In the first challenge we discussed the art of remembering— that, in order to move forward, it’s important to consider where we’ve been. And where we’ve been often involves failure and pain, being let down and letting others down. It’s a painful thing to think about moments when we’ve failed, but often if we don’t look at them and evaluate, they’ll resurface seemingly out of nowhere and rock our life boat or worse knock someone we don’t want to out.
Think about it this way, your wading waste-deep in the ocean with a full beachball. The beachball is the failure, anger, or shame. When we’re alone or in a group, we’ll try to hide it (it’s a natural response), so we’ll submerge the beachball with our hands in order to be seen for who we are, not the failure or pain we’ve been through. Whatever energy we’re using to keep the beachball under the water, we’re then unable to give the group; and in the event that we forget to focus on keeping the beachball submerged, natural buoyancy will cause it to jump out.
It’s important to bring our shame, fear, anger or pain to the surface before exhausting ourselves in an effort to submerge it. This doesn’t have to be done with a Facebook post or even with anyone at all. But it does need to looked at – for me, I can process all the time I want alone and with the Lord, but I need other trusted voices to walk with me through it.
These items don’t have to be huge; they can be seemingly menial like a small argument or a fear of cottage cheese. Or they may be some larger struggle. They may be big fears or sources of anger like the inability to communicate with family or a horrible breakup.
Question 1: What are some items of fear, shame or failure that you want to leave behind in 2014?
Question 2: What are some steps that you can take to begin the process of overcoming the fear, shame or anger? If your unsure of what these steps may be, this is an awesome opportunity to invite someone in. So many times I’m unable to see because I’m too close to it and it take another set of eyes to help me see.
Question 3: If you haven’t already shared some of these things with trusted people, who might you consider sharing some of these things with?
Once we’ve brought the beachball (fear, shame, anger, pain, failure) to the surface and really examined it with the Lord and people we trust, we have the freedom to let it float away with the tide — we don’t even need to look at it! It may take time, but if we’re able to hold these items out in front of us, allowing them to escape our peripheral vision and then by sharing it with others who understand our struggles we let go of shame, we have a great start on forgetting and moving forward!
Last question: as you’ve taken time and thought of some steps, consider the first one on your list — what would it take to begin tomorrow? By starting tomorrow you’ll already have a head-start on January 1, 2015 and leaving something behind in 2014!