Today I am grateful for simplicity, and I am grateful for divinity. I don't mean just the idea that God is out there somewhere--although I do believe that. What I mean is that I'm so impressed with the tokens and symbols of godliness around us, whether they are found in the beauty of nature or in the complexity of freckles on my arm or in the opportunity I knew would never be possible without heavenly intervention. It is astounding to me that so many packages of divinity are out there to be found, and yet it is when I live most simply that I experience that divinity best.
Some days I feel a drive, invisible to my eyes but entirely perceptible, pull my vision upward. It's like I'm seeking for a different source of confidence. On those days, I feel a stirring in my heart to grow and to change and to leave behind all the things that have only burdened and chained me down. These are the days my prayers seem to be the longest. The days when my pleading is most sincere. When my heart strings ache the most. When I'm longing for something so unreachable without the help I'm begging for.
It's funny how we let ourselves go through all the motions of so many things we are expected to do, even when we know we are unhappy. Maybe I only feel this tug-of-war because I'm a people-pleaser. It's such a curse to feel like you have to make decisions based on how other people want you to act and feel and think. Logically, I can think through this and see that it is clearly ridiculous. But when I'm in the moment, I can never put my own needs in front of other people's. I've realized, though, that this must be a big part of my "life test."
Without question, I know that desires and dreams of mine are God-given. They are so innate in me that I can't remember a time when these were not the things I wanted most...and these are good, righteous, divine dreams. But every time I set out to fulfill those dreams, someone or something pops up and I feel this need make them the most important thing(s) in my life. I try so hard to please everyone around me, and it's too late before I realize that I'm just pulling myself down further and further. Luckily, I've been blessed with good people that help me pick myself back up and refine myself again. But it often takes a long time before I start moving back in that direction.
It's sad that I've done this to myself, but over and over again, I've let myself remain friends--and co-workers and associates--with some people who just drag me down. I feel like the best thing for me to do is to "be there" for them and to "be a good influence." But really, if I'm just being pulled down, how can I possibly expect to be confident and happy with myself, much less "be a good influence" on anyone else? My point? We have got to understand ourselves first, long before we try to please the people around us. We have got to plant ourselves in our own garden. We have got to refuse to do all those things the world and our elders and our peers and all those negative influences tell us we have to do to be better. Life is much more enjoyable when it is simple.
So I made a decision this weekend to get back to simplicity. After attempting to make everyone else happy with my decisions, I am focusing only on what my heart tells me...which brings me back to the beginning. When I push aside the world and all the voices I'm hearing around me, I feel this pulling force that directs my eyes and my heart heavenward, and I see more clearly all those blessings and gifts and pieces of divinity I've been given. And feeling divine sure does a lot for your confidence.