Here are some questions that have been going through my mind lately.
1. What is the legitimate fear preventing me from moving forward?
1.a. Am I afraid to discover how powerful I really am?
1.b. Am I afraid of being hurt?
Questions and Answers
Q: What if I put in all this hard work and it doesn't pay off?
A: One lesson I have learned through this whole experience is that I need to trust that hard work will pay off. While I have been here in DC, things haven't exactly gone the way I thought they would. The question I should really ask is 'what is the definition of pay off.' I had a good friend who told me the following story:
There was once a rich man who owned a huge piece of hilly land. He hired a worker to try and move a huge boulder from the base of a hill to the top of the hill without any use of tools other than his own strength. In the end, the land owner promised a huge and significant reward to the worker. The man was obedient and wanted to do the land owner's bidding and tried his hardest, pushing and pushing and pushing this boulder. At the end of the day, he was exhausted. When he reported to the land owner that the boulder had not moved at all, the land owner said..."That's ok, just keep doing what I told you to do and try your best to move the boulder over the hill." Days, weeks, and months passed. Every day the worker would report his progress to the land owner. And even if the boulder hadn't moved, the land owner would tell him the same thing.
One day, and with an extremely heavy heart, the worker reported his progress to the land owner. Completely frustrated and emotional, the worker told the land owner that no matter what he tried, he just couldn't get this boulder to budge, not even a little bit. Crying, he fell to the land owners feet and said, "I don't understand why you have given me this daunting task. I haven't been able to get very far, if at all! And I am tired and exhausted, and really don't see how I am going to be able to accomplish what you need me to do."
The land owner lifted the worker to his feet, and grasped him in a big embrace. "When you came to me, you were this scrawny little thing that wanted so much to grow, and look at you now...look at your muscles, look at your tan, look at your strength. The fact that you were willing to try and push and push and push, and not give up shows me what a strong person you are inside and out. You did as I requested, you tried to move this boulder on your own from the bottom of the hill to the top....and that is all you needed to do to earn your reward."
Some of you might be thinking, What a tricky land owner...but that isn't the point. The point is that sometimes, as the worker, I think my reward is based upon one thing when really my reward is based on another. I have to recognize that my hard work is making me the kind of person I need to be. It sure has felt like I have been pushing and pushing a boulder that won't budge, but in the end I am stronger.
There is also always something to be said about enjoying the journey. It is hard not to let experiences from the past affect how I see the future. I need to cut out any outrageous expectations, or I will always be disappointed. I need to take situations as "it is what it is" until it's not :) I need to roll with it and not be attached to outcomes before my feet even get wet.
Q: What if I get hurt, again?
A: There was one point in my life where I remember asking God to take away my pain, even if it was just for a little bit because I didn't feel like I could handle it. Well, he did. And I tell you, not feeling anything is so much worse than feeling hurt. I have to remember that being numb isn't necessarily the answer. If I didn't feel, I wouldn't know when I needed to grow and extend beyond my limits. It is just like not being able to feel physical pain. If you can't feel, you don't know that you are damaging yourself worse than you should. Feeling numb is not the answer.
If anything I should look at 'feeling hurt' as a blessing in disguise. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a big heart. Part of having a big heart is knowing that when I hurt, I hurt big...but when I feel joy, I feel joy big. I think as long as I know and remember this, it will help me for when I am hurt again. My other hurtful experiences HAVE proved outcomes of 100x the joy. I really do have hope that one day I will feel joy 100 times over.
You would almost think I was talking about relationships...here is the clincher, I have been talking about jobs....and this time it is going to be different. Fooled you!