The following post was inspired by a poem that can be found here: http://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/27337.html called The Front Row
We have one life, limited time, and limited resources. We also have people in our lives for whom we are bound to care. For example, I have children who I love dearly and with whom I am charged the task of raising. In this life, however, we receive lots of messages about ourselves, and in order to do and be for those we love what we need to do and be, we need to choose the messages we receive. And sometimes that means being choosy about where we choose to show up and receive them.
If you are like me, you probably tend to be your own worst critic. I examine things I have done, things in the past, sometimes worry about the future. When I send a writing job off, even if I KNOW I did excellent work, as soon as I hit “send,” a part of me wonders if I should have changed “just one ore thing.” All of this thinking and evaluating and judging, especially if we find ourselves wanting, can be draining. It can also hinder our ability to do better and our command to see ourselves as God sees us.
I confess, I have spent much of my life worrying too much about what various people think of me. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not subscribe to the idea that “I will do what I want and everyone else’s feeling be damned.” I should care what God thinks of me, what my children think of me, what various people whose lives and values and viewpoints I admire think of me (to a point). BUT…..
That can be a weight that becomes hard to carry, and in carrying it, we can find ourselves wasting energy would be better used living. So I have made a carefully thought out and considered decision. I will not only carefully consider who to invite to sit in the front row of my life, I will also be selective in who gets tickets to the show at all. And should my life become a traveling play, I will choose my venues wisely. I cannot control what others think of me. I cannot control which box they insist on keeping me in, which commonalities they choose to draw between me and others based on odd similarities that have nothing to do with actual data. I cannot control who believes me, who believes in me, or who sees me as I was or how they are afraid I might be.
I can, however, control how much time I spend with them. I cannot make them see me in a certain way, but I can control how much they see me period. That sounds logical, but it is a tough thing to decide. It is tricky to implement, no doubt. But with at least half my life behind me, it is past time for me to select my audience with care and choose the messages I receive. And sometimes the only way to stop a negative message is to distance oneself from the messenger.
I am choosing my audience wisely, and I am choosing my theaters wisely. And I believe it will make me better.