Have you ever felt like you are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole? I seem to be having more and more of those experiences as time goes on.
Just recently I was ‘challenged’, no, make that ‘judged harshly’, for being me. I gave my all, just as I was asked, and yet it was not acceptable, not ‘right’, not what was expected.
As I have pondered what I would call “a very confronting experience which challenged my belief system and gifting” I realised that I was indeed feeling like a ‘square peg trying to fit into a round hole’.
As I sit now at my computer (feeling like George from 800 words) and ponder my feelings, I am profoundly aware that while my shape didn’t fit the hole I was being put in recently, it is also dawning on me that it probably doesn’t fit the holes that it used to either.
As my ‘shape’ has changed so too has the shape of the environments I relate to and will hopefully thrive in.
So as I ‘shape up’ my future options and opportunities, I need to take the measure of my own expectations.
I have always been an avid reader (well, since I was about 24 years old) and especially self-help, autobiographies, and motivational writings. Authors say we are to keep growing, keep developing and learning and be prepared to change and be a different version of yourself as life moves forward.
The funny part is that when I do that, I often feel guilty for being a new version.
I have at times received negative feedback from those, who particularly don’t want me to be a new version of me. The truth is that I often feel guilty for the changes.
What happens when everything you thought you had, changes… how do we cope when the person in the mirror, at times, seems like a stranger?
I’m not who I use to be, and yet in many ways, I am exactly the same. Why is it such a blurred line? I believe passionately in Jesus and all He has done for humanity. I believe completely in the beauty and importance of a healthy local church and the incredible work they do to relieve pain, suffering and unfairness to those most marginalised and the spiritual health of its members.
My spiritual belief is not being challenged, but how I see it in action, where I express it, and what matters most is. How will it look? How will I look? It’s all on the table of contemplation and consideration.
I am convinced there are new roads for me to travel, more people to love and help and a world who must hear a message of HOPE.
How do I do that outside of the religious scaffolding I have spent my last 25 years working within? Must I keep doing it that way? Must I do it in a completely different way? Is it a combination of several models? Are the best days still ahead of me?
It is true, I have been on a journey (often more painful than I felt I could bear). A journey to continue to live everyday with the profound truth that “the creator of the universe is STILL on my side”. But also with the reality that I am seeing things differently, I am different.
Grief is the pain we feel when our assumptive world is
turned upside down.
We grieve when we lose that in which we never wanted to lose. We grieve when the thing we love is no longer there. It is also in our grief, if we allow it, where we can be reshaped. We can discover a new normal and from my experience and observation, we can even discover a greater, more impacting and deeply important next journey.
I don’t think I look the same anymore, my foundation hasn’t changed but the outworking of it has.
Perhaps today you can relate to my story (I hope so, it is why I write so vulnerably and publically), becoming a new you can absolutely be healthy and so important. My advice is don’t get bitter because things have changed… get better and become the best version of you. It’s not easy, it takes time (more time than I ever imagined) but it will be worth it.
I am wondering if you have walked the change journey and what the ONE piece of advice you would give me and/or my readers? Is there something you were told or learnt that made all the difference to your ability to leave the old and embrace the new? Please leave a comment below.
By Steve Morrison