How my perception changes astounds me. To share how so I’ll begin by saying, I’ve just begun an extended time off work, approximately 3 months. I still have an income during this time but not to the same extent when working full-time.
During 2010 I had a similar period of time off lasting 8 months. In the process of deciding to take the time off in 2010 I experienced a deep fear of not only making this decision, but a fear of the unknown consequences.
I had let society teach me that my identity was embedded in what I did for a living, how much I made, and how big my house was and how much “stuff” it could hold. This was the measurement of what I deemed being a success in life was.
I was not sure of who I’d be if I did not get up in the morning and go to work in the factory. I had become dependent on a lifestyle that had forced me to work every overtime opportunity that was available, leaving me very little time to experience life or myself with my full undivided attention. Something I was traditionally not accustomed to doing.
Who was I and could I be with myself and others without the familiar mask of society’s male employee/factory worker/homeowner?
During the decision-making process of the 2010 “sabbatical”, my friend, who is now my wife, encouraged me to take a leap of faith, which she had more of in God and me than I had in God and myself. I was going through a divorce, selling my house, discarding long-held belongings that were stored and which I had not used or seen in quite a few years. Being a creature of habit and ritual and totally afraid of change, I made the decision to take the 8 months off, with her encouragement, beginning a journey of discarding my “small” self and becoming familiar with my larger inner spiritual Self, fears and all.
Now what am I going to be? I’m not going to work every morning, I’m not earning what I should be earning? I’m a man and how do I now determine my worth?
After making it through the 2010 experience and coming out of the other side of it married, moving to a new house, and living lightly, I view the upcoming 2012 experience in an entirely different light. The fear is no longer here. I did not feel overwhelmed or anxious during the decision-making process, but instead experienced a sense of anticipation and joy. I do not worry if I can make ends meet on a reduced income. I no longer wonder what I will do with the extended time I will be spending with myself. I no longer place money and a false sense of self-identity of who I or society think I am ahead of what God knows I really am. I am learning to value time with myself and with the ones I love. I do not have to know exactly what I’m going to do every day and I can be comfortable with letting events unfold as God creates them. I am not in control, yet I’ve come to appreciate the familiar discomfort of change that leads to growth. My faith in God has grown, changing my perception of who I am, and of how I see the world around me.
My perception of the 2012 experience was transformed, through Sacred Grace, from a fear based one into one of intimacy, joy, anticipation, serenity, continued learning, and increased self-awareness.
How do you see things?
- Love is Letting Go of Fear: Lesson #3 (missamandacakes.wordpress.com)