Monthly Archives: January 2016
“I’m not a superhero, Mom. I’m Jonas.
These words uttered by my three-and-a-half year old caused me to pause.
On the drive home, he was his typical bundle of joy–always smiling, laughing and basking in the joys of life.
I jokingly said to him, “Jonas, you are my superhero, my superson!”
“But, Mom, he said, I haven’t saved the world!”
This caused a chuckle and then he said to me in more serious tone.
“I’m not a superhero, Mom. I’m Jonas.”
I was reminded of all the times he says something similar.
“I’m not a comedian. I’m Jonas.”
“I’m not a goof. I’m Jonas.”
Etc. He says it a lot. “I’m Jonas.”
Though he’s three and doesn’t obviously really get it. This did make me take note that he is very comfortable in his skin. He doesn’t want to be anyone but himself. Not even a superhero.
This made me think of the topic of worth and confidence. These are very profound and difficult aspects to achieve.
At the age of three, Jonas seems to have a sense of worth (that he doesn’t get from me). He doesn’t have to be anything other than himself. He doesn’t have to be “more.” He doesn’t have to perform great feats or impress anyone. He just wants to be him.
A byproduct of going through LifePlan was my contemplating the difference between confidence and worth.
Let’s take worth first. One of the most powerful statements I’ve heard someone say was this: “You are enough. Exactly as you are, you are enough. In fact, you’re fantastic because you are exactly as God intended.”
You see, worth is not variable. Or dependent. A person’s worth is constant and of great value their entire life.
It is not dependent on goals or achievement. So, this brings up the conversation of all those goals we’ve set for 2016. When we don’t achieve these goals we set for ourselves, there is a personal affect. The key is that it can affect your confidence, not your worth. Your confidence is your belief in yourself. When you fail to lose those 10 pounds, fail to get that next big job or fail to spend more time with your family, it’s a reality that we feel bad.
Honestly, I think that’s okay. It means we care about that end result we failed to achieve.
However, your worth has not gone down. Remember, your worth, whether it be from a god or another source, is constant. You are enough, just as you are.
Does that mean we quit striving? Quit goal setting? Quit working to improve?
Of course not. We always want to be working towards our best self. Our best self brings value to others, which is one of the most beautiful things about life.
However, you don’t have to be a superhero.
Take that hidden gem in my son’s comments. It’s truly powerful.
Embracing courage seems so simple in the life of a child.
It’s a little second grader asking a new friend to play with her at recess, risking the chance she’ll say no.
It’s jumping off that first little diving board into the arms of a swimming instructor.
It’s putting their arms out to catch that ball just thrown to them.
I am convinced that courage is the key element in a life well-lived. I’m also convinced that admitting that we’re lacking courage is a profoundly difficult thing for adults to do. Because it’s so easy to just continue our day-to-day lives without any examination of our dreams and the courage it takes to pursue it.
Mid-life, I think, is an interesting time to take on the concept of courage. Typically, this season of life brings about reflection about what has been accomplished and a contemplation of how to make the most impact on others for the remainder of our life. To be willing to “jump off that diving board” into the unknown takes a lot of courage, because honestly, there’s a lot at stake. But, perhaps, there’s even more at stake, if you don’t embrace the courage and jump.
For me, it’s a matter of being being at a point where I’ve found success, but knowing that there’s something more that utilizes my talents in a way that benefits others even more.
I am hearing a whisper about what that is.
I’ve tried to deny it.
I’ve tried to ignore it.
And, I’ve tried to say it wasn’t true.
But, the whisper remains.
Why? Because it takes courage to respond to a whisper that alters the direction of your life. It’s not what was in “the plan.” It’s not how I defined success before. But, it is the truth.
So, my first step in applying courage to this whisper is writing it down. Because then, it becomes real. For me, writing it down, makes it actionable.
Could I easily go on and continue to find success in my current path? Of course I could. That’s just who I am. Progress will always be a part of my life.
But, I’m not going for progress any more. I’m going for impact. I’m searching for passion. I’m looking to be the best me I can be, even if it’s a me I didn’t plan for.
If you hear a whisper, I encourage you to listen. Write it down. Let it blossom. Because that is a life well lived.