimes?
Then she said, “Oh Anna. Hasn’t it occurred to you that you’re past that now? These are tools that have served you to get you here, now. It’s time to move up to the next level. The brush in the forest has to burn away so the oak tree can flourish.”
I was all like, “Oh.”
I mean, duh, you guys! DUH!
How naïve of me to think that my God given talents, gifts – that my calling – my destiny – was dependent on Facebook?
Of course I’m going to continue to utilize all the technological tools made available, but to give them power over my life’s calling is RIDONKulous.
Maybe I’m not going back down the mountain at all. Perhaps I pushed the boulder as far as it will go and now it’s time to hop on the trail right next to it that will take me to an even greater mountain top.
How about that? HUH!?
My mom told me this awhile ago and it reveals itself time and time again:
That doesn’t mean people can’t screw us and we can’t screw others. That doesn’t mean we can’t inflict harm on ourselves with our own mistakes. It doesn’t mean we can’t be cruel to others and suffer the consequences accordingly.
But it does mean that we are forgiven, that we must forgive ourselves, and then mistakes simply transform into stepping stones, not wrecking balls.
(You’re picturing Miley riding a wrecking ball like a wild stallion right now, aren’t you? Sorry about that.)
So, what if we rejoice the next time crap hits the fan?
What if we clapped our hands and high-fived the person sitting next to us on the bus when we get the rejection call?
What if our faith was so overwhelming, so overflowing, that it spilled from us and washed over every problem exposing it for how silly it actually is?
It’s harder than it sounds and I fail at it all the time. But there have been moments when something surprising and deeply disappointing happens and I had the courage in that moment to think, “Wow, something really awesome must be coming my way if this amazing opportunity isn’t to be mine.”
Something really awesome came. It just didn’t look like what I thought it should look like.
We worry because there is no certainty, but here is all the certainty you need:
Our destiny is a God given calling. It is a gift.
No one. No thing. Can ever. EVER. Take away our destiny.
When crap hits the fan, it just might me be splattering rainbows and unicorns all over the place.
So, what were we so worried about again?
If you think this post topic could help a friend, feel free to share it. I’d also love to hear from you in the comments. We’re a team, yeah?