owning your story. what does that even mean?
today i sat down with the intent to write about 'my story'. i wanted to write about who i thought i was and the experiences i've been through that i think make up who i am and what i stand for. basically things that have happened in my life that make me, me. i definitely believe that we are all living out different stories for a purpose and a reason. ((read a million miles in a thousand years by donald miller if you want to dive deeper into the 'living out a story' thought. great, great book.))
so, i sit here and stare at the computer screen. i'm unable to adequately put into words what my story actually is. i'm unable to articulate the purpose and passion i'm trying to live out. the purpose that god has uniquely designed me for.
and it hit me.
until recently, i have let other people determine my story. i possessed a deep and heavy fear of approval. it was so strong that i didn't let my true self out from under the different masks i wore. i adopted stories from people that i admired and i let other people determine what my story was based on their assumptions of me.
you know what i realized? it's so easy to live in fear. it's so easy to just please others and do what you think is expected of you. it's easier and less challenging to live out someone else's story. to act like them. make decisions like them. we think that if we do this, we guard ourselves from hurt.
the truth is, by wearing a mask and living our lives as someone else (or a bunch of different people), we are essentially telling ourselves that we aren't worth it. our story isn't meaningful or "special" enough to be known. in the end, we do more hurt to ourselves by going down this fearful road. the sad this is, the longer you let fear and other people define you, the farther away you get from your true purpose. it gets harder to unearth who you really are. god designed me in such a beautiful and specific way. when i trust in him and believe in that truth, i am blessed beyond belief. why would i want to shy away from that?
and, i guess, this exploration of all the years i was too afraid to live out my own story makes me unique and forms my story more than i'm giving myself credit. i guess it's a "preface" to the rest of the story of sorts.
so, all of this to say that i'm striving to take the mask off. with god's help + strength, i'm taking a time-out and not playing the game of fear any more. if this means being uncomfortable, so be it. i would much rather live in discomfort, rest in god's grace and strength, and feel confident in the woman i am than live in comfort while hiding who i am.
phew. that felt great to get out.