I did something this year that I NEVER thought I would ever ever do… I started listening to Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving. I broke my own rule of waiting until after Thanksgiving dinner, and surprisingly I’m okay with it.
Christmas music is my thing, I realllly like it. I’ve got tons of Christmas CDs and probably about 5 or 6 Christmas Stations set in my Pandora account. I find this style of music relaxing and calming when I’m stressed and just all the way around fun. But it is a special thing for a special time of year and I’m always afraid I will get tired of it because I will listen to it a lot. I’m also a traditions kind of gal and Christmas music was played on the drive back from Thanksgiving day at my Grandma’s or Great Aunt’s home. I don’t like breaking tradition.
There is another rule I’ve been breaking…
My goal with Selah Reflections is to post at least once a week. I haven’t been all that great at it this summer and fall. And while I’m not always okay with it, I am learning to relax about it and realize there is only so much I can do. If I am doing my best that is all I can ask of my self. So I’m learning to break my own rule on this one too.
Normally I would say rules are there for a reason (oh great… now I sound like my Mom!). That they have been put in place for our protection and sometimes for things or situations we can’t always see ahead of time.
But I do find that we put rules and expectations on ourselves that are just to unrealistic. When we don’t live up to these unrealistic expectations we get mad and the inner dialogue of putting ourselves down can get pretty nasty. We would never say these things out loud to a friend or loved one but we do not hesitate to say it loudly inside our own heads.
It’s time to take a step back and look at these rules.
1) Whose rule is it? It is an outward expectation put on us by someone else or is it something we created for ourselves?
2) Is it realistic? Have you created a standard that no one could live up to? We can be incredibly demanding of ourselves in ways we would never ask someone else to be, and that is not fair!
3) Is it Bible based? I’m not exactly sure how to phrase this one, but I do think that there are some rules we place on ourselves out of guilt and fear. God does not give us a spirit of fear, so we need to look deeper and examine the root and purpose of some of our rules and respond accordingly.
I would challenge you to start questioning. Look at some of the rules and expectations you have for yourself, look at the source and pray about it. Is it a rule that needs to stay in place or is it one that needs to go?
Is there a rule you could break today and be okay with? Go wild… be like me and start listening to Christmas music early!! (Actually… I’m sure there is more than one of you that already has ;)!)
Where do your rules come from? Are there any you should change?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.