I sit in beautiful Hilton Head, SC as I write this post. Just a quick update on my trip. I’m 30 days into the journey and of course it both seems like forever ago, as well as just yesterday, since I pulled out of the Phoenix area heading West toward my first destination. I am blessed to have seen such vast and differing American beauty spots. Lake Tahoe, central Oregon, northern Idaho, Montana, the Black Hills of western South Dakota, Nashville, the Smokey Mountains, Charleston and Hilton Head, SC, to name a few. Unbelievable! I feel blessed and am filled with gratitude! Yet I will say, something’s still missing from this journey and I cannot quite put my finger on it. I believe I have more work to do throughout the last few weeks of this trip. I have more leaning in to do. I have greater surrendering to do. I know these things within myself at a soul level. Heading to Georgia and then to FL. Attached are a couple pics from Charleston and Hilton Head! 🙂
I didn’t make a mistake in my blog title by the way. I say “thank you very much” here and there, as most of us do. I was wandering about town yesterday reflecting on how often I don’t say, but truly mean- “please you very much.” I might not always seem like it, especially given other wounds protruding through my sometimes hardened exterior, but I typically aim to please others. I was thinking of an analogy to explain….
Imagine a massive glass jar full of little coins. Let’s say we all have a jar like this with our authentic God-designed coins filled to the brim when we’re born. Each little coin represents a piece of who we are, who God made us to be. Let’s say our respective jars are actually life-sized (maybe even bigger) and the coins are dime-sized at most. I’m imagining tens of thousands of coins in these fictitious authenticity jars. Our jars are full when we’re children, before the world starts to paint us into what everyone else wants us to be in lieu our authentic selves. Then the world happens slowly but surely, or even worse it sometimes happens quickly for those children who life deals a tough hand. Our coins start to dissipate, yet where do they go?
What if every time I aim to please someone at the expense of who I truly am I’m forced to take a coin out of my jar and deposit it into someone else’s jar? They get to keep a small piece of me as I hand them my coins and utter “please you very much.” In other words- if me pleasing someone else isn’t honoring my true self, I lose a small piece of who I am for that other person. This other person will most likely expect additional deposits of the same nature in the future, causing me to lose countless coins to many people that very well may be “close” relationships in my life. My jar might as well have holes in it. I end up with a hodgepodge coin collection, as I assume we all do. I end up thinking I’m doing the right thing with each sacrificial act, yet I’m not.
Do you ever feel like you’re constantly giving up little bits of yourself to appease others? Do you feel drained and confused because you’re so frequently living to please others that you gradually lose grip on who you actually are? Do you feel like your purpose is to be a version of yourself that appeases those around you, especially those you’re closest to, even some that you may love most? I feel like the older I get the more versions of myself have been created. How many daily interactions do we have with our ego or someone else’s is driving the experience, inevitably resulting in a sacrifice somewhere? How many situations do we take the easy way out of, even if this means not following our God-given intuition? How many people in our lives know who we truly are, or is their perception simply a hodgepodge of what we’ve created as well? Do we even know how many coins in our jar are the original versions that God created for us to fulfill His purpose for our lives? When we give, do we even recognize the real us anymore?
Back to the analogy- my hodgepodge coin collection kept becoming more convoluted. Perhaps some of us are better than others at being true to ourselves, being the real versions of us, despite what everyone else thinks or says. I simply know that the more coins given away with the sheer goal of pleasing someone else the more empty I felt, and the more I felt like I was merely playing a role. I’m hoping that over time I can gather my coins back, fill my jar once again with my own unique God-gifted coins, and be equipped to live out my destiny.
I believe we are supposed to die with an empty jar as well, don’t get me wrong. These coins are to be deposited the right way to fulfill our destiny. We don’t want to hoard our coins. We want to use them to make REAL AUTHENTIC deposits that make this world a better place! We want to use our coins the RIGHT WAY, by being our TRUE SELVES when interacting with the world around us. We want to use our coins in our spiritual interactions, love life, with family and friends, and even throughout our careers! We want to show up as OURSELVES and be comfortable owning who God made us when we impact the world! God made us how HE wants us, so let’s stop people pleasing and replace with GOD THANKING!
Now, for perhaps the best part! What happens if someone else deposits an authentic coin of love, wisdom, creativity or encouragement into our jar? We CAN AND SHOULD turn around and use that to help others to help make this world a better place! If we are depositing our coins in others, and also redepositing the GOD-BREATHED AUTHENTIC coins from others that find our jar, what TRUE AND REAL impacts we make! The problem, the fake ones where we sacrifice ourselves for someone else tend to get hoarded, they clog ours and others jars because they’re not real, true or authentic. They jam the system. Have you ever tried to put a foreign coin into a USA arcade game? Doesn’t work does it?! My idea of some good coins that can be rotated around are encouragement, love, blessings, gifts from the heart, spreading The Good News, advice, wisdom, a frick’n hug if that’s what we need at the time, as long as it’s from their heart!
I guess I’m learning and this was my little analogy, perhaps it rings a bell with you. My job is no longer to please and appease others if doing so creates a void within myself. My job is to be myself. My job is to be who God created me to be. And if the God-Designed version of me pleases others, FANTASTIC! I argue this is a big part of our purpose- being authentically ourselves while in alignment with Him and His Grand Design for our lives.
How full is your jar? How many coins in your jar are still YOU? How many coins do you hold that others have deposited to appease or please you that might be clogging up the system? We all hold others‘ coins- perhaps we can give them back by encouraging them to be themselves and let God do the rest. Let’s go get our coins back. Let’s be authentic and heartfelt givers. We’re different, that’s why we can impact one another so well! Lets appease Him, not falsely try pleasing each other. Let’s be real, authentic and carry out our True Calling! Let’s be different by BEING and by LOVING ourselves!
For more pics and to fully experience the journey follow @surrender_project on Instagram!