the topic or sequence of thoughts that has been on my mind is: a genuine heart.
i used to believe that living by my feelings was an okay thing to do. and while no one likes to grow older, it's inevitable that at some point we discover that that leaves us wanting more in the end.
i have had this on my heart and my mind to write about for a while now. i'm not in the mood to use much creativity or analogies to get across what i'm trying to say. part of it feels like i just need to put it in writing so i can be held accountable by myself. and in case anyone else feels the way that i do, i might as well publish it on my pathetic social networks.
i've been challenged by this thought lately: how Genuine is my heart? my heart for God, for others, and for my life.
so! i've decided to break it down in a few lists. because i like lists. even if i don't always follow through step by step like i should.
Strength: when it comes to faith, how much do i actually believe what i claim that i do? on what level am i questioning things, and what specific things do i need to challenge myself to learn and research? beyond facts and endless questions, how much time have i spent actually asking God the questions i want to know?
i want to become stronger in the things i claim to believe. i don't want to be playing "the part" that can be so easy to stumble into. in no way do i want to strive for perfection- just authentic strength.
Honesty: how honest am i with God (as if He doesn't know everything already), and how honest am i with those that i claim to love? i've learned over the past few years that real love causes us to be brutally and inarguably honest with one another. my relationship with God has caused Him to be more honest with me, and me more honest with Him. but how much of that do i hide out of shame and fear? what kind of place am i putting honesty above all other things such as approval, and security?
i know honesty isn't always beautiful. but i'm beginning to understand how vital it is. being dishonest is a blanket that allows you to hide from real relationships, and authentic living. i believe that being more honest will teach me how to be more authentic.
Certainty: how certain am i of the freedom that i have with God? do i really believe in His freedom and what that means for the rest of my life? because it's been quite a few months since i have actively sought out a relationship with him, have i just become comfortable in a way that i shouldn't have?
i know that not everything can be proven, and therefore i suppose it's a frightening thing to feel certain. but there have been some really incredible time periods and moments in which i have felt very certain. but should i pretend that i feel that way all the time before i do? because i don't feel that way all the time. i'm not saying that i don't believe in the basics of my faith, but how certain am i that a freedom exists that is always preceded with a love i could never totally return? i want to realize the freedom that awaits and exists.
Receive: this one is pretty darn difficult for me. have i really received what has already been given to me?
i know that if i don't accept that, i'll never be able to fully live out the way that i'm meant to. if i don't accept that Love, i won't be able to fully return it and give it out to others. i want to receive every blessing, every horrible thing that happens, and every mediocre thing that i may possibly overlook. receive absolutely everything, and be able to learn from every bit of it so that i can pour out something to someone else.
so, then i've been thinking about two different parts of me; my mind, and my feelings.
i want my mind to be transformed by God in a way that it hasn't been before. i want more logic, more reason, and more compassion. i know that compassion is usually connected with the heart, but i feel as though my mind needs to put my priorities in a certain order so that i can act out in compassion. i can be damn selfish sometimes. i want so badly to rid myself of that, and i want to be compassionate in ways that actually work in our world today. my mind is where i allow decisions to be swayed and time to be wasted.
i want my feelings to become more and less important to me. i want my feelings to be transformed more into intuition rather than immature rationalization. i want to understand more of how God can use the feelings that i have to better the world we live in, and my attitude. unlike the way that i've allowed them to control my perception of myself and others.
in all honesty, there's enough bullshit in the world without my help. i'm sick of half-believing things that i have the capacity to fully embrace.
sure, believing and having beliefs is one thing. but i want to create a more genuine heart within myself for God, others, and my life. and in that order, too. i don't mean this to be a resolution list of all the things i will do and the expectations that i have for myself. i just wrote this list tonight while thinking of ways that i could become more genuine in the world.
and so with that quote, i want to point out that i know i cannot create faith. i know that everyone has their own beliefs, and i refuse to let anything get in the way of how i love them. whether it be differences in faith, distance, or my laziness- i want to be able to fully stretch out my arms to every person as far as they are meant to.
the only finger i'm pointing is at myself, because while i've been able to believe in the basics of my faith- i haven't been able to honestly stand on the firm ground that has presented itself before me without wavering in my authenticity.
again, i have no interest in perfection. even if i did, i'd be out of luck. no matter how clumsy, messy, or unpredictable my life can sometimes be- i want to only be authentic. i want to love honestly, walk with strength, live with certainty, and genuinely receive so that i can act in love as well.
most of all, i want to not just feel compassion but build a genuine heart that can break down barriers of fear, pride, and insecurity. there is a lot of life to be lived, and i so want to spend more of it thinking about others and less about myself. unless i am genuinely honest about everything i believe, everything i question, and everything that falls in between- i'm afraid i will only be half-living the life that i could.