|Each of us lives with dreams and guiding images of what our lives should be like. These come in all shapes and sizes. Some are passed down to us by our family, friends or peers. Others are dreams of proving ourselves and finding recognition. Perhaps we even have dreams of creating something unique, or we may be scared to dream big because of past hurts and mistakes. |
The reality is that our dreams need to evolve.
The dreams we had at 20 often won’t be appropriate at 40, and certainly not at 60. And yet we may be currently building our lives on past guidelines – just repeating what’s ‘worked’ for us.
A divine blueprint exists in God’s heart for us – one that will give meaning and purpose to our days on earth. Our Master Renovator has meaningful and fulfilling ideas about us. He wants us to look at why we keep doing what we do, and to gain a deeper awareness of what holds us back and gets us stuck. We need to risk having new dreams, knowing that He is gently nudging us towards his dream for us.
Every day we each are faced with choices. If we take time to reflect on how we make these, we soon see that what’s deep in our hearts is affecting them. We need not be captives of our past. Our early life has indeed shaped us, but we still can change how we are choosing to follow Jesus’ way. It might seem that we have made fresh choices because we have a new job, are in a new relationship, have moved to a new country, but we might just have left one situation for another and in time see that actually the same issues are emerging.
We might still be choosing according to other peoples’ dream for us, or seeking to be acknowledged, be successful or popular. As God asked the Israelites, in each choice we are being asked to choose between life and death. We choose death if our choice is not truly in tune with who God made us to be, if it’s not enlivening to our deepest selves or in line with God’s Kingdom.
The important thing in our lives is to keep asking ourselves, “What do I really, really want to do with my ‘one wild and precious life’?” (Mary Oliver). This question helps us find our priorities for how we use our time and where we put our energies. It gets us in touch with our deepest desires, so we can start to choose more wisely from the countless options before us.
God is always inviting us into places of greater openness and trust in Him. Even though we do not know what the future holds, He does. We can keep ourselves ‘small’ and controlled, and so miss His greater purpose for us – to become our fullest selves. His expansive call is, ‘Choose Life!’, for He knows how fear can lock us down. We so need to hold onto the way He sees us because the limited way we have been known is not nearly the whole picture. He, like any gardener, wants to take us out of our restricting container of beliefs and expectations and plant us so that we can really thrive. Continue reading Root-bound?
Just as we have a body, we have an inner self. There are similarities between our physical and our unseen parts. If we reflect on our body and how we care for it, we can learn a lot about about how to tend to our inner ‘body’. Just as we eat well and exercise to keep healthy, so too we nurture and love our inner self.
Continue reading “Where does it hurt?” Healing our wounds in order to live more fully
Many things can distract us from really connecting with others. We may be tempted to have many, and different experiences, yet remain shallow in our human connections. If we give ourselves too much choice, wanting to have it all, we will lose discernment for what we really are here for. We need to become aware of what we bring to our interactive spaces, of how present we really are, for if we are not giving life to another, we actually are taking it from them. Do we nourish and satisfy others through our connections? We need to develop relational intuition where we stop judging people by externals and develop a sense for invisible things – to be aware of when there are facades between us, of when we are not being real. Continue reading Life happens as we truly connect with others
If we picture ourselves as a house, we can imagine the different relational spaces as rooms we inhabit. Reflection on these can reveal how connected and how at home we really are in ourselves.
Within us may be areas that are full of light, while others may be closed off to ourselves and to others. These rooms are of differing sizes depending on the gravity we have given them. We may only occasionally feel able to show some of them to others. For example, what does the room of our body feel like? Are we satisfied and at peace, or are we carrying painful things in relation to our bodies? Continue reading Longing for Intimacy – Into Fear
Holding on and letting go of our dreams
Dreams are part and parcel of our lives. None of us can live without them. Even when we are unaware of our dreams, our imagination has gone ahead and created a picture for us, something that we live for in the future.
Continue reading Without Vision the People Perish
Every venture of life involves our moving from a known reality and security to an unknown one over which we don’t have control. This always causes apprehension to rise in us as this movement involves taking a risk – whether it is in learning a new skill, being in a relationship, having faith in God, doing your work, going on a new adventure, even just living. But if we don’t take the risk we will lose ourselves. Continue reading Anxiety is the driver pushing us forward to learn, grow, change
How to be delicious!
Things that have caused us distress through our lives have made us more sensitive and compassionate to other circumstances. They’ve made us able to go beyond ourselves to others, which becomes the fruit of our lives and gives our days meaning. Our lives shift from, ‘What do I get out of this?’ to being able to spend ourselves and to be life-giving for others. Continue reading Known by Our Fruit
To be human is to have needs and the place where they’re nourished and restored is in relationships. However, if we’ve been hurt or disappointed, we may shut down and try the route of independence, saying, “I don’t need you.” Life and growth are always a risk and always involve an opening of ourselves to parts we might not yet be familiar with. But if we choose not to take this path, we will deaden and stagnate, our inner reality will shrink. Continue reading Needs Draw Us to Life