I want to be better. Not better than you - better than me. Better than who I was yesterday. Stronger, smarter, kinder, patient-er. You know, just better.
I do not have to always be the same as I have previously been. “It’s just the way I am,” does not have to be my default. I can change. I can grow. In 1 year… 5 years… 10 years… I hope that I am better than I am today.
For instance, I used to tell myself, I’m not a runner. I wish I could run, but I can’t. Then someone pushed me, and I learned to run at age 33. A little bit at a time. Until I worked up to a 25k. I’m still not fast, but I can run. I didn’t settle for the person I used to be.
My friend decided she wanted to be an artist shortly before her 60th birthday. She took some classes and hated the first pieces she created. But now she sells her art in several local galleries and loves how she spends her days. Because she didn’t want to be what she had always been. She wanted to be better.
When God formed me, long before I was even aware of my fingers or toes, he had a vision for who I would be. For what I could do. For the beautiful ways I could impact his kingdom. And that’s who I want to be. That’s what I want to do. I am entirely confident that he who began this work in me will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
And I want to be a participant in that.
Counseling has been a huge impetus for growth in my life. When Katie was first diagnosed with cancer, I began seeing a counselor. Honestly, I had been wrestling with some parts of myself for several months, but her diagnosis was enough to push me to set an appointment. Conversations with my counselor range from grief work to life coaching. They continue to open my eyes to ways of thinking and interacting that I often do not realize are limiting me. But I am learning to be a better listener. To see beyond another’s opinion. To set boundaries. To empathize. To be vulnerable. To stop shaming myself. To stop shaming my kids. Guess what else? I learned how to feel!! I am not sure I knew how to experience anger or sorrow or a deep sense of joy before I went to counseling. In many ways, I think am better than the person I was 5 years ago. Thank God. But I still have so many ways to grow.
Recently, an opportunity opened up for me to co-host a podcast. Super exciting! And it is pushing me outside my comfort zone. Now I have to listen without interrupting. I can’t plan every word as when I write. I discuss ideas other than my own. I even have to research a bit of pop culture (which isn’t something I normally spend a lot of time on). MountainMovers Podcast is definitely stretching me. And I am okay with that. I encourage you to listen in.
Perhaps some people don’t aspire to growth in their lives. Perhaps they are more scared of discomfort than stagnancy. But I think most of us are so busy managing the day-to-day tasks that we don’t slow down enough to ask, How can I be better?
What if you took a minute to ask that question: How can I be better… physically? Emotionally? Intellectually? Spiritually? In my parenting? In my marriage? At my job? In my volunteer role?
Then join a small group. Do some push-ups. Make a new friend. Read a book. Take a class. Find a mentor. Ask a question. Learn something. Try something.
Because I just want to be better. Don’t you?