What is this, day 5 of this grand experiment? I want to explore why I titled my blog the way I did. It comes from a recent awakening. 2012 was a pretty good year for me, I had a good work / life balance, I began many new friendships through my men’s group at church, through those relationships & our studies I was growing spiritually but I was also extremely frustrated at a lack of consistency in my life.
I like the guy I am at home, the guy I am at church, the guy I am almost anywhere, but I didn’t like who I was at work. It was still the same me, but everything was different, the way I reacted, the way I talked, the way I thought. It seemed like it was an unbreakable cycle too, I could pray all the way to work, listen to uplifting music, but more often than not within an hour my frustration cup was overflowing & I was acting the way I have frankly always acted at work. Not a necessarily bad guy, but not who I really am.
What causes someone to act in a way that does not represent who they really are? Therapy at my church has taught me that these are masks that wounded / broken people wear. Defense mechanisms developed to avoid feeling or dealing with pain.
While I knew all this I didn’t understand what was going on so I needed to look back. 2010 was probably the best year of my life, I was healthier mentally & spiritually than at any other point in my life & it was reflected in my day to day existence, I didn’t seem to have this struggle then. However 2011 was very challenging, I worked far too much, I neglected my family & myself as I was sucked into the trap of workaholic behavior, which is odd because I really don’t like working (or at least the work I do at my job). The thing is though, even after receiving healing, the trap is there, when you have been so wounded previously you can easily fall into the trap of feeling validated by the apparent need for you to work a lot.
Working too much causes me to fall into the trap of living unconsciously, relying on my auto pilot. Unfortunately my auto pilot programming is still in place from the old me, the damaged & broken me. That is the problem I had, even though I was no longer working the crazy hours, my routine had become that of switching on the auto pilot as soon as I got to work every day.
So I had an awakening in December, my band of brothers & I were talking about what we hoped for in 2013, my hope was for more of Gods peace when I was at work, to be more like the guy I am away from work when I was there. Then it clicked, I was hiding my light at work. Ashamed of who I really am for fear of being judged by my peers in a way that I would have judged me on a bad day in my early twenties. The remnants of my decades long fear of rejection still holding my ankles like shackles.
So I decided that from that day on, I would not hide my light at work, I would be conscious to try & be who I am at work. I have reminders in place for when I forget. I am by no means perfect at it, but being conscious of the problem, it is much easier to correct now. The last month at work has been much more enjoyable for my soul, feeling much less like a prison sentence. It is as a consequence making the rest of my life easier as I am not trying to somehow flip a personality switch on the way home every day.
What does that mean though? Being who I am? Honestly I am still working on that, mostly it just means being conscious, not turning on the auto pilot, it means poking a hole in the bottom of the frustration cup to make it much more difficult to overflow. I’m still the same guy, I still like sports, music & to joke around, I just get to do it in a more pleasant & consistent way without the explosions. Also, with my beliefs comes a certain responsibility, not to be fake, but to show the peace I have from my beliefs. If someone says look at Chris, he believes in Jesus & the other person says what that guy? But he’s an asshole, and from their perspective they may well be telling the truth, then what does that say about me? The thing is I was an asshole (professionally at east) when Jesus found me, with all the change & healing He has done in my life since, surely I should be starting to quit being an asshole at work by now, because that is absolutely not who I am.
So there it is, Unhidden Light is my manifesto for the year, consequences be damned, I will no longer hide & shrivel in fear as my soul is slowly crushed.
I have been surprised by my personal reaction, at least initially, to writing this blog. I am genuinely excited by it, the thoughts of things to write are rushing around my mind constantly, falling asleep has been a challenge but in a good way. I am a naturally creative person but I have stifled that for too much of my life. So to have given myself a platform to set that free seems to be doing my mind & spirit the world of good. The challenge will be to maintain this after the initial excitement wears off, but as in everything in life, it is when things don’t come easy & you press on regardless that you experience real growth.
You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)