I was running along a country road this morning, yes, really running! Actually, it was more of a run/walk, but progress is being made. My hip injury is healing. I am not running far, nor am I running fast, but last month at this time, I was not running at all.
I have no illusions about my upcoming marathon. It’s going to be slow and it’s going to be painful. My plan is to run as far as I can, then switch to a brisk walk and hope that I can stay one step ahead of the time limit so that I am not swept from the course. I am actually practicing walking swiftly. Yes, I have even researched how to do it.
Apparently, to walk faster, you should stand tall, lean forward from the waist, and push off with your toes. Your stride should be long behind you, but not in front of the plane of your body, to avoid overstriding. Who knew there were fast-walking techniques? As a matter of fact, fast-walking techniques sound a lot like fast-running techniques.
As I was running, I noticed some wildflowers growing beside a farmer’s soybean field. I went back later to take a picture. It is somewhat disorienting to miss the tipping point of the seasons. My hubby and I were away for nine days, and during that time, autumn arrived in southeastern Pennsylvania. The critical moment came and went.
Before we left, there were beautiful sky blue chicory flowers everywhere on the road banks along with Queen Anne’s lace, fleabane, goldenrod, and milkweed. Butterflies flitted from flower to flower, sipping the last sweet nectar of late summer. Upon our return, I could only find one lonely patch of chicory. It was in a sunny spot beside a south-facing field, determinedly hanging on in the face of cooler, longer nights.
The flowers looked a little bit raggedy, worn around the edges, which matched my mood at the time. Then I took a good, hard look at myself. I am tired of waiting to resume living my life until the injury I am dealing with heals. As I preached to my boys on many occasions, “I am responsible for my own happiness.”
Here is the thing that is so often difficult to figure out: you must continually strive to live the life that is right for you. If you do not live your own authentic life, your heart will not beat in sync with the rhythm of your existence. You feel anxious, displaced, stifled.
But life is not static. Situations change, people fall into or out of love, loved ones die or move away, jobs that were once challenging become stale, we read books that alter our perspectives, we get injured and can’t do the activities we once loved. The life that is right for us must evolve with our ever-changing situation.
Unfortunately, there are no angels pointing us in the right direction, there are no road signs telling us where to go. As adults, we have to figure it out for ourselves. Oh, there are some things we can do to help assess how to get our lives back in harmony. We can meditate, we can pray, we can do some serious soul-searching and take an honest inventory of our wants, needs, and emotions.
Ultimately, the decision is up to each one of us. Being mature means taking responsibility, hitching up your pants, and making it happen. Live your best life. Everything you need is already found inside of you. Challenges are God-given opportunities to discover your inner strength and to accept who you are in a more realistic, loving way. We must all learn how to determine when our lives have veered from the genuine, authentic, and true.
How do you know when you are living the life that is right for you? There is no one right way, but I believe that there are some hints. If you find it effortless to be kind and supportive of those around you, you are apparently on the right path. Finding it relatively easy to make decisions means that your values are probably in line with what is going on in your life.
Discernment is good, but being judgemental is not. If you find yourself constantly judging others, it may be because you are unhappy with yourself, rather than with those around you. Tearing others down does not build you up. (I am ashamed to admit – this is a big one for me.)
If I feel as though I can speak freely, calmly and without being confrontational about most topics, I am living the life that is right for me. If I find myself looking for a battle or feeling self-righteous, I know there are adjustments I need to make. Being selfless enough to allow God’s light to shine through me is an indicator of living my best life.
Finally, if I can make time for all of the things that are important to me, whether it is going for a run, playing with my grandchildren, having lunch with a dear friend, practicing my Spanish lessons (Sí, estoy aprendiendo Español – I think I just said I am learning Spanish), spending time with my hubby, or the finding the quietude needed for meditation or prayer, rather than diddling my minutes away on social media, housekeeping (OK, I do need to do some housekeeping), or talking on the phone, I am living an authentic life.
This quote from Sarah Bessey sums it up better than my words can. “Rest in your God-breathed worth. Stop holding your breath, hiding your gifts, ducking your head, dulling your roar, distracting your soul, stilling your hands, quieting your voice, and satiating your hunger with the lesser things of this world.”
Are you living the life that is right for you?
I am joining Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup, Nicole and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday, Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, and Worth Beyond Rubies for her link up.