Last week, we left off with me declaring that I was going to move forward with a “clean slate”, starting with clearing off my actual whiteboard, which was cluttered with useless lists and reminders.
As it turns out, I didn’t clean it off as quickly as I intended to.
For some reason, I had the feeling that there was something ‘more’ about to reveal itself.
That turned out to be an enormous understatement.
I posted my blog Friday and had a very productive Saturday, reorganizing things around the house, hanging paintings, deep cleaning the kitchen, etc. but on Sunday, something started to percolate.
I found myself struggling with strong feelings of frustration, anxiety, and grief around three key areas which I had been trying to reconcile for the past few months but was also kind of avoiding. In retrospect, I was probably hesitant to come to terms with these things because each of them, though unrelated in terms of context, was deeply personal, highly sensitive, and fairly controversial to varying degrees. I was also doubting myself as to whether my feelings were justified so I just put them on the back burner, in hopes that a solution would magically emerge, saving me the discomfort of having to confront them.
By the end of the day, I could feel myself doing everything I could to hold it together, and then I received a piece of information (related to one of the issues) that put me over the edge.
I was in such turmoil and anguish that all I could do was pray and cry myself to sleep. As I lay in my bed, I begged God to help me but some of the issues seemed so overwhelming that I could not even imagine how I was going to be able to discern the answer if and when it was delivered.
And then, it came to me.
I would begin a prayer fast the next morning.
For those of you who don’t know what a prayer fast is, it is defined as “a temporary renunciation of something that is in itself good, like food, in order to intensify our expression of [a] need for something greater — namely, God and his work in our lives.”
I decided to do this because I desperately needed to find peace and it just felt like the best way to show God I was serious.
So, I spent the next two days, praying and talking to God, fasting all day and eating only dinner.
During that time, a series of miraculous things happened, each directly relating to the specific nature of my concerns. It was fascinating to be an observer of how God organized and directed certain events and circumstances so that each of the three issues would be addressed in the right order. As it turns out, I needed one of the issues to be addressed first, in order to give me the correct perspective on and support for the other two.
You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you how God revealed exactly what I needed but I’m truly amazed at how swiftly and surely He comforted me and brought peace to my heart through His word, through circumstances He created and through the love and support of others who reached out, just at the right time.
Even though there is one issue that still causes the most pain and anguish, it is only one that I have no control over. There is nothing I can do that I am not already doing and now that I have come to terms with the other two issues, I am able to see that clearly.
So, what was this all about?
I believe that, before I could really move forward with a clean slate, I needed to address these three things. Even though I felt ready and inspired to start fresh, I still hadn’t admitted to myself the impact they were having on me. Had I not addressed them now, they would have become stumbling blocks for me, somewhere down the road.
While they may not be fully resolved yet (and perhaps they may never be) the important thing is that I’m aware of them. Because of this, I’ll be able to draw on the resources God has provided me, giving me a greater capacity to cope with whatever comes.
Finally, the Slate is Clean!
Yesterday morning during prayer, I finally felt resolution around my issues and, as I glanced at my whiteboard again, I knew it was time to clean it.
As soon as I wiped off the last bit of marker, God revealed to me what was next!
So now…. without further ado… the BIG reveal…
MY PERSONAL MANIFESTO!!!!
Based on recent events and as I pay attention to where God is leading me, creating a personal manifesto makes so much sense!
I did a little bit of research today and found a great resource that serves as a guide for completing your own Personal Manifesto. I’m very excited to share it with you and to give you a sneak peek into my first draft, as well.
I’ll include them below and will also create a separate post for my Manifesto so that I can update it and keep it current.
I look forward to sharing more with you next week.
Until then, thanks for walking with me…
May you be blessed :)
How To Write Your Personal Manifesto
A personal manifesto is a declaration of your core values and beliefs, what you stand for, and how you intend to live your life. It functions both as a statement of principles and as a call to action. A personal manifesto can serve as all of the following:
- As a frame for your life.
- As a compass, pointing you toward what you’ve decided is your true north.
- As a mechanism for focusing your mind and reminding you of your priorities.
- As a source of motivation.
- As a behavior modification system, so that you always act in accordance with your values, even during times of stress.
- As a mechanism to keep you striving to achieve high ideals.
- As inspiration to live your purpose more fully.
- As a foundation upon which to build your life.
- As a way to begin to bring a new life—or a new way of living—into existence.
Begin writing your manifesto by making a list of the areas that you want to address. For example, you could make a list of the most important people in your life and write down how you intend to behave when it comes to each of them. You can also decide to include areas such as the following:
- Dealing with disappointment and hardships.
- Dealing with failures and mistakes.
- Dealing with opportunities and risk taking.
- Daily interaction with others (waiters, cashiers, neighbors, and so on).
- Choosing your attitude.
- Your general approach toward life.
- How you’ll treat your body.
- How you’ll spend your money.
- How you’ll spend your time.
In addition, you can create a manifesto by asking yourself questions such as the following:
- What do I stand for?
- What am I willing to die for?
- What are my strongest beliefs?
- How do I want to live my life?
- How do I choose to define myself?
- What changes do I need to make so that I can live my best life?
- What words do I want to live my life by?
Here are five general guidelines for writing your manifesto:
- Make it uplifting.
- Use strong language (don’t be wishy-washy).
- It can be as short or as long as you like (but don’t make it so long that you can’t read it every day).
- Write it in the present tense.
- Keep it positive.