We are relational creatures – designed to commune with one another beyond simple coexistence. We were made to love, and from an early age we form unique bonds that show, shift and shape our understanding of the world. Along our journeys, most of us realize it is not good to be alone and that material success isn’t everything it’s set out to be. We therefore crave “to belong” more than we crave “to have”, knowing true wealth lies more in true relationships.
You were born worthy.
However, were you raised knowing that?
Our family matters. The way in which we are raised strongly impacts the way we understand our worth. This dynamic provides the baseline for how we perceive ourselves in adulthood, how we allow ourselves to be loved, how we think others should treat us, and what we believe we can accomplish.
Our family matters.
Worthiness is evenly distributed, but unequally received. It is not determined by works, background or circumstance. It is not earned or pursued. It cannot be added to or taken away. From the moment you are born, to the moment you die – you are worthy. Worthiness is a permanent state of being. Irrespective of how you entered the world, it is your birthright to acknowledge it.
One thing that we all need to do is “learn to encourage yourself”
Encouraging yourself is an art.
It requires a skill that creates something out of nothing. It commands an imagination that feels the end when you can barely see the beginning. This kind of art has no set style and no perfect method. It just asks that you show up, and paint yourself a different picture. Dream furiously, speak life into your situation and sculpt yourself a different reality.
Where are you running to?
We live in a time obsessed with destination. Regardless of where we find ourselves, it seems like we never arrive. We are always moving. If you are single or dating, society encourages you to marry. Shortly after you’re married, you’ll be asked about your plans to have children. Once your children are born, you’re advised to start saving for college. After they’ve eventually started college, you can seriously address retirement.
Where have you been running to?
The jobs, the houses, the businesses, the relationships – when do you actually arrive? Where is your final destination?
There is strength in a pack.
It is easy to dismiss the importance of community when considering “running your own race”. Yet it is impractical to believe that you can reach your full potential by simply running solo. Having a “pack” – a good community and support system, not only improves what you succeed in, but it impacts how you succeed. The rewards are so much richer when you share them with people you’ve journeyed with.
When the handgun is fired, it is the long awaited signal to begin the moment you have been preparing for – the race. The long hours, the training and the sacrifice are finally put to the test. You have been graced with a short period to prove whether your toil has been worth it and to prayerfully perform to the best of your ability.
If only our life courses were so simple, that we had a clear beginning and an end. Too often we find ourselves running, unsure of when we started, where the finishing line is, or how we even got there.
But we realize we’re heading somewhere. We’re always heading somewhere.
So, where are you going?
We were all born running. Induced into a race from our very first breath. Moving towards a mark that was set before us. Success measured by averages. Are you above or are you below? Are you behind or are you ahead? How do you compare to your counterparts? How have you progressed?
We are commonly coached to ignore our comparisons. “Run your own race” and “stay in your lane” are phrases that seemingly soothe us on the surface. Regardless of how good this advice sounds, it is a difficult perspective to maintain. I have found that the challenge is not merely staying in your lane, but more so working out what your lane is. We can’t help but notice the progressions of others, and it is easy to be discouraged by people zipping in front of you. Yet often our frustrations lie in understanding where our own journeys are taking us.
If life was a straight course, and we could see the end in sight, our landmarks would be easier to celebrate. But quite often our courses are convoluted, filled with obstacles and hurdles that we’re required to conquer.
At some point – the rain must stop, the wind must cease, and the immediate havoc of your experience must fade away. No matter how destructive they may be, storms are temporary. Quite often, they leave as abruptly as they arrive. You are forced to reckon with your wreckage, and make meaning out of what is left, in order to face what is to come.
The scale of damage can vastly differ. As mentioned before, no two storms are the same. What can destroy one person may barely move another. Whatever you have survived through, has also been the cause of someone’s death. Take a moment to celebrate that. Take a moment to celebrate that somehow, you are still breathing even though you have been battered. Even if it feels like there is nothing to be joyful about, take a moment. The fact that you have made it this far means that there is still more for you to accomplish. The storm is passing – and your time on this earth is not over yet.
Storms have the ability to form at any point, in any season and in any place. They gain fame for their destruction. They have an unusual talent for displacement, disorientation and dismantling everything we know. No two storms are the same. Their intensities vary, and the complexities of its wreckage widely differ. Nonetheless, every living, breathing being must face a storm, all with the hope that they survive it somehow.