When I agreed to embark upon a leadership and transformational journey I was doing it initially just to be agreeable. It wasn’t something I sought out for myself. I went along with it just to see what the fuss was all about.
I knew I didn’t have all the answers in the areas of leadership. For that reason alone, I am always open to opportunities for learning and personal growth… I had no idea what it would look like and how I would show up in the process. I agreed anyway.
I walked in with a “what you see is what you get” attitude. I didn’t really have a real desire to connect with anyone or change my pattern because it suited me. I thought I knew myself. My ego had me convinced that I had done so much work on myself and come so far. I wasn’t prepared to be surprised when it came to me. I already knew what areas I needed to work on. And it was “my” problem and “my” story and “my”journey. Me, me, me. What did I have to gain in this? I was indifferent really. Still I went.
Once I stepped fully into the process I got to see myself. The image I portrayed to others that is. Here I was, so self righteous. Proclaiming to be a child of God. A fearless leader. The most responsible, serious, and determined person I know.
The harsh reality was, I was still broken. As a result I showed up as insecure, angry, lonely, isolated, victimized, traumatized, judgmental, critical, and hurting. That was on top of my need to be needed. How though?! Who?! Not me!
I thought I overcame all that foolery! I thought since I had “survived” and had my testimony that it meant I earned my stripes. I was living victoriously just to see another day. So I rested in that. All the while not really being present, making connection, or taking action to walk in victory and excellence each day. Not really being whole. Not really being free. Not really being available to give my best. Not really being available to receive God’s best.
Most shocking of all, was realizing that I needed to be in control to feel that I was effective. No big secret that control issues exist. But I couldn’t separate my control from my leadership and responsibility. I am “responsible” for all kinds of things. Every day, and in every way. But I took responsibility on as a burden as opposed to a privilege. I overwhelmed myself with commitments and people pleasing as a common practice. I couldn’t keep myself or my environment together unless I was completely in control. Control came at a price.
I also dragged baggage into every area of my life, figuring it was just a side effect of my circumstances. I hadn’t even shared my story outside of a small trusted circle. Yet and still, it was all over me. Keeping me in bondage and effecting every action and inaction. I was tired and chronically stressed on the outside. I was withdrawn and stagnant on the inside.
Then… the transformation took hold of me. Once I was confronted with all that I got to look at myself. Really seeing for the first time. You know the difference between hearing and listening?… that was the experience I was having. Magnified and personified. In my stripped down state, I realized that how I showed up was not in line with my intention. Not even close. I have a gift. A purpose. A calling. I was created by design and on purpose. I kept myself from sharing that freely because I wanted to keep others from taking advantage of it. Selfish much?
It took radical intervention – the kind I had yet to experience in my life – to get me to a place where I wanted to actively move beyond survival and into living. Not just living, but thriving with intention and on purpose.
I got to see how my state of being was creating distraction and limitation to my potential. I took responsibility for myself. I let go of the baggage that weighed me down. I discovered that the fortress around my heart wasn’t meant to be there. It not only kept others from getting in, but it kept me from coming out. I had imprisoned myself to my past and to my pain. Somewhere along the way I stopped being me. All that made me the best version of myself had been hidden far and deep for so-called safekeeping.
So what was the lesson?
All that I had created in being reactive to my circumstances was never part of my design. I was put here to fulfill a specific destiny. There is a Divine order to everything. I have a role and a say in the part I play in that.
Similarly, each life has purpose. When we get out of our own way we can see the vision. We get to take a stand and show up. How we do that matters. Inviting others into our hearts fills up the empty spaces. There is no amount of pain that can’t be healed if we’re willing to do the work.
Well, maybe not so simple.
I made a decision to do the work. It took time, energy, and investment in self. I started to transform. Each day I am on journey and the better for it. Because I am breathing I get to be grateful and step into my purpose, with intent, vision, joy, passion, and urgency.
Should I lose my footing or look back to see what I left behind, I can count on a team to hold me high and push me forward. That team I now call family. And second only to my own, they are simply the best. I love to love them.
I may have walked in with my attitude and issues. But I walked out reminded of my purpose and in a state of clarity and restoration. There’s no turning back.
Once sight is restored only a fool would choose to walk in blindness.