There’s a good chance you’ve been playing “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack nonstop…or is that just me?! It’s been quite some time that I’ve heard a soundtrack with song after song so inspiring and thought provoking. When I saw the movie, I was enamored by the magic to it, but listening to the music has really been heart opening.
There’s so many messages in the world telling you to:
“be who you’re meant to be”
“stand out in a crowd”
All the while the world is also bombarding us from every angle with how we should look, how we should dress, how we should spend our money, what our home should look like, how our children should behave, etc. etc.
I am so burdened by the conflicting messages that are constantly being thrown at us.
What pain and unnecessary confusion our children are having to sort through. As a Mom, I’m hyper aware of this dynamic, and work hard to teach my children how to combat it. And as a human being, I’m fully aware that I have to be on my guard, setting boundaries and staying my course in order to live my best life. It’s too easy to be thrown off track. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. You must live intentionally if you truly want to be your best self.
Unless you’re purposeful with what you take in, you will not be able to live a completely unique and fulfilling life. You will be too weighed down by everyone’s (completely different) expectations of you.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’ve (on many occasions, much to my dismay) found myself affected by social media when I’ve spent too much time there All of a sudden I’m looking around my house for all of the things I want to change, I’m judging my body, I’m feeling unsuccessful or unappreciated. There is a fine line between being inspired by others, and then jumping over and being dissatisfied with your own life, and even second guessing your decisions.
No one can make your choices for you. They must be your own. So why would you always look to others to tell you how to live? Don’t you want to live out your own unique personality, dreams, and calling?
I’m a creative soul, so I’m always drawn to new ideas, beauty, adventure…but I have learned to set clear boundaries for myself so that I can stay in the “inspired” realm, and not start taking on everyone else’s dreams.
You can never be fulfilled that way. We’re not designed to live another’s life.
However, this post isn’t really about social media, or magazines, or movies. All of those things should, and can, be fun and a great asset to our lives.
This is about paying attention to what we let influence our daily lives, and whether we want to admit it or not, besides our loved ones, those are at the top.
The whole point is that we are designed for such a special, unique, clear destiny, and while everyone wants to live fully in who they’re meant to be, it’s crazy hard to do so when you’re constantly looking to the left and right to tell you how to be.
It is possible to quiet your mind, to shut out the noise of the world, and to learn to listen to your heart…as cliche as that sounds, it’s not. Try it. Your heart will open up in ways you’ve never imagined.
If you’ve never set boundaries with the messages that you’re letting yourself hear, now is the time to start. It can be as simple as making a list.
Start by writing your goals/reasons for why you’re making boundaries. Come back to them when you feel like you need a refresher. Write down how much time you’ll allow yourself on social media – include time(s) of day even, if that’s helpful. Unfollow accounts that cause you to have any negative emotions – if you find yourself judging, comparing, upset, etc when you’re looking at a specific account – unfollow. Do not let those things flood your mind!
Scripture commands us that, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
What we allow into our mind is of the utmost importance.
But remember, it’s not just about setting boundaries, you have to take the time to uncover your own heart. Journal, meditate, take a bath, take a hike, do something that allows your mind to quiet and your soul to come alive. Schedule in these times if you have to. You won’t just miraculously know yourself well. If you find yourself in confusion about your path, or anything in life really, that’s a sign that you need to be intentional with your “quiet time,” and spend some time in reflection.
It’s not enough to just take away the negative, or the over-consumption – have you ever tried to “will away” negative thoughts? It doesn’t work. You have to be intentional with filling your eyes, heart, soul and mind with truth. With beauty. You have to replace the negative with something good.
See, it’s not self-centered to look within, it’s actually quite the opposite. When you quiet your mind to hear truth, direction, inspiration, you’re actually opening your heart to so many possibilities, learning truth and freedom, and how to truly engage with the world around you. When you’re spending your time looking all around you for those things, you’re taking, taking, taking for yourself…you’re making it all about how others can serve you, how you can be more like them, how you’re not good enough…that is focusing on yourself. That is being self-consumed. That is comparing yourself to everyone else’s best. That is fruitless.
Unless you give yourself space, you won’t be able to create your own ideas, goals and dreams. Once you’re able to free yourself from that grip, you open yourself up to love and live freely. No more striving. No more comparing. And all that wasted energy is then moved into your personal gifts and passions, and you can truly shine a beautiful light.
Take time today to recognize just how special you truly are, and that in order to live out your uniqueness, you need to be intentional about what you allow to influence your life. It can be done! It takes some work, but it is oh so worth it. All those dreams inside your heart (little and big) have a place. Take time to uncover them. Take it slow. There’s no rush. Don’t wait to live well until you’re the version of you you think you should be. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow – live your best life today.
I close my eyes and I can see
The world that’s waiting up for me
That I call my own
Through where no one’s been before
But it feels like home
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make