Last week I was meeting with the trainer guy at the Y for my bi weekly wellness appointment. After a little bit of conversation, he said, "Please don't be upset with me for saying this, but you make a lot of excuses." I thought back over the 15 mins of conversation we'd just had and I realized the few topics we'd talked about (not all of them health/fitness related) were things that I want to do but didn't/haven't/won't for whatever reasons. Reasons = excuses. (P.S. I was not offended at all. Infact, my reaction was exactly opposite. I reacted out of fear, but we'll get to that in a min. Props to him for being willing to put that out there!)
Are excuses ever legit? I'm not sure. I think that some of my reasons were valid. BUT. It did help me realize that I excuse my way out of a lot of things- most things- if they seem remotely threatening to my emotional/physical/mental stability. Stability being comfort.
As I've had some time to think about all of this and even pinpoint areas in my life where I can say I truely have missed out, I've come to another realization- I live in fear. Lots of fear. I mean, there are general fears- things happening to my kids, someone in my family dying, things like that. But then there are real deep personal fears:
If I fail will people still love me? If I don't do it, people won't have a reason to not love me.
What if someone makes fun of me? Don't do it so no one can make fun of me.
What if I try and run that 5k and can't finish or don't finish in the allowed time? Don't do it so no one sees me as a failure.
What will people think if I don't measure up? They'll think so much less of me. Don't do things I'll fail at so they can't think less of me. (This was my reaction to trainer guys observation. . He blew my cover and called my bluff. He obviously thinks I'm a failure.)
If I opened that business I always wanted to open and it fails, will the rest of my life be ruined? Well, it costs too much money to do it anyways. It's a silly dream anyway.
I don't know how to do that, so I just can't right?
What If I'm not a good parent and my kids choose the wrong path in life?
Well, I'll never do it as good as such and such, so I'm just not going to try.
You get the point.
Have you noticed that I HATE the idea of failure, so I avoid things that I could fail at? Which is pretty sad, because I've limited myself so much in life. How much has God called me to do and given me the opportunity to do and I excused myself out of doing it because I was afraid of failing. How much more fulfilling and joy filled could my life be if I stepped out on faith and just tried it.
The truth is that this is a deep rooted pattern in my life. I don't know that this is something that I'm going to be able to bust out of tomorrow and never deal with again. But, I've been so much more aware of it the last few days. And the funny part is that since I had that conversation on Tuesday, God has placed small reminders in my path that through Him, all things are possible. There are a lot of these things that I would love to do that probably would fail if I did them. On my own. Or without God's direction.
So, it's my 30th year of life. Well, almost. I'll be 30 later in the year and sometimes I feel like such a child. It's true that you learn something new every day. In my case it just happens to be about myself. It's draining. It's exciting. It's discouraging. But, it's promising.
2 Corinthians 5:17-
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone and the new is here.
I know that I will not and can not be totally new until that day that I see Jesus face to face. But I am thankful that he's making me a better person, even if it's slower than what I want it to be!