Perhaps Ignatius was onto something. The Apostle Paul reminds that that our faith, without action, is futile. So why do we find it so hard to step up and act?
Let's talk about the two elephants that could be in the room.
I love lifting the skirt on this one.
Basically, our unredeemed psychology is a bit of a Diva. Its number one priority is to keep us feeling safe and secure. Comfortable.
However, this can work against us moving forward because we must step out of our comfort zone and this can feel scary. In response to our fear there are two excuses our Diva constantly offered up.
Do you second guess yourself?
These excuses are like two elephants in our living room that we try to ignore. We side step, we shuffle around them and we will even clean up their poop but rarely confront them. These excuses leave us second-guessing ourselves.
The Amplification Elephant
This is the tendency to amplify our responsibility. We become the centre of everyone’s universe. If someone stubs a toe, we are there with a Band-Aid. We carry the weight of responsibility for everyone’s life choices. This elephant has us reconciling our decisions with every one else.
Movement forward becomes too hard because…
The kids need me to…
Work will never…
My friends will…
My partner won’t…
The Abdication Elephant
This is the tendency to abdicate our responsibility. Too often we can abdicate the responsibility for our life's decisions and direction to our parents or our friends, our partners, our pastors or leaders and even the incredibly spiritual solution, leave it all in the hands of God.
Movement forward looks impossible and only if…
The kids would…
My friends could…
My partner would…
Living with pain?
To entertain either of these elephants, is to ultimately live with pain. The pain of regret, the pain of blame, the pain of shame and disappointment. Our hope deferred makes our heart sick.
And pain leaks.
It leaks into the crack and crannies of our world and affects the people closest to us.
Own our life. Own our responsibilities.
To align your life with our eternal purpose and live the life we know God has created for us, it is essential that we assume responsibility.
As women committed to live purposefully and steward the call of God on our life, we must assume responsibility for what is ours alone to act upon and refuse to either amplify or abdicate our divine responsibility.
Let’s run with the analogy of an elephant in the room. Take the time to ask yourself these seven questions and arrive at one conclusion.
Is there an elephant taking up space in my place?
If so which one? Am I tempted to take responsibility for everything in my world or am I quick to make others responsible for my life.
What is it costing me to feed it?
Is it at the expense of missed opportunities, relationships, health or finances?
What rubbish, mess or poop does the elephant make that I have to clean up?
Be very honest and clear here, become aware of the real cost for you and for those around you.
What do I gain by ignoring the elephant in my room?
We only do what works for us, no matter how twisted that seems. There are no exceptions to this rule.
What will happen if I confront the elephant?
It is 1 year from today, what is different in your life because you challenged your elephant and showed her the door?
What won't happen if I don't confront the elephant?
It is 1 year from today, what does life look like with that elephant still crowding your space?
What one thing can I commit to today to assume responsibility? What one thing must I stop thinking, what one decision must I follow through on, what one habit must I start, what one conversation must I have if I am to be responsible for living a life aligned with eternal purpose?
It can be a tough call but one that is essential if we are to let go of our well worn rationalisations and live the life created God for us. Our rationalisations may be valid, our reasons may resonate with others, but if we are not living authentically we must make the decisions that only we can make to move forward.
Lets do all that we can do and trust God to do what only He can do. Assume responsibility and refuse to keep cleaning up elephant poop!