I woke up the other morning from a dream with this thought:
“You have been living most of your life with a survivor mindset.”
It was a disturbing realization and I really didn’t know what to do with it. I wondered how my life had been altered because of it. As I thought, I came up with a few things that I know to be true.
I have not been as generous with my time, talent, or treasure as I could have been. I have often been pretty guarded emotionally even when unnecessary. I have not taken reasonable risks in many areas of my life – reasonable, not reckless.
I have allowed a fear of what might be to overpower the possibility of what could be. As a result I may have traded ‘the best’ for simply good or adequate.
Somewhere along the way growing up I acquired the belief that the world is dangerous and unpredictable. I surmised that most losses are too hard to endure and therefore must be minimized at all costs. A wise man must constantly look out for potential trouble and manage it as effectively as possible. In short, life was about surviving, not thriving.
Although I can trace the origin of these beliefs pretty readily, I cannot overcome them so easily. They are locked down at a deep level within me and all the rational self-talk I can muster is frequently not sufficient to ameliorate the fears.
I would love to tell you that as a result of this awareness I have come up with a great solution – five easy steps to success. But I have not. Instead, I realize that I will need to monitor myself for unreasonable fear responses and subject them to the truth of the Word and the wisdom of others. It is a humbling process, because it may be in direct opposition to my feelings.
I do not think I was given that piece of information in my dream as a rebuke, but rather as a compassionate gift of tenderness, an invitation to release some of the weight I have been carrying around for years. Perhaps we are never too old to grow, and it’s never too late to heal.