To be, or not to be…

Rest into your self. Rest into God’s love and goodness for you. Breathe in deep and settle into your self.

You don’t have to do what the world expects. We get so caught up chasing imaginary rules of acceptance, not success, but acceptance.

What do I have to do to be accepted? Finish school,  get a certain type of job, stay within the norm, be with a certain type of person, avoid other types of people, talk about the weather, not make anyone around me uncomfortable…

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Acceptance is the great carrot of society, with ostracism and shame its big stick. We are moulded from young to conform for acceptance, and any wandering from the safe space is immediately met with shame and ostracism.

One of our deepest needs is the acceptance and celebration of others… belonging. Shame is the very antithesis of our deepest need. It is in a word our kryptonite.

I have had my fair share of encounters with shame through out my life. It almost feels like we are old buddies who do quite well at keeping in touch and making plans to be part of each others lives.

I am by nature a curious specimen. I am an ENFP in the MBTI, a magician/catalyst archetype, who is on a relentless search for hidden mystery and the meaning of existence.

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This curiosity has lead me to the rainbow-unicorn heights of intimacy, revelation, and thankfulness.

Yet also many a concert with the excruciating depths of disappointment, rejection, and self-doubt that make life such an unpredictable experience.

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MBTI is where I found out the reason for my relationship with shame. It is the delusional need for certainty that has seen me write many sure-fire plans of how my life should be and how it was all going to look.

These self-proclaimed rules (and I’m sure many projections from others) of what I had to accomplish in order to accept myself would burden me down with anxiety and yip, my friend shame, whenever I couldn’t live up to my ‘potential.’

It was by a strange encounter with God that I broke up with shame.

Late one night in March, I woke up in tears of grief. My subconscious was busy processing through an identity crisis. I was 25 and I had failed to achieve the lofty goals I had so assuredly been setting myself over the previous decade. I had failed to lead a church. I had failed to marry a beautiful girl and have my own family. I had failed to build a significant business. I had failed to get my crap together. And worse, I had advertised my dilettantish ways as the excuse for not going to university or following the corporate ladder, so I had failed my ego. I had nothing to show for being cock-sure in my path. I was a cock-up.

I sat down to journal through the grief and tears. “Lord, I feel like such a failure. What does your success look like for me?” Two words came into my mind “Fearlessness” and “Integrity.”

He bagan to expound: “A king does not achieve his throne, he inherits it from his father. There are only two qualifications of a king; Fearlessness, and Integrity.”

My life has changed from being directed towards my arbitrary goals, to instead being expressed from my deep seated values.

I still have goals, however my success is not determined by their achievement, but rather in my integrity to my values.

In fact my goals are even bigger and more audacious than before, because I have no fear of failure anymore. I have quit my partnership with shame.

I have come to see that my life is all about being Fearless, all about living with full Integrity. I have come to see every situation as an opportunity to embody success because of who I am, a Fearless & Integrous man, and not because of what I do to try and get acceptance from those around me.

We are  human beings, not human doings.

Rest into your self. Rest into God’s love and goodness for you. Breathe in deep and settle into your self.


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