I wonder if there’s a moment in your life that you’ve allowed to define you. Maybe a moment of weakness when an unwise choice overcame your willpower and discernment to do what you knew you should do, but didn’t.
I wonder if, when others heard about your moment, they began to define you too. Called you names. Covered you with shame. Drenched you in guilt. Or maybe the voices in your own head were enough to hold you prisoner to this definition.
A few years ago I was wounded by people that I trusted and even admired. I thought that I had overcome that wound by choosing to let it make me stronger, and for the most part, I did. But in the midst of rising up and moving forward, there were a handful of characteristics that dug their heels into my heart and buried themselves deep deep down. The moment defined me and the feelings kept me trapped.
The other day I discovered them. And I didn’t like what I saw.
I found a critical spirit. I found a loss of giving encouragement to others. I found that I had cocooned myself in a “safe” bubble where no one could hurt me again – mainly women in business and leadership. I used to love hearing other women’s stories who were in the midst of succeeding; I used to love networking with women…but recently I discovered that for a few years I’ve been hiding in a state of self preservation for fear of being hurt again.
My first thought when I discovered that I had let myself be defined by that moment was, “where did my encouragement go?!” And then came the shame. Followed by condemnation. The critical spirit turned itself on me and cruel words were hurled through the hallways of my mind. Until I realized something. This revelation was never supposed to bring me shame and condemnation. It was actually made to set me free!
You see, we often discover ugly things hidden within our own hearts and our first instinct is to bury it deeper. Who are we to think that we should admit that we see them? Or worse – what if OTHER PEOPLE accidentally see that ugliness inside us?! *gasp*
But the truth is we all have ugliness in our hearts. We all have moments that have defined us in a negative way instead of in an empowering way. We have a responsibility to do something about it when we discover this within ourselves. No – not to run and hide, but rather rise up. Learn the lesson hidden within that defining moment. Face it head on and choose to make a change.
Becoming insightful doesn’t just happen because we stumble upon it. It happens by being intentional. It happens by being brave. I encourage you today to look at the moments that have defined you and find the lesson within them. Allow it to strengthen you! Share your insight with a trusted friend and even ask them to hold you accountable as you rise up out of those ashes. If you need help that those around you can’t give, allow us to help you!
You don’t have to be defined by that moment any longer. You can rebuild. You can grow stronger. You can overcome.
I believe in you, and you’re not alone.