Walking in Community – Baby Steps
About ten years ago I stepped back from an active role within several community organizations. I was burnt out. I had been volunteering for all the wrong reasons – recognition, glory, acknowledgement, acceptance etc. My health was suffering and I needed to focus on me and family stuff. Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that I needed to focus on family stuff and me. At that point in my life I was struggling with any sense of self. I was totally overwhelmed with everything that was happening in my life and I was tired. Very tired. So I stepped out of all but one voluntary role (and that was a minor role anyway) and began focusing on what was important to me – learning to put me first. A difficult road indeed!
About five years later I met AJ Miller, a man who claims to be Jesus of Nazareth, reincarnated to re-teach the great Truths that he brought to the world in the first century. His teachings have totally changed my life – for the better. Gradually, as I began to tentatively put his teachings in to practice, I began to see subtle changes within myself. I began to love myself a little more. I began to trust myself a little more. I began to trust God a LOT more.
With each error, or part thereof, that has been released from my soul a greater confidence has been creeping in. Gradually more joy is becoming a part of my life. I have slowly been unlocking the hidden parts of myself which had been shut down as a child because these parts of me were too confronting for the adults in my world. Now, I have a growing certainty about why I am here and what my true passions are. Little by little my real self is being revealed and I am ever so grateful to God for His guidance and unfailing support.
Over the past few months I have been studying and plan to launch a new business by the middle of this year. I feel really good about this. I am excited about this. I can't wait to get going! But the past couple of weeks this has all been put on hold for a brief period as I begin to step back into community. A few weeks ago I was approached by a friend to join a Community organization which was (still is) in turmoil. Then I was asked to run for the position of vice-president of this organization and another friend convinced me to come on board.
My initial reaction was – "I'm not ready for this!" "I don't think I will be strong enough to stand firm for Love and Truth". "I don't know enough yet!"
In short – FEAR!
I prayed a lot about this and felt into it as best I could. I recognized fear and decided to step into it and trust God. I'm really glad that I did!
I have learnt so much about myself in the past couple of weeks as a result of this and God has shown me more of my real self in the process. I found myself remaining calm in difficult situations. I found myself having the courage to call other members on their unloving behaviour – especially on projections of anger. And I found these people responding positively to this. To say that I was surprised was an understatement. Suddenly I am noticing that people, many of whom I hardly know or have met for the first time, are wanting to hear what I have to say and respecting my comments and suggestions. Some are actively seeking out my opinions and council. I felt valued even in a difficult situation. This is new to me.
As I reflected and prayed at the end of each day I could see how things could have been done differently, in a more loving or truthful way. I have been triggered big time in lots of different ways. It has been so much easier to step into challenging or difficult situations with God walking firmly by my side, holding my hand. Fear did not dominate. Love did. And I am coming to realize that I love living this way – with God by my side and fear beneath my feet!
My passion for community has been reignited and I am ready to fight the good fight, firmly grounded in truth and love. I know I will still make mistakes along the way. I will no doubt miss opportunities to speak truth or to act in an unconditionally loving way (towards others and myself). But I am realizing that that really doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that I trust God and step into passion without letting fear dictate my actions (or not!).
This is a good place to be. A really good place to be.