In my effort to reclaim and redefine what this next season of life holds for me, I’ve been trying to move past just a general reflection of the things that I have been wrestling with for the last 3 years. I want to get into it with myself. Excavate the cavern that is my mind and soul and spirit.
My therapist and I discovered (which, tangent, is going to be something that I say a lot from now on. It’s just where I am at and it’s wonderful and important and probably going to get annoying and there we go.) that I am incredibly self-aware, but that I often stay at the point of awareness and rarely delve into the work of actual life-change.
This makes perfect sense. I am the queen of epiphanies. I have realizations about my life and my feelings and am typically pretty great at articulating them. I can sit across from someone and verbally process the hell out of something, but sadly somehow I’ve tricked myself into thinking that’s enough. I've come to believe the epiphany is the goal, the realization is the end game.
What a shallow pool to swim in.
I’ve lived a life full of profound discovery, but very little transformation. There’s lots of things I know but lots less things I do in light of what is known.
I want to blame it on one of my strengths. I’m a learner – so I like to research things to an extreme. This makes so much sense...
This is why I love collecting books. I want the option of as much content on whatever things interest me as I can acquire. This is why I love podcasts. I want to constantly be ingesting content that makes me think and makes the wheels in my brain spin and spin. I want to fill my brain with as much knowledge as possible because that feels right and good and satisfying.
This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but I think my tendency is to stop there. Stop after the intake. I learn everything I can about the thing I am learning about, but I don’t let it change anything about my life. I want to be an expert but not a practitioner.
One particularly painful example to examine is my health. Nutrition and exercise and wellness and health and natural medicine are all things I have lots of knowledge about – but you can take one look at me and realize that I don’t put much of that knowledge into practice. I don’t say this to gain pity or from a place of self-loathing either. It’s simply a fact. I know what I should do to be healthy and I don’t do it. Plain and simple.
Another example, and this is the one I need to process through the most, is my relationship with God. I think one of the things I am learning about the past season of life is that I had all these big realizations about who I was as a follower of Christ and what that meant for my life – but I stopped there. I stopped with the “aha” moment but never went a step further. And...I had a lot of “aha” moments because I was putting myself in situations where they came naturally (in community, church services, reading books, etc.) so I think I tricked myself into believing I was growing. Now I know this is no way to grow. Or, if anything, this form of thinking provides a false sense of growth. “Look at everything I am learning! Look at all the knowledge I have! Look at how much of an expert I am!”
The mere acquisition of knowledge is an immature metric.
I’ve been feeling lethargic in lots of ways recently. I know it’s because I am not active – both physically and mentally. So instead of stopping with the self-awareness “I am feeling lethargic” I need to treat that awareness as the fuel to start a fire.
Practically, I need to get physical again. All the eye-rolls for that one. But I also need to start looking back at all the earth-shattering revelations I had in the past few years and find the action that connects with them. I know there’s a lot, so it’s quite the task, but I think for the first time, I’m ready for it. Ready for action.