definition: that one thing which takes precedence over all else; what we give foremost, and special, attention to.
We’ve lost the idea of having a priority in life. Even the plural— priorities—refers to two to four things, not the dozen (or hundred) we have on our “this is what I must do” lists. If you named your priority in life, what would it be? If you expanded that list to four priorities, what would you include?
Many people have never thought, “how do I want to spend my life?” If you went to a college or vocational school, you “chose” a course of study that would lead you to your life’s “career”. When there’s a family business, or if most of the people you’re related to have always been in the same line of work, then there are often “expectations” of how you’ll earn your living. And, if you became a full-time parent or homemaker, that becomes your path.
What if you’ve spent your entire, adult life, to this point,
trying to fit into the role you chose as a teenager
or the one your parents, or partner chose for you,
and it just isn’t the right one?
What if it’s not just a career choice question?
What if it’s a “how you live you entire life” question?
Last week I talked about the “things”—the possessions—of life. Objects that you love or use, add to your life. Unfortunately, for most of us who are blessed to live in the “land of plenty”, there are many more things that take away from our lives. The same is true of the non-physical stuff of life.
So, back to priorities. At some point, we realize it’s “decision making time”—that juncture where we recognize that we must make choices. That’s not always easy. Unless we’re vacationing in some posh location, it’s not likely that we’re going to be presented with a daily menu, announcing “choose three ways you want to spend this day; no worries if you don’t choose well, you get another chance tomorrow”.
At some point we have to choose.
Do I continue on in this career that is completely unfulfilling, or do I follow my passion and spend my time doing what I love?
D0 I keep mourning my lost childhood, or do I feed the needs of the, still sad, child inside me?
Do I move away
from this place I don’t love
from this relationship that doesn’t honor me
from this job that eats me up
from this group of “friends” where I feel less than
from this lifestyle that minimizes or deletes me?
Or, do I choose to keep everything exactly as it is?
You get to decide. You get to choose to live in a way that represents you. If you’ve never thought this way before, it may be hard to even decide which you is the real one (if we wear masks that disguise who we are at our core—for enough time—we become the mask)
And in saying, “you get to decide”, I am completely aware that it’s not simple. Most of us must work for a living and take care of people, and our homes, and a myriad of other obligations that yell at us for attention. We don’t have the luxury of saying, “I’m going to spend the rest of my life taking it easy, reading classic literature (with instrumentals playing in the background), dining at fine restaurants and seeing the world.”
Most of us run through our days, don’t we? Most of us say, regularly, “I can’t take on one more thing”, but then we do it anyway, because we’re afraid to say, “no”. I’m not great at saying, “I can’t” or “I won’t”, and, in spite of getting better at it, I still take on more than I sometimes (maybe often) should. What I am really good at is being a “multiple balls in the air” person, and there were times when I convinced myself that I could do it all, be it all, fix it all, love it all. I was wrong.
So, all this keeps taking me back to what we talked about last week. What could you get rid of, that’s not fundamentally tied to who you are—that would result not in loss, but gain?
If we’re not careful, all the fears—trivial or life altering—
of what we’re not doing, take over,
and the todays of our lives get put on hold
for tomorrows that offer no better guarantees.
Today becomes a mercurial thief of time,
all impulsive and prone to sudden and unpredictable shifts.
Since you can’t “be all”, “know all” and “do all”, what is it that you want to do?
Where do you want the rest of your life to go?
May this coming week be one rich with possibility, with days of God and Spirit-filled points of awareness, and moments where you see your life in its beautiful totality.
©peace full home™/intentional living
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