Welcome back on another journey towards a Steady Mind.
How would you feel if I told you that you, my friend are "under the influence?” Whether we accept it or not, the way we act, think, and communicate is influenced by someone or something. Friends, family, love, hurt, greed, anxiety, emotions, traumas, triggers, all things that have the ability to take the wheel when our "level-headed-ness" seems to take the passenger side.
As we are in this moment of stepping out of our "boxes," it is imperative that we take the time to thoroughly analyze our intentions. Why are we so adamant about making a change? Are we doing this for ourselves or are we trying to prove a point to others? Is this what we really want or is it what others what for us? Having an idea of what we're running to is okay, but what are we running from?
Living with pure intentions is the only way to find peace in this world. No hold-ups, no baggage, just pure focus. In analyzing our actions we'd realize that many of us are running after things that benefit our egos more than it benefits our goals and assignments.
Being led by a Steady Mind is necessary to maintain anything you have achieved. As easy as it is to lose our focus, it is even easier to lose everything we've built. In most instances, our influencers can be so deep-rooted that they're unnoticeable.
"The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it."
- Thomas Monson
Let's shine some light, shall we...
Led By the Past
Traumas and Triggers are two of the greatest things that I believe aren’t talked about enough in society. So many of our decisions, potentials, thought patterns, emotional states, and relational choices are held captive by what we have been through. There is never a better time to deal with the past than right here in the present.
With proper expression and guidance, we'd learn that we are not meant to be led by the traumas of our past and triggers that come along with them. Rather we are meant to face them, learn from them, and use them as reminders of what and who we don’t want to be.
Generational curses aren’t broken by ”fighting back,” they’re broken by standing still and seeing His salvation. Triggers and Traumas teach us who people are, but the real grace is that it exposes us to who we don’t want to become.
You can never maximize your present or future potential being led by your past.
Led By the Present
It can be so easy to base our lives on what we see before us. It can be even easier to get so discouraged by what’s happening now that we stop preparing for what’s happening next.
Your present state does not have power over your final place. There’s absolutely nothing going on in your life right now that has the power to stop you from becoming who God has called you to be. You don't even possess the qualities to stop what God has planned for you - that's called grace.
A long time ago I saw a social media post that stuck with me. It said, "When God called you, He already factored in your stupidity." Talk about grace, right?
However, though some things can’t be stopped, they can be hindered. Being led by present emotions, downfalls, and mental war zones can hinder your progress in assignments and purpose. Though all these things are capable of producing lessons and wisdom that guide us throughout life, we must make sure that those lessons are not perceived through the lens of bitterness, arrogance, hurt, and/or pride.
I am a big advocate for taking life one day at a time. However, we must always keep in mind the end goal. Life isn’t the easiest to travel through - I get it and I am experiencing it just like you. There are days when I'm up and motivated and days when I'm down and discouraged, and the only explanation that I can give is that LIFE HAPPENS. But, Paul reminds us that, “all things work together for the good of them that love that Lord and are called according to His purpose.”
When led by the present, you constantly focus on what you see instead of what God said. Whether Christian or not, there comes a point for all of us where life will test our beliefs.
Will you stick to the principles you have learned and grown from or will present circumstances sway you? May we never be led by our present circumstances, but may we navigate life with the very principles and standards we stand upon.
Led By the Future
I know what you’re thinking, “Sherard, shouldn’t we be led by our futures? Isn’t that what being ‘focused’ is all about?” On the contrary. Being focused is not about being “led” by the future, but it is about preparing yourself for what you are expecting and who you are expecting to become.
I’ve heard people say it often, having proper money management skills is better than having money. I feel that this token of wisdom should be taken throughout all aspects of life. Knowing how to manage what is given is more important than receiving it.
Ambition can either be a wonderful help or a major hindrance to your life. We all have to make tough decisions for the betterment of our future, but those decisions shouldn’t oppose the values that we uphold.
Sometimes, drastic times do call for drastic measures, but measures that are outside of your integrity should never be taken. One who is constantly led by the future is more susceptible to making poor decisions in hopes of turning future desires into present realities.
Moral of the Story
Whether you believe it or not, for the rest of your life, you will always be influenced by something or someone. Our greatest decision in life is to decide who and what we are going to be led by. Rightly put, I believe in God. And I believe that by allowing Him to lead we give ourselves the opportunity to be led into His perfect will for our lives.
Will this make us perfect people? Absolutely not, but it makes us imperfect people fully submitted to His perfect plan. Now, full submission is a journey, and the only way to it is by following the blueprint of Christ (The character that He possessed and the instructions that He left behind).
The joy is that there is a grace to follow. Though you might fall, there is grace to get up again. Though you might have a setback, there is grace to start over. Though you might get frustrated there is grace to move past that. There is grace for baby steps, there is grace for full strides, there is grace for soaring.
God has the grace necessary for you to follow Him at the pace He's called you to run this race at.
As you step Out Of the Box, you've got to think about where you are going and what/who's leading you there. I'd leave you with the words of Paul:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Here's to another journey towards a Steady Mind!