“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose” ~C.S. Lewis
I saw this thought-provoking quote from C.S. Lewis several months ago and it truly made me think.
Like majority of you, I’ve been through extensive grief, due to losing loved ones and going through major life challenging situations, so I first found this quote confusing.
Without truly understanding the significance, perspective, and meaning of this quote, it can at first seem as though C.S. is recommending a detached life, free from an emotional connection to people or things.
I believe C.S. is beckoning his readers to love others and cherish the goodness of blessings in their lives, but I also believe he is encouraging people to not place all of their eggs in only one basket (or two) throughout their life journey.
How many of us are guilty of primarily throwing our complete energy, love, and investment—our very prayers, blood, sweat, and tears—into only family, friends, pets, work, and maintaining possessions (home, car, appliances/electronics, clothing care, etc)? Which, unfortunately, are all people or things we can lose?
Do we mindfully, purposefully, passionately, and intentionally think about what we can’t lose…and take a gigantic step back to see the overall big picture of all our life can truly be? Do we continually refine ourselves and choose to do our much needed self work…while also developing and investing in our individual, personal life purpose?
I’ve always been told to be accountable to my family, church, and authority figures, and to develop my life purpose, but I began to wonder why there never has been an importance to be accountable to my own self…and the importance of truly getting to know myself…to better myself…to develop knowing exactly what I think and believe.
We should all demand accountability to, and of, our own selves. It’s life changing!
We need community, of course, (family, friendships, work and/or church relationships, etc), and we also need jobs, transportation, and things such as homes, food, clothes, appliances, etc, but, we also need more than that…we need a great relationship with God—and our own self.
Out of all the relationships on earth, the relationships we have with our God and our own self are truly the only relationships that can never end or be taken away…so wouldn’t it make sense to develop and invest in these two very important and vital relationships?
I have a tendency of neglecting myself due to heavily investing in my relationships with my family, friends, and those I encourage in my grief ministry.
I naturally put others first and always enjoy loving the people God has blessed me with.
One day, though, after seeing the C.S. Lewis quote, I felt God tugging at my heart as though to say, “Kim, before you were ever a wife…before you were ever a mom…before you were ever a daughter, aunt, sister, niece, cousin, granddaughter, neighbor or friend…before you were ever a writer or a part of Grief Bites…you were Mine. You were Kim before you were ever anyone or anything else. Before you even took one breath, you were you!”
I began to feel convicted of not living up to my full potential and began to invest greater into my relationship with God, and graciously into myself, as well.
I’m not talking about a self-absorbed or narcissistic relationship with self, but a healthy relationship with self that realizes life is not about me at all. A healthy relationship that keeps me accountable to continually better myself…and keep myself in check…so I can better love, help, encourage, and minister to others.
Ultimately choosing to better develop and use my skills, God-given talents and personality, character, life events, education, ministry, and life purpose for a much greater good in life.
Dedicating and giving all of these things to God and resting in Him and allowing Him to energize my life has made a huge difference in how I live! It’s given me a better mindset and more energy to accomplish every task at hand…especially on days when I feel worn out.
Matthew 11:29-30, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
If you think about it, this verse is phenomenal. Getting away to be with God and yourself leads to a life lived freely, restfully, and lightly. It eases life’s hardships and day-to-day burdens…so learn from God how to keep company with Him as you develop your individual self with His help.
Living this way on a day-to-day basis, and developing my own self, has been rewarding, and has opened my eyes and heart to things I would’ve otherwise missed. I want to always develop my character and be so accountable to God and myself, and His and my relationship together, so I can look back and know that I spent the days (and the circumstances) of my life very, very well. I want to always live in such a way as to know without any doubt that I hit the bullseye of my personal best life possible. Passionately. Purposefully. Intentionally.
I also found that when you develop a healthy relationship and accountability with God and yourself, you’re not as apt to make harmful or unwise decisions.
After all, at the end of each day…and ultimately at the end of your life…you understand better the need (and importance) to answer for all of life’s decisions and for how you chose to live your life. When you realize you’re accountable to yourself, and you look into the mirror of your life, you don’t want to disappoint not only God or others, but you don’t want to disappoint yourself. You also realize it’s not too late to change things up so you can start living your best life possible—starting today.
And this becomes a very powerful way to live.
Everything takes on a new meaning as you say to yourself each and every morning, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life…how can I better develop my relationship to God, myself, and others…how can I spend today in the best way possible?”
Your relationships…your work…your life purpose…your goals…what you choose to do—or not do…Everything brilliantly changes and life begins to take on a brand new level of purpose.
Cultivating a relationship with yourself brings on a new dimension of living, and prevents you from wasting any area of your life…especially grief.
Truly be thinking about life and what life can fully be if you began to cultivate a relationship with yourself. You have the ability to choose to change your life and the potential to live a more brilliant life than you ever thought possible!
Gratitude & blessings,
©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (book): Click here for book
Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com
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FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: (Coming November 4, 2015)