The Rose Colored Glasses that Threaten My Future
As Jeff and I got to a place in life where we realize it was short and that we were committed to living our live's fully alive. We committed to following our hearts wherever they lead. As we listened, it took honesty, faith, and obedience to trust the small steps. As we have taken each small step, we have found them to bring about huge changes for us. Some of those changes have included, selling our business of 20 years, selling our dream home, moving to California, starting a new business, and most of all choosing to show up each day in who we are committed to be.
We are experiencing life more fully alive. It is amazing. At the same time, we face new struggles like the complete difference in the housing market in California compared to Illinois, the difference in culture, and the pain of being separated by 3000 miles from our daughter and son in law who got married two weeks before we moved to California. When we put our eyes on those struggles, it can lead us to the question, "why are we here?". In that question, we can become sad and choose a backward focus.
I realize that we have at times, chose two things that have increased our struggle in our current reality. First we have looked backward with rose colored glasses. We have approached our view of the past as though if we went back, everything would still be as it was, forgetting the many struggles we were facing which brought us to make a step of faith and choose something new, in the first place. Second, we have looked at struggles in our current reality from a place of them being positioned or unchangeable, rather than with faith that they are simply our current set of opportunities and can change at any time.
As I think about how we show up when we choose this backward focus, I recognize how much we are like the children of Israel told about in the Bible. As they sat in the suffering of 400 years of slavery in Egypt, that begged for freedom. Once the freedom came, they faced struggles in the wilderness on their way to the promised land. The seemed to view those new struggles as positioned or unchangeable. From that viewpoint, complaining about those struggles became the best choice they saw available. They also seemed to have looked back at their past with rose colored glasses as well, as they longed to go back to the slavery of Egypt. They decided that the mistreatment and a life of no possibilities as slaves was better than the unknown or what they were making up about their current reality. In those choices, they wound up missing out on the promise land and died in the wilderness.
From a distance, I have read that story and thought what foolish people! Given a closer experience, I have those same tendencies and given similar circumstances will be tempted to make the same choices. (Let me clarify that I don't look at my life in Illinois as slavery. However, what I do recognize is that I had lived nearly 40 years of my life wanting to please other people and ignoring the voice of my heart, I had created a prison for myself.) I easily look back and remember all the good of my past comfort and forget the discomfortand the struggles that were there. I am tempted to make up how grand everything was rather than remember the reality. As I stand in my current reality, I can easily and miss the good as I long for comfort. As I stand in my current reality, I can easily and miss the good as I long for comfort. As I stand in my current reality, I can easily minimize the good and maximize the struggles as I long for comfort.
As this awareness grows, I am committed to three action steps.
- To face my past with truth and honesty.
- To face my current reality with hope and faith.
- To trust my heart to lead me to my Beautiful Outcome or my life fully alive.
What are you committed to today as you stand in your current reality and choose your future?