I want to talk with you guys today about the best advice I’ve ever received. But first, I want to tell you a story…
I hated blueberries for the first 32 years of my life.
I picked them out of muffins, left them out of fruit salads and passed them up at the grocery store. They looked suspicious to me.
In our house we have a ‘polite bite’ rule. You don’t have to finish all the food on your plate but you must at least try a bite of everything. One night at dinner my son Dawson noticed I had left my blueberries to the side of my plate and he called me out. I started to defend myself when it occurred to me, had I actually ever eaten a blueberry?
I grabbed a few plump blueberries, closed my eyes and popped them in my mouth. I braced for the disgusting taste I knew was soon to follow…expect it never came. My taste buds were met with a delightful mix of tangy and sweet juices. I liked blueberries? How could this be?! I had missed out on thousands of opportunities to enjoy this delicious fruit because I prided myself on an opinion that wasn’t even based in truth. Perhaps there once was a taste test I’d since forgotten, but I overlooked the fact that things change, people change and apparently taste buds change too.
When Loyalty Goes Too Far
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m loyal to a fault. I’ll welllllll overthink something, process it with a few trusted advisors and then form my deep loyalties. While that might not sound like a bad thing the problem shows itself when I come to the crossroad. I become so prideful in wanting to be ‘right’ I refuse to change my mind. So after a series of compromises later I find myself in a direction I was never intended for with an ego that feels the tension between changing her mind and being true to her now obviously incorrect loyalty. This space is so real to me and one I find my self wrestling in often.
Black and White
I’ve noticed over the past few years my strong desire to know. I think it’s me wanting to skip the overthinking and land on a decision. I can be so quick to make a decision to omit the ‘grey space’. Are you like this too? I used to be really proud of this quality and now I’ve learned that I need soften it some. Life is lived in the grey space. How can we instantly know? We need time to sit with things. That’s where our character is tested and refined.
Grey space makes my control freak nature frantic. Ready, aim, fire is more my protocol. I like plans, charts and completed to-do lists. I like accomplishing goals and creating new ones.
What about those plans when they go astray? Expectations that fall apart. Do to-do lists ever get completed before a dozen additional tasks are added? Do we take time to celebrate an accomplished goal before we rush into the next mountain top moment?
Try it On
This thought pattern led me to a conversation with a friend and her advise I come back to daily. Not only did she give me permission to change my mind at any given moment because I am a different version of me today than I was yesterday, but she also gifted me a mantra:
‘Try it on.’
Before you commit to something or feel like you have to fully know the outcome first, ‘try it on’ and see how it fits. Similar to getting dressed, we may need to go through a few options before we land on the best fit for us.
I am heavy into grey space right now, in most areas of my life it seems. I find myself asking God often, ‘What are you refining in me during this grey season? Why is this grey space necessary in so many parts and places of my life? What are you building that requires so much grey, God?’.
If I’m honest, sometimes I don’t want God to answer those questions when I ask, I want him to wave a magic wand instead. I want my late night phone calls with my dear friend to reveal black and white answers. I want my quiet time to come easy and answers to be in alignment with my plan.
What have you overlooked or been avoiding that you need to revisit? What can you take a ‘polite bite’ of to see how it mixes with your taste buds today? How can you know if something is or isn’t meant for you if you haven’t tasted the experience first?
The freedom I found in this lens has allowed me to swap out unnecessary and agonizing mental energy with an abundance of new experiences and creative thinking I would have missed out on entirely. This way of living is really living.