Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who Says?

It’s rare the times that I'll learn something from a commercial. Sure those “Columbia House” commercials back in the day made me cry. And yes, I’m still very moved by those sentimental Hallmark card commercials they play during Christmas. And we mustn’t forget the old ‘Folgers” commercial where the son returns from war and his mother embraces him with such love to cause a grown man to cry like a baby. Yes, commercials can have an emotional factor to them. But recently, a simple statement in a birth control commercial sort of empowered me.

You know that commercial that tells women that they don’t have to have their period every month? In the commercial the women look at the camera and say, “Who says you have to have your period every month?” And yes, it may seem silly to be motivated or to learn something profound from a contraceptive commercial, but the simple words, “Who says…” really affirmed the season that I am in at the moment.

I am living in a season where I am questioning some of the things that I thought to be law, things that we all seem to accept. For example, who says that I can’t be strong and yet feminine at the same time? Pink is still my favorite color. : ) Who says that I can’t question aspects of my faith that I don’t understand? Who says that I shouldn’t take chances?

It’s amazing how many things in life we accept just because we think we should. It’s almost like there’s this invisible rulebook or checklist we’re supposed to live and abide by. Who says I’m supposed to follow? I’d rather take a chance in life and pursue what I believe is right than just follow and accept something just because everyone else does.

There are so many choices and mindsets in my life that I have recently learned were influenced by the words in that boring rule book. I’m learning that it’s okay to be me and to have the desires that I have. Just because someone is well liked by everyone else doesn’t mean that I have to like him or her too. And just because a certain path or formula worked in someone’s life doesn’t mean it will work in mine. I’m learning not to feel bad when the corporate world shuts another door in my face. I don’t feel we’re compatible anyway.

The truth is we are all in a different path, learning different things in different ways. What I am called to is not necessarily what the next person should pursue. It’s amazing the transformation that can take place in one’s life when the rug has been pulled from under them repeatedly. Or when they’ve tried “everything” the voices have suggested and still the doors stay stubbornly shut.

Who says I have to think, feel, and be what the rulebook says I should? I’m on my own journey. In the words of “Popeye,” “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am”

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