What do you want most for yourself in this life? Take a moment and think about it. Be 100% honest. Sift through all of the “things” you think will make you happy and get down to the core of what is really important for you. Dig deep. (Take as long as you need. I’ll wait.)
Well? What did you discern? What do you want the most for yourself?
In life, we tend to be private people and it’s rare when we talk about profound subjects. Most people are a bit reserved and don’t readily reveal a lot about themselves. And yet, what most of us really want for ourselves is a deep, honest, mutually life-giving relationship. We want to be accepted for who we are, warts and all, and still be loved, unconditionally.
The paradox is that even though we want this type of relationship, we are not willing to share the intimacy of our unguarded true self. There’s reasons for this.
As we’ve lived, we’ve had many different types of experiences. We’ve learned what works well for us, and what causes pain. At one time or another we’ve all been made fun of, or been embarrassed. We’ve learned that opening ourselves up means that we are exposed, vulnerable and can be a target for criticism. We’ve been hurt, so it’s hard to trust. And, we’ve built protective walls; walls that we hide behind, walls that conceal our faults, our failings, and perhaps even a deep nagging fear that maybe we just aren’t good enough the way we are.
So, we settle for less. We develop superficial relationships, and we busy ourselves and waste the most precious thing we have; our time. Oh, it may not appear that we are wasting time. Perhaps we work long hours, volunteer, are active in civic groups, church, sports or something else, but deep down we remain unfulfilled.
If this sounds familiar, I’d like you to consider that some of your protective behavior patterns may have outlived their usefulness, and they may even be unhealthy and holding you back. Are you ready for some personal growth?
If you take the time to examine and journey through your defenses, you will probably find fear. If you dare to look beneath the fear, you may well find echoes of past pain. The big question is - how long are you going to allow those past hurts to control you?
After all, what do you want most for yourself in this life?
Bob Payne, Manager