Search This Blog :

Friday, 10 August 2012

A Life Well Lived

There has been a lot on my mind lately.  And also a lot not on my mind.  Strangely enough, it's what has not been on my mind that occupies me the most.

There are a lot of things I push aside because I don't want to truly think about them with the seriousness they deserve.  Or because I am afraid that by confronting these thoughts I will be forced to take action.  Make hard changes.  Or any changes at all.

I suppose I pride myself on the idea that I am a person unafraid of change.  Unafraid of honesty.  And yet, here I am.

So how can things not on my mind still take up such a large amount space in my consciousness?   For exactly that reason I would think, the very fact that I am pushing these things outside the realm of thought brings these issues I am trying to avoid to the very forefront of my mind in every way except thought.  In stress or anxiety or anger or sleeplessness etc. etc. etc.  And the "why" is there at the tip of my tongue if I would just be courageous enough to look at my present situation, my reactions to various things that have happened to me in the past year, the goals and aspirations I have for the future, the person I am right now and the person I want to become.

I have been feeling uneasy and I think it's because I have not been entirely truthful with myself.  While I am a very outgoing person I also am a very introspective one as well.  There is nothing that happens that I don't analyze to death.  There is no facet of my personalty that I don't make the most minute and exact study of.

There are things I want.  Ways I want to live.  Ways I want to be.

I want to live mindfully, simply, creatively, happily, faithfully, courageously, honestly, wisely.  I want to be at peace with myself and to not mind the inevitable times I am not at peace with those around me.  I want to nurture a creative and loving spirit.  I want to go on learning every day.  I want simplicity and an unpretentious manner of living and being.  I don't want to do well by the standards set out for me by society and the world.  I want to do well by my own standards.  I don't want to fall in line.  I want to be courageous enough to follow the path I know to be right for me.

I don't want to live in a way that satisfies anyone's idea of "normal".  But neither do I want to go out of my way to prove myself so different from "everyone".

We are none of us "true individuals", every idea we have has been picked up from someone else somewhere along the way all the way back to the beginning of time.  We have no claim on originality and yet we are all individuals.  We are all very similar and we are all very unique.  What saddens me is that so many people spend their lives suppressing that brilliant spark of light that makes them unique.  They fear it or they hide it or they kill it or allow others to do so.

There is a Latin proverb I like.  "Live your own life, for you will die your own death."

I am the only person alive who sees the world quite like I do.  Who feels quite like I do.  Who dreams or hurts or loves or learns or refuses to learn quite like I do.  I can not be replaced by anybody else.

Why do I not think I am worthy then?  Why do I not carefully take my own fragile preciousness in my hands and protect it the way I would a child's?  Why do I so often fail to be kind to myself?

I am good.  I say the wrong thing sometimes.  I do the wrong thing sometimes.  I am imperfect but I am good.

And so my friend, are you. 



Zion said...

Beautiful as always my dear Colleen, I love your style of writing :)

Brian Miller said...

imperfect but good...i can def relate to the imperfect and i hear you on the things that occupy my mind...

BelovedBomber said...

I am reading a book by Lysa Terkeurst and she uses a phrase I like..."imperfect progress". I am not perfect but I am progressing towards who I want to be, who I was designed to be. I make imperfect progress.

Corinne @ Everyday Gyaan said...

This is exactly what I needed to read today, Colleen - just minutes before I read this I'm typing here: there is no one else in the world who can say what I need to say or do what I need to do......
And then I read this and it confirms my belief.
I wonder why we are sometimes afraid of our own uniqueness?
Imperfectly unique - that's what I am!

Rebecca said...

I, too, live with similar thoughts on my mind. Sometimes I can put them into words myself; other times, I borrow words such as yours and lay claim to them.

Mostly at this late stage of life, I'm desiring MOST of all to LIVE my thoughts. Live my aspirations. In the "now".

I haven't panicked - yet! But I AM trying to flesh out my thoughts and words more intentionally and praying that I will do so in the grace and power of God's Holy Spirit, for "my heart and my flesh, many times they fail...."

Rathi said...


I just cannot believe that I am reading everything that I have been thinking in my head. This is so.. so... i mean, is it true that more than two people can feel the same way?

mary333 said...

Whoa! Great post! The things that "are not on my mind" always cause me more trouble than the things on them. I question, "Why am I unwilling to address these issues yet?" They are tamped down in some way (my guess is by my fear?) and yet they are impossible to ignore because they lurk around waiting to be exposed for what they are.

Yes, we are imperfect but good. I like that :) I have a tendency to be kinder to others than I am to myself, yet my very imperfection and fragility cry out for gentleness and kindness.

Thanks, Colleen!

Just Be Real said...

Amen Colleen. Needed that pick me up. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

Grandma K said...

You put it so well Colleen. I was thinking today how I muddle along as a wife, as a Mom to adult kids, as a grandma, as a friend, as a follower of Jesus. But this is who I am. I want better but I don't always get it. In the early part of this 6th decade I am finally coming to accept that, to accept the 'imperfect progress'. There is no 'living' when I am in knots about all that I get wrong. Learn from the mistakes, move on. That is how I want to live.
It is a life long journey learning.......

Colleen said...

Thank you S├Žunn!

So glad you can relate Brian!

Beloved Bomber, I like that, thank you for sharing!

Corinne, that is amazing! Isn't it funny how we often seem to find others thinking along the same lines we are? How our own thoughts are validated in such a way sometimes? As for your question, I do think we are afraid sometimes, just like we are in the face of anything unusual or brilliant!

Rebecca, thank you so much for your comment! This time I am going to borrow your words and remember them as I go about my day! Thank you!

Rathi, my kindred spirit.:)

Mary you put it beautifully...I too am kinder to others than myself but I feel a deep, I don't know, sympathy for myself, sometimes, a knowledge that I am a precious being who needs to be treated with love and respect by myself as well...maybe a tiny, tiny, glimpse of how God sees me? (And indeed, all of us.)

JBR; thank you for coming here today.

Grandma K, I think you have a lot of wisdom to share and you always do so so gently. I am glad you write your thoughts here sometimes so I can remember them. Thank you.

Rachna said...

Imperfect yet unique, makes mistakes yet good! I feel like you are writing about me. Just like you, I like to introspect, sometimes too much. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite, but I know for a fact that I am a good person. I always put happiness and people in my life above anything materialistic. I try to do good. Thank you for reiterating my belief in myself and for following the right path. It is a pleasure always to read your deep thoughts. You are a very beautiful person, Colleen!

Zuzana said...

Dear Colleen, at all times I understand and love your writing. I think I am very much like you, outgoing and yet an introvert that tends analyze and contemplate, at all times. My mind spins stories and compiles prose almost every minute of a day. I see things to write about and ponder pretty much constantly.
Yes, you are good. I believe that people are basically good. We are all good and bad, no doubt about that, and even if we do bad things, we do it for the purpose of good. No doubt evil exist and is dominating some individuals, but overall, I believe we all try to live by the ideals we hold in such a regard.
So be kind to yourself.:) You have set up some pretty high standards on how to live - I am satisfied if I can look upon each and every day and know that I lived with joy and happiness, using its potential to the full. You have already lived a very rich life, giving so much love to children in need and moved half way around the world. How many can claim that.
So do not give up on your dreams, but do also enjoy what you have got.;)You are not just a good soul, but a beautiful one as well.;)
Have a great weekend dear friend and thank you for visiting me and leaving the greatest comments.;)

melissa said...

Creative tension :) There's always this sense of striving to be perfect and yet only God can ever purify our intentions and desires and most often, we'd just have to let God be.

Wonderful reflections... am often tempted to think of my unworthiness... but God always put that 'good' right before our eyes. I think the road is always towards humility...

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Colleen,

It is true, we all have been born with a unique identity, and destiny. I can't be you, you can't be me. We have our own set of intrinsic, God given beauty and original giftings.

And therein lies the problem, because we all have been stolen from, and ripped off... by the enemy. the thief, the destroyer. He puts discontent in our hearts, plants lies in our minds, and distorts our way of looking at ourselves.

Fortunately God is in the business of restoring, and recreating, and renewing that which has been lost or stolen.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in the book of Joel, where God says: "I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten."


Beautiful post, Colleen...


Karla @ {The Classy Woman} said...

This was lovely, Colleen. I think in a lot of ways I feel as though you do and I also analyze everything to death. lol. Your thoughts describe what many of us feel, I like your ability to be transparent so we can all relate.

I loved it when you said, "I don't want to do well by the standards set out for me by society and the world. I want to do well by my own standards." I can really relate to this, I want to do this and also do well by God's standards not the world's idea.

You write beautifully. :)

Colleen said...

Rachna, thank you very much! I can say "likewise" to you and mean it completely my friend.

Zuzana, your comment touched me so much. I appreciate your reminder to me and value your words. Thanks again!

Melissa, you are so right, God will correct and heal our feelings of unworthiness if we allow Him to.

Lidia, thank you for sharing that here. I never thought about it quite that way before and appreciate the insight! God bless!

Karla thank you very much for the kind and supportive words! I also want to do well by God's standards, even more so than my own, or better yet, I would hopes those standards align.:) Thank you for your comment and have a lovely day!

Peggy said...

A very thoughtful post! I relate because I also introspect everything to death. You are special. I love to read your posts and can't wait to see new paintings soon on Facebook.

Susan Deborah said...

Colleen, I'm here after a very long time and I have arrived at a very soulful and probing post. I have had similar thoughts as you many times and finally I resolve that there is no copy of me. Imperfect but definitely original and that is what keeps us going.

I do feel as a failure one day but the next day brightens me up. One has to motivate oneself and live life with the utmost pleasure.

Life goes on . . .

I wish you love, joy and harmony today.

Joy always,

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to be entirely honest Colleen; when we are we are called blunt and nobody really likes that tag.

Being honest to yourself, your own principles, your own beliefs - that is what we should all strive towards; but none of us are perfect and our own principles and beliefs do have to be flexible, or we just live with eternal disappointment.

Serene McEntyre said...

Colleen, this is beautiful! And like you, I constantly analyze myself. It can be exhausting!! I also agree that that which we avoid becomes unavoidable.

I had never heard that latin proverb, but I must say, I think now that it rates among my top 5 favorites!! Hugs to you my dear friend! ~Serene

Felisol - Elise Ljung said...

Dear Colleen,
You are rather harsh, when analyzing yourself. I so wish you could see yourself in a milder, more forgiving light, because you are already forgiven, a beloved child of God.
It's alright to have goals, but you have to live in present with the people you love and who love you. Day by day, step by step.
I do not talk as from above, but as a fellow pilgrim who have been and still am struggling with much of the same issues.
Oh, the devil loves when he can manipulate us into feeling we are unworthy.
That's not God's opinion.He sent his only son do die for our trespasses so that we might be saved. Grace upon grace.
Phil 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
From felisol

beth said...

this was beautiful....thank you. i needed to read something like this in the worst way.

Colleen said...

I am so glad it spoke to you then Beth. Thank you for saying so.