The Simply Convicted Life

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Last week I shared about embracing the en route life- considering life as a process with more rest stops and places to discover and explore as opposed to just going through the motions to reach a destination. When you are at those rest stops- birthdays, new loves, relocating, learning to ski, your first trip to Paris, another anniversary of being ovarian cancer free, it is my hope that you discover something about who you are. I sure have. I have discovered the power of conviction.

At first I wasn’t sure what was going on. I was rapidly and increasingly becoming comfortable with not apologizing for what I was setting as priorities in my life. The scales of duty, obligation, and people pleasing were shedding and I was not holding my breath for those skins to grow back.  The more people freely expressed their opinions on m life the more freely I expressed my own on my life. In fact I noticed I was shifting from even inquiring about others thoughts and just being at peace with my own. That’s not to say I don’t value feedback from others. I do. However sometimes I can value it and totally disregard my own. No bueno.

Photo courtesy of Reuters/co

Conviction can be defined as a firmly held belief or opinion- emphasis on firmly. Conviction is what I am finding is moving me forward in a direction I have said I wanted to go but was unsure of actually going. It is what has helped me define and redefine what type person I truly desire to become. For example, as one who has recently put both feet down ad drawn a line in the concrete when it comes to how I value myself, when I learned of the jarring negative reaction of some of the powers that be regarding what I still deem a fair raise and title change, I decided that I was no longer wiling to make investments the company was not willing to pay for. I am too valuable to not be treated accordingly. Furthermore it made me revamp my resume and cover letter to reflect my worth so that a company wouldn’t even consider lowballing me. Furthermore, firmly believing in doing things with excellence, the company won’t get poor quality of work, but there will be a change in the quantity. Something has to give, and I firmly believe that it won’t be my waistline, smooth skin, hair length, hobbies, or my sanity.

Because I also firmly believe that women nationally and internationally are still shafted far more than modern society should tolerate I spend a good amount of my resources addressing this. Whether it is young women to whom I mentor, women owned business which have my patronage, using this blog and other forums to increase awareness to the continued discrimination women face, participating in fundraising and consciousness raising events, being the voice of women when I am in meetings where it seems the women’s voices are being ignored, etc.  The rights of women and girls matters deeply to me. The rights of people matter deeply to me and deepens my commitment to social justice and women centered work.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

I also firmly believe that as an imperfect person but a Christian nonetheless I will completely and utterly fail again and again at loving people the way I understand Jesus’ love in the Bible. However I will not stop trying to love that way. I am convinced the body of Christ in America struggles greatly with this and we (yes because as a Christian I am still a part of the body of Christ) are super awesome at a form of religion that often imitates this egotistically, selfishly, and ignorantly. However I don’t take these beliefs as right and reason to condemn the church (or myself) or as an excuse to not attend and live in community within the church. I do however take these beliefs as all the more reason to seek understanding of the word of God and to be as practical as Jesus was. The church in America can also be super awesome at making Jesus real deep and He was real practical. He said what He meant and if people still didn’t understand He gave tem a story to illustrate.  People were hungry- he fed them. People were sick- he healed them. The woman was condemned as an adulterer, in an oh so cool way he brought to light everyone’s dirt and then squashed the whole attempted gang murder. He told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. See, He was simple and practical and that is how I really believe the whole Christian walk was supposed to be and so it’s how I attempt to live.

Finally, and you already know this if you have been reading the blog or checked out the about page- I have strong convictions about the power to choose. I firmly believe some choices get made for us or taken from us, but there are numerous choices we get to make in life, from the color nail polish we wear to whether or not we consider ourselves victims or survivors of crimes. I firmly believe that we do not follow the whim and fancy of a life that renders us powerless, but that instead, if we choose, we can live ridiculously meaningful and powerful lives.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

I have a few other convictions that keep me grounded as I journey through life. They help me to do what I truly believe is best for the life I have been graciously given. And, as I shared last week, just like an en route life has helped me to be more gracious, my convictions have as well. In part because they are mine. They are beliefs I hold to and can’t be stripped from me nor can I thrust them upon someone. Well I suppose I could try, but that would be against my conviction about the power of choice. They also help me to be more gracious because they remind me of who I am, to respect who I am, and in so doing to take care of who I am. As it pertains to being gracious with others, my convictions allow me to see others as valuable beings, worthy of being respected and valued, and to honor who they are.  And yes, I say this because I’ve been through some things, not because I live in a world with rainbows, unicorns, butterflies, and delicious calorie free fat free eat all you want cupcakes that fall from the sky every Tuesday morning at 10am.

Whatever you do this week, do it with conviction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s