Am I Living The Life I Want?
“If you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs.” ― Cheryl Richardson
I want to live an authentic, meaningful life, but in order to do so, I must learn how to set boundaries and believe my needs and wants are important. This is a lot easier said then done. Developing personal power and healthy boundaries requires us to dig deep into our hearts and ask ourselves, "What do I want, what would make me happy?" It also requires us to say "No" to unwanted behaviors which can be very difficult if you don't believe you are entitled to your needs and feelings or if your afraid of disappointing others.
Lack of personal power often results in victim mentalities where you blame everyone else for what happens in your world. Negative thinking like "nothing good ever happens to me" and pessimistic attitudes toward self and others often results. Another dangerous effect of not understanding or developing your own personal power is lack of emotional stability and self-control which can also lead to bullying behaviors, dishonesty, cheating, passive/aggressiveness and codependent behaviors, addictions and anxiety and depression.
The bible is very clear that we have been given power to effect our lives and the lives around us. 2 Timothy 1:7 states : "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control." Acts 1:8 reminds us that "But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth."
When the bible speaks of power in these verses, the actual word for power is Dunamis. Dunamis means strength, power, ability, inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth power for performing miracles, moral power and excellence of soul, the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth, power and resources arising from numbers, power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts.
This power comes straight from God, through God, to you! It is your inheritance, your birthright as a child of God. Can you believe that power lives in you?
Harnessing this power, understanding it and applying it to our lives requires us to know that we are always connected to God. His power is always present in our lives, surging through our bodies, minds and spirits. It is always present, waiting for us to remember its existence in us. We are not victims, we are not weak, we are not helpless! The power of the living God lives in us!
Where do you feel weak in your life? What part of your life is not functioning the way you want it to? Do you believe God is powerful? Do you believe that God's power resides in you? Do you believe you have access to that power?
If 2 Timothy is true, then we possess power, love and self-control. We need to begin to see ourselves in those ways. What would it look like if you were capable, resourceful, strong and efficacious, full of potential, full of moral power and excellence. What would it look like if we truly believed God is streaming these qualities through us all the time?
What would our lives look like if we took responsibility for our wants and needs, set healthy boundaries and let go of fear?
Paul states in Colossians 1:29, "For this I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me." We have to work to believe that God's power works through us constantly. We are one. As we begin to rest and trust in that oneness, we will no longer see ourselves as victims but as victors, already completely supplied with power, love and self-control from on high.
Jesus said "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power).
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.]
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father."-John 14: 10-12.
If we believe that Jesus is being honest, then we must work to believe what He says about us and what we can do! Today, think about how you can begin to think about yourself differently. See yourself living the life you really want and ask God to help you establish the personal power you need to get it. He will help you, you are never alone.
Meditate on John 14, and watch how God's power will begin to come alive in your life.
-Christina Samyan, MSW, LCSW