five ways to get over yourself.
6 years ago / in Family Life, Ministry
Because lists are fun…
- Listen. When someone else is talking. Actually listen.
This is not a skill that comes supernaturally to me. It’s a discipline I have to practice. Like going to bed on time, or only eating 1 s’more as opposed to 5 (this is a real problem for me), or doing laundry more than twice a month. I can do it, all of those things, but I have to be intentional about it. Listening is one the best ways to get over yourself, but often very overlooked. When I am focused on what someone else is saying, my thoughts, emotions or opinions are no longer relevant. Then, once I have had a chance to hear the other person, then and only then, I can formulate a response. How good of a listener you are, will probably determine how easy or hard it is to be less self focused. Something I’ve realized I need much more discipline in.
- Open a taco seasoning packet for the 80,000th time.
Hey Guinness Book of World Records, I have a new category for you: woman who has opened the most little taco seasoning packets of all time. I would win that prize. Nothing is more humbling than the moment you grab the packet and dump it in. I wish I was out milking goats, preparing farm to table goodness, using cloth napkins, perhaps busting out a recipe, but I’m not. The truth is that happy little packet of slightly chemically enhanced goodness is a hard core staple in this house. And I’m completely cool with it. It’s not instagram worthy, but I’m feeding my family on a budget. I’m over worrying about it.
- Pray for people other than yourself.
I intentionally did this for what felt like the first time recently. Prayer focused on everyone but me. I had been telling person after person I was praying for them, commenting on Facebook posts that I was praying, at church, in my position as a pastor, as a friend and confidant. I said those words nearly daily, but it was getting to the point that I wasn’t sure if I was just offering lip service or really holding up my end of the deal. So I prayed for everyone, but me. And it was so humbling. And so eye opening. It’s amazing what happens when we truly lift others up to God.
- Be vulnerable, authentic, real – whatever you want to call it.
Do you know the definition of vulnerable? “Being susceptible to emotional or physical attack or harm”. I learned that definition not too long ago and I thought, wow, no wonder it’s not the cultural norm…who wants to open themselves up to attack or harm? But yet, it’s the only way to really get over yourself. Paul says it best in 2 Corinthians 12:10 “when I am weak, then I am strong.” I am naturally drawn to people who are authentic. Most of us are. Why? Well if you love Jesus, you see a humility in people who are not afraid of the “physical or emotional attack”, they know that when their weakness is revealed, God is free to do what He does. People who are truly not afraid to be vulnerable (within the right context of course) are not hung up on who they are or are not, they are solely focused on who God is, allowing them to be exactly who they are without all that yucky insecurity.
- Look for the good in others.
If there was one area in this made up list that I want to grow in, it’s this. Live giving, life breathing, always searching for the good in those around me. It would start at home. First, with my husband. It’s so easy, too easy, to point out the flaws, to be negative. Next, my 3 kids. Those poor souls. I know that the best way to get good behavior is to reinforce good behavior, not to highlight the bad. But ohmygoodnessgracious that is so hard when there is melted Jell-O in an unsealed (UNsealed) baggy in the pantry because “it would make a good snack later”. Pee, pee everywhere, toothpaste also everywhere. Random garbage, tiny rocks all over the floor. All the sass. Where is the good? Well, it’s there, but I’m too busy searching for the rotten fruit under my sons bed to see it. Need to work on this asap. After the people that I live with, it would be the people I do life with. My extended family, the people I work with, the people I do ministry with. Looking for good when time is short and sometimes tensions are high is not always easy, but I’m gonna do it anyway. Then it would be the people I encounter day to day, the server, the very overly chatty check-out man at Meijer, the mailman who delivers all the mail he and I both know nobody is reading. Yes there is so much good out there. Find it, acknowledge it, celebrate it. Change the world with it.
Feel free to let me know if you have any additions to this 🙂