Number 1 Lesson For Surviving Life:
Now, having reached the grand age of 40, I’ve learned some very important lessons along the way. But the number 1 lesson for today?
Do not, under any circumstances, allow anyone else to define you, only let the Holy Spirit refine you.
This is my number 1 lesson for not only surviving life, but for also enjoying life.
Let me explain.
I used to be really shy growing up. It came from growing up in a family which moved, on average, every three years. Sometimes we moved to a different area within the same locality, but otherwise it was a move around the British Isles.
This made it difficult to feel connected to people, and forging long-lasting friendships which were safe and could naturally develop, was nigh on impossible. I ended up having quite a few pen pals though – which clearly helped my love of writing!
The main issue is that as we moved from one town to another, I tried to fit in with anyone who would invite me into their friendship circle. This ranged from one group of friends who could be classed as “Mean Girls” in Gateshead, to another group who would be the somewhat vacuous “It Girls” of Barry, or there was the “goth/hippy” phase with my Best Pal (BP) in the Midlands, ohhhh and “Bible Basher” in pretty much everywhere!
When we’re young, we want to feel acceptable, and be accepted. So we do what we need to do to try and fit in. It’s when we’re unable to formulate a firm idea of who we are, that we can be easily led astray, because we try to adjust who we are to fit in with who we’re with. In other words, we allow others to define us.
I am glad that actually, I didn’t get caught up in the “wrong crowd” which could have happened so easily. Being an awkward, shy, quiet (I KNOW!!! Difficult to imagine!!!), Church girl meant I was on the fringes of many groups who felt I was not “one of them”.
This gave me the freedom to be me, instead of trying to conform, and for that, I am grateful! Pros and cons of being in a family that moves a lot!
By allowing others to define us, we end up giving them the authority to control our lives, and the direction we go in. Which means we could potentially end up being no one when we’re apart from those we allow to define us. And when they move on, we stand in the dark with our hands up saying, “but what about me?!”
You define you.
And with the Holy Spirit, you become a richer, more fruitful version of you, flourishing and empowered in whatever you do. Why? Because you know who you are, where you’re going and your own mind.
Don’t follow someone around like a shadow. Know who you are. Ask God to reveal the hidden person within you, and grow into that person. Step out of the shadow, walk in the light, and be proud of who you will become.
Because…. you – the real you – are awesome!