Is it possible to escape mediocrity and recapture your zest for life?
This is the question that we all ask at times.
I married my first husband just 2 weeks after graduating from High School.
I was just a kid.
Way to young and inexperienced to handle the life that I had just unknowingly chosen for myself.
That one single decision, to marry my husband, would send me on a journey through domestic abuse and violence that would wound my soul in ways I could never have imagined as I stood at the altar and took my vows to love him for the rest of my life.
I still bear the scars of that decision on my soul.
They will always remain there, as a beautiful reminder that I deserve better than that.
My journey to heal those wounds has been a long one.
But as I look back on those days of darkness, and remember the loneliness and desperation that I lived with every waking moment back then, I am so grateful for the life that I now live.
I possess a wisdom, that was hard-earned.
I am confident in ways that only a survivor can be.
I am filled with a faith that cannot be shaken.
I appreciate the people and experiences in my life with such a deep and profound appreciation that is only possible for someone who suffered without love for so long.
So today, I am going to talk about how I found my way out of MEDIOCRITY and emerged into a life filled with passion and purpose.
To begin I need to ask you a question…
How often do you find yourself settling?
The dictionary defines settling as,
“to accept someone or something that is not exactly what you wanted because you don’t think you can have what you want.”
Once you adopt that mindset… you have accepted a life of mediocrity.
Surprisingly, many of us settle for mediocrity in various aspects of our lives.
We deal with jobs we hate.
Friends that let us down.
We may even let our significant other get away with some things we probably shouldn’t.
We often get so wrapped up in trying to make someone else (or everyone else) happy that we forget about ourselves.
Twenty four years ago, I believed that always putting others above myself made me a humble and gracious person…
But all it really made me was a doormat!
Being humble does NOT mean thinking less of yourself… Humility is thinking of yourself LESS.
Never get so wrapped up in someone elses feelings that you sacrifice your own.
That is not love, that is co-dependancy.
Realize that Your Choices Define You
The fact of the matter is, you can’t always try to please everyone that comes and goes in your life.
No matter how hard you try, there will come a point when you realize that you matter just as much — if not more – and it’s time for you to step back and think about yourself for a change.
I have often said that life is about choices and the choices we make ultimately define us.
We may not always be able to choose our circumstance in life, but we can determine the quality.
When we do that, we can choose not to settle for mediocrity.
How many of us have settled for something that just didn’t feel quite right?
Or for a job that didn’t allow any potential for growth and development?
How many times have we settled for a relationship that brings more pain than joy?
Or for friends that are taking more than they are giving?
We all have been in these kinds of situations at one point in our lives.
Perhaps we thought it was our only alternative.
Believe me, there are always options.
I have been a single mother raising four children completely on my own for seven years now. Their father does not pay child support, (Yes I have taken him to court, and all he received was a slap on the hand)
He has not seen his children for five years. He chooses to live on the street rather than get a job where he will be forced to help me provide for our children.
So, I have two options here…
This situation is difficult to say the least.
It is financially difficult for me to raise four children by myself.
It is emotionally difficult.
My children suffer abandonment issues, anger, and sadness due to their fathers choices.
Nobody would blame me at all if I was angry and bitter.
If I spent my life in depression.
That would be completely understandable.
But I do have another choice.
I can choose compassion, forgiveness, and faith.
Instead of encouraging my children to hate their father, I teach them to forgive him.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I choose to praise god for all the blessing he provides for us. Me and the kids not only have the things we need, but God also has blessed us with a few of the things we want as well.
I will not pretend that this is an easy thing to do.
I do get angry, really angry at times.
I do get depressed, and cry till there are no tears left.
I feel scared, A lot.
But I don’t allow myself to stay in those lower emotions for long. Life is too short to waste it on regret.
Today, twenty-four years after my first wedding…I can honestly say, it is finished!
I am renewed.
I have the love of a man who is the very definition of Integrity, kindness, compassion, and responsibility.
He loves me, I love him, and we both love my children.
My life has come full circle.
I am ready to have experiences that I have never had before.
I am ready to jump in with both feet, and allow love into my life again.
Jeff has a very stable personality.
I asked him once how it is possible that he can be so stable and not have any regrets that weigh him down.
He told me, that he has things in his past that hurt him too, but that he has learned to live his life with this one motto…
Never do anything that you KNOW you are going to regret.
When he said that to me, I was struck with the profound wisdom of that statement.
We usually know BEFORE we make a choice that we will probably regret it, but we ignore our inner wisdom, and do it anyway.
We pile on one misery after another because we refuse to listen to that voice.
Jeff has learned to listen.
He knows that the momentary pain of walking away from something might hurt for a bit,
but… not nearly as much as the pain of regret and guilt will hurt him later.
So many of us has bought into the lie, that Mediocrity is the fate of humanity.
That a life filled with passion and purpose are impossible.
But I want to remind you that with God NOTHING is impossible. ( Matthew 19:26)
And in (Acts 14:17) Paul tells us, “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Jesus stepped down from his throne, wrapped himself in human flesh, and walked amongst us. He suffered hunger, thirst, lonliness, heartache, and betrayal.
But the one thing he never settled for was Mediocrity.
He lived every second filled with purpose and passion.
He gave us the example. We have the “How To Manual”.
It is my hope and prayer that, like me, you too will find your way free of the past hurts and regrets that are keeping you chained to the ball of Mediocrity.
That you will go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to lift this burden from you.
His is waiting for you to lift up your voice to him in prayer and ask for his help and renewal in your life.
I give you my solemn promise that a beautiful life is possible, even when you are right in the middle of Mediocrity.
You don’t have to settle for that!
Being mediocre and settling may seem like a safe place at first, where you think things can’t get any worse, but that also means things cannot get any better, either!