”…when focusing on talents, we tend to forget that our real gift is not so much what we can do, but who we are. The real question is not “What can we offer each other?” but “Who can we be for each other?” — Henri Nouwen
As a kid I was fascinated with UFO’s. I loved to read books about extraterrestrial beings. I suspect it was the mystery of it all and the unanswered questions that kept me intrigued.
As an adult I have that same fascination with NDE’s or “Near Death Experiences”. I’m intrigued by stories of people who have died and experienced life on the other side. Recently, it seems, there have been a number of books written on the topic. I have read them all, but my absolute favorite is Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani.
Anita had stage 4 cancer and died when her organs shut down. However, her near death experience resulted in a miracle which cured her completely. In her book, she shares many extraordinary insights, but the most important thing she learned was how we all need to love ourselves and recognize our magnificence. Here’s what she says…
“Only when we love ourselves unconditionally, accepting ourselves as the magnificent creatures we are with great respect and compassion, can we ever hope to offer the same to anyone else. Cherishing the self comes first, and caring for others is the inevitable outcome.”
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said, “I love you”?
When was the last time you exclaimed, “I am magnificent!”?
I’m gonna guess the answer may be “Never!!”
We don’t like to claim our beauty. We’re not comfortable admitting that we have unique gifts, talents, and strengths. We worry what others will think of us if we “get too big for our britches,” as my grandma used to say.
We don’t want to get too big for our britches.
Not only does this keep us living small, it keeps us from sharing the truth of who we are with the world.
Brendan Burchard says we focus on the “busywork” of life rather than focusing on our “life’s work”.
Think about that. How much time do you spend on busywork and how much time do you devote to your life’s work?
Do you even know what your life’s work is?
What is your life’s work?
Most of us don’t because we’ve never taken the time to really explore who we are and just how we might share our gifts, talents, skills, knowledge, wisdom, experiences, hurts, pains, joys, loves with a world that desperately needs what we have to offer.
It’s possible that the truth of who we are has gotten buried under piles of laundry and bills, hidden behind careers that are unfulfilling or marriages that break our hearts, covered by the responsibility of caring for children or the reality of a broken world.
If so, it’s time to re-discover you!
Begin the process of figuring out who God made you to be and how you might live from that place.
There are lots of assessment tools you can use that help you to identify your strengths, personality type, passions, spiritual gifts, etc… And those tools can be very helpful as a starting point, but I’m going to suggest that you already know many of the answers. You’ve lived long enough and had enough life experiences to have a strong sense of who you are at the core.
Carving out quiet time on a regular basis will help you to hear that still small voice of truth within that remembers the authentic you.
Spending time with supportive friends and family can help as well. They often see things in us that we aren’t willing to own.
L. Gregory Jones says, “Holy friends challenge the sins we have come to love, affirm the gifts we are afraid to claim and help us dream dreams we otherwise would not dream…Something transformative happens when someone helps us see potential in ourselves we cannot yet see.”
As I was struggling to overcome my fears and step out into the bigger world and God’s plan for my life, my closest friends and family provided the strength I needed to own my gifts and talents and have the courage to take risks and reach for something more.
I’ll always remember the time I was in a meeting with women from our faith sharing group at church. We were talking about a new project and how I might help get it started. My friend, Mary, was describing my role in the process and said, “That’s her gift.”
Her words were so powerful!
To hear someone who had known me for a very long time and with whom I had worked on many projects, voice what she saw as my unique gift in the world – it gave me wings.
Her words gave me wings!
I knew what she said was true – but somehow hearing it from her mouth solidified for me what I long suspected. I could now take what she said and run with it.
Each morning, one of the affirmations I read from Dr. Christiane Northrup says this, “We keep needing to be reminded of our power, not the fear. Become as fabulous as you can!”
Women of AWE, boldly exclaim the truth of your magnificence as a child of Divine Love!
Women of AWE, shine the light of truth on the unique gifts and talents that each and every person on this planet has to share!
Loving you for the one of a kind Child of God that you are,