So many of us, to some degree, live in the shadows and expectations of others whether we’re aware of it or not.  It only takes one person to present a “fact” and the rest of us accept it as our truth. e.g. Intellect and income assumed by one’s education, beauty defined by one’s weight or the colour of one’s skin. The list goes on.  A current reality was presented and the rest of us accepted it as a truth going forward.  At some point we gave in and started living our lives based on what others believe to be true. The problem with this is that we start measuring our success in life according to the world’s definition of success.  I say it’s time to challenge the norm.  To change the tune, break through our shells and raise the bar on how we see things and how we see ourselves.  It’s time to separate the facts from the truth.  It’s time to live in your truth.

~ Rom 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ~

1. The fact is your current resume. The truth is you’re so much more than those 3 pages.

It’s easy to be placed in a box.  A category.  A class.  But that’s not who you are and you certainly should not allow yourself to be stereotyped or criticized for not conforming.  Nowadays, for this very reason, it’s difficult to have meaningful, long-lasting, authentic relationships with anyone.  We are too quick to judge and place expectations on others.  So much so that it becomes difficult to be ourselves, to say how we really feel, what we really think and be who we really are.  It’s time for us to embrace our truth and live in it.  Be the unique you and the right people will love you for it.

~ Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well ~

2.  The fact is you’re not completely where you want to be in life. The truth is that you have so much more to be grateful for than you realize.

Living in your truth requires you to acknowledge and accept who you are at this moment.  Love your life irrespectively. I often feel like I should’ve been further along in life.  As though the mistakes I’ve made held me back and I have this anger and frustration deep down.  I deal with it, move on, and somehow the emotion comes back again.  The only way to overcome this feeling, I’ve come to learn, is genuine gratitude.  Think of everything in your life that adds to your happiness.  Every blessing, moment or victory big or small.  Reflect on it until it makes you smile, literally.  Seriously, try it.  We need to do this at least once a day.  Because that smile right there, is God’s will for your life.

~ 1 Thes 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus ~

3.  The fact is that people in our life are able to affect the way we feel, think and react. The truth is that we have the power and the decision is ultimately ours.

For many of us, sadly, 1 nasty comment or action from a co-worker can upset your day and change your mood completely.  The fact is, that’s their opinion.  What is your truth?  What they say or do is on them, how you react is on you.  Take back control.  Make a conscious decision that nothing will spoil your day.

~ Prov 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. ~

4.  The fact is that you don’t have much money in your name. The truth is that you are 1 decision away from changing your financial future.

You have everything you need inside of you just waiting to be cultivated in order to change your reality.  The most common stepping stones are fear and doubt.  It’s never too late to change your life.  Be bold and believe that you can.

~ Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~

5.  The fact is that you sometimes feel weak. The truth is that you’re much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Think of the last time you felt hopeless but made it through somehow.  Now remember, the higher the mountain the harder the climb.  Sometimes tougher times means that you’re making progress.  During a work-out the real work starts when the muscles start to burn.  The burn produces the results.  In addition, the more difficult the challenge becomes the greater the lesson and ultimately the stronger the person.  So yes, you are meant to feel weak sometimes.  You are meant to face mountains.  You are meant to develop, learn, grow and ultimately conquer.  Keep climbing.  And soon you’ll discover that the higher the mountain, the better the view.

~ 2 Cor 12:10 …for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~

Remember people will always talk, criticize and condemn. But until they’ve walked in your shoes they will never understand.  As hard as it may be, get over it.  I give you permission to care less about what the critics and pessimists think.  Going into 2018, do not live your life in anyone’s shadow but the One who formed you and had He’s eyes on you from day 1.  It’s time to live your truth.  It’s time to pave the way for your purpose.

Welcome to 2018!  My God bless you and may you have an abundance of everything that brings true happiness.