New Year, New Me.
*Cue the internal groans*
That phrase is so popular around this time of year, almost as popular as the last treadmill at any gym right about now. I know it’s not January 1st but I wanted to talk about a topic that has been on my heart and mind lately, as well as tell you about some AWESOME advice I received the other day. However, before I start, let me give you some quick background details.
Dance. A beautiful expression of emotion, poetry, love and physicality. A means of escaping this world and entering into one of ease, passion, and elegant grace. While I haven’t been dancing all of my life, I’ve wished I could for longer than I can remember. I fell in love with the way that Judy Garland looked as she was effortlessly whisked across the floor in Fred Astaire’s arms in Easter Parade, or how her troubled frown disappeared as she quickly tapped her way across the barn floor with Gene Kelly in Summer Stock. Oh how I’ve always wished that I was born during that time, a time of simpler ways and classier entertainment. I love how I can pretend I am Judy when I dance, whether it be on the dance floor of a studio or simply across my living room carpet.
It’s been awhile and can I just say that I’ve missed you- you being the vast world of Internet and possible readers. I apologize for my neglect but it’s been a crazy couple of months, which I will tell you about later, but first off I’d like to start over with you. I know that I am supposed to write for me and not care about an audience, but the goal of this blog is to connect people around the world in the mutual striving of living fearlessly authentic. So it would be nice to have people to connect with haha.
So I’ve done a few changes around the blog, but I just want to let you know that whether you accidentally stumbled onto this post, saw it on my social media and swiped due to curiosity, or are looking to be notified every time that I post (which you can do at the bottom right of the home page), I’m glad you are here.
If you want to learn more about the purpose, please see the “Jess” page for more info and an open invitation to join my community.
More later, adiós
I had spent the last several months feeling like I wasn’t enough- not strong enough, not brave enough, not smart enough, and not good enough- that I was surprised when I flipped to the opposite end of the spectrum. I went from not enough to too much in a matter of days.
We often think busy lives reflect purpose filled lives, which is not always the case, and so we try to fulfill our lives with activities just so that we don’t have to sit still and face our thoughts. The constant on-the-go cycle wears us out, but being tired sometimes is easier than facing the truth of ourselves. We’re aware of the running we do to avoid such thoughts, yet our denial spurs us to keep going, move faster, and to never stop. Keep on Reading!
When I first created this blog, I did it because I wanted my writing to move people. To connect with people on an emotional level. I wanted to write differently than I did on my last blog that I had for 5 years. I wanted my posts to be more than just me venting about work, or theorizing about guys, or even just sharing my travels. I wanted to inspire young women, or anybody really, to dare to live a fearlessly authentic life.
What I’ve discovered, however, is that after just 3 posts I have already sunk into the same pattern that I did with my previous writing, and in turn have defeated my entire purpose for starting this blog. Let me explain. Keep on reading!
I feel everything. A bundle of nerves sensitive to the touch, the exposed vulnearablity feeling raw in the open air. I don’t even know what to call the emotions I feel aside from frustration and desire and false hopes and shame. I just know that I feel too much yet not enough but what I feel is wrong and I would be strong and move on, but I can’t. Keep on reading!
I’m a runner. Not in the five mile/endurance/cardio thing, gosh no. I run from things. I run when I get scared, when I think I’m going to fail, or even in the times where I need to step up and be an adult. I run.
I wasn’t always like that, or so I like to think so. People say that living with someone and/or being in a relationship makes you really get to know yourself and grow as a person. For me it was the opposite. Keep on reading!
Authenticity- to be your “true self.” Our culture loves to put emphasis on self. “Do things that make YOU happy. Never compromise anything for YOUR dreams.” Society tell us to “be yourself.” Yet society doesn’t know what makes each person him or herself. Our identity, our entire being, is created and sustained by God. Scripture says we are made in His image, so authenticity can really only ever be met in those moments when our flesh reflects Jesus’ love, wisdom, and goodness. We are never our “true selves” until Jesus’ character is reproduced in us- meaning we NEED the Holy Spirit to ever be authentic. Ironic how the only way to find yourself is to completely lose it, and be filled with our beautiful Maker.
I think instead of asking ourselves, “How can I be more authentic,” we can ask ourselves, “Who is God calling me to be? Who is God calling me to serve? How can my gifts be used for HIs glory?” These questions will better lead us to live the authentic lifestyle. Authenticity is valued because it is real, honest, and true. But the fact is that we humans can never achieve this on our own. Romans 3 says, “None is righteous,” “no one understands,” “no one seeks God,” and “no one does good.” See, our flesh works against authenticity. We only seek to benefit ourselves when we are apart from God- even the “good” things we do are wasted if not done for the kingdom. Our love, our works, our service, our friendship…all is only made righteous by our faith. We are stamped with authenticity when we stop doing things for “OURSELVES” and start pursuing, mirroring, and loving like Jesus.
Authenticity breeds accountability. When you confess and open up to the godly people in your life, and even to Jesus, you’ve now invited people to come fight with you. People who are going to stand by your side and march with you all the way from the battlefield to the victory party afterwards. Encouragement, vulnerability, tough love, and just plain honest truth enters your life when you have the courage to be authentic.