“It’s a journey… no one is ahead or behind you.
You are not more advanced or less enlightened.
You are exactly where you need to be. It’s not a contest, it’s life.
We are all teachers and we are all students.”
Point to Ponder:
Does comparison play a role in stealing your joy?
For this one week, eliminate the behaviors (possibly social media)
that cause you to compare your life with the lives of others.
Two weekends ago at our Intentional Renewal Wellness Retreat at the T Bar M Resort in New Braunfels, our Saturday morning opening speaker was Dave Sunde. Dave is a pastor at Riverbend Church and leads the adult Sunday School class I attend. Every Sunday he leads us in a thought-provoking, interesting and heartfelt conversation, and his presentation at the retreat was no different. Dave spoke on the topic of renewal: renewal in the sense that we need it on a regular basis, but that we are created for it too. Dave referenced a book called Midlife & the Great Unknown, and went on to say that the author, David Whyte, suggests that the antidote for exhaustion isn’t rest, it’s wholeheartedness. Did you read that? I’ll say it again: the antidote for exhaustion isn’t rest, it’s wholeheartedness. HO-LY COW! Is that blowing your mind like it blew mine?! Honestly, I can’t type my thoughts fast enough and have been thinking about it ever since I first heard it.
My first conclusion is this: no wonder why our society is such an exhausted and stressed group of people. We’re over-committed, over-involved, over-stimulated and over-worked. And, it’s simply not possible to be wholehearted when we’re pulled in eighteen million different directions. It’s an unsustainable pace and a lifestyle that sets us and our children up for personal and professional burnout and failure. I believe the way we begin living a more wholehearted life is by saying “no” more often and “yes” less often. In other words, we need to be very selective with the things we choose to give and spend our time on. Just imagine if we chose a minimum of one and a maximum of three things to pour our whole heart into (and family definitely counts as one). The value and meaning we would add to our lives and our relationships would soar! It’s the whole notion of “less is more” or “addition by subtracting.” I think we would all be better off and less exhausted if we put this into action.
My next wholehearted conclusion is based upon a Teddy Roosevelt quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This one is huge, so here it is again: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Maybe it’s just me, but I think this is a game-changing quote that has absolutely everything to do with living a wholehearted life. Here’s why: I think we’re all trying to keep up with one another — and that is exhausting. I also think this links back to my first conclusion, as could it be possible that we are over-committed, over-involved, over-stimulated and over-worked because we are trying to keep up with too many people (society) and we’re not living our own life?
Unfortunately we live in a world where nothing is off-limits or sacred, and thanks to 24-hour television access, the internet and social media, everyone’s everything is in our face, and it’s almost impossible to avoid continually comparing our lives. And where there’s comparison ,there is always judgement — thinking someone or someone’s life is better (either you or the other person). All in all, we’re inundated with everyone’s airbrushed highlight reals, and it’s pretty much impossible for that to not have an effect us. As a result, I think we must strive to live a counter-culture life and live our own lives without the fear of judgement or acceptance of any one else. It’s then that I think our ability to live wholeheartedly, instead of exhausted, is possible.
This week, as one of the many components of iGnite’s 7-Day Cleanse, iGnite will be taking a break from social media, and we encourage you to do the same. While we do think that social media has a place in the world and we are proud that the iGnite social media presence is building community and sharing a positive, encouraging and inspirational message, we feel that an occasional social media cleanse is healthy and necessary for us all. The purpose of our cleanse is to evaluate what types of unnecessary things we might be addicted to and to analyze the effect of eliminating them. Maybe social media only adds value to your life, or maybe it’s sucking time out of your day, preventing you from doing more of what you love, seeing more of the beauty in the world or living your best life. Comparison and societal approval rob us from living an authentic and joyful life, and we suspect that social media plays a role in this. Ultimately, we expect fantastic results, and we invite you to join us on round one of the “Antidote for Exhaustion Challenge.”
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