Did you know that I recently attended the Influence Conference in Nashville? It was my first time attending after wanting to for YEARS, and it was the last conference. The timing was certainly perfect for me, and I feel like I saw and heard exactly what I was supposed to see and hear.
On the morning of January 14, I walked into a gorgeous church in Nashville. I was eager to meet more faces that I'd only known online. (I got to meet several at an Influence Network member's only event the previous night!) I was expectant and hopeful to hear something that rang true from each of the incredible teachers. Obviously, I heard more than I could even jot down in my notebook.
Jess Connolly was the first speaker, and her words rocked my world. It has been weeks, and I am still thinking of them daily. (Partially because I knew I needed to write this post and wasn't making the time to do it. Tonight seems like the right time.)
Jess described a retreat she had attended where they described their broken selves and their ideal selves.
My broken self is the junk-food loving, reality tv binging, spending money because I like stuff, responsibility procrastinating self.
My ideal self is the 30-year old who has a great skincare routine, accepts my body for how it is, loves my job, is able to balance my checkbook to the penny, is a spectacular wife/daughter/sister/friend, is the perfect balance of introvert/extrovert, is always appropriately energized, and is, like, SO CUTE.
BUT, as Jess pointed out, "My ideal self is not my most influential self. Who is your ideal self? Picture her. There is freedom in stopping trying to be her! Influence has nothing to do with worldly assignment but has everything to do with being an eternal ambassador."
It was really as Jess was telling us these things aloud that I realized I compare myself most to my ideal self. Sure, my ideal self is made up of the best components that other people share on Instagram, but I'm stuck in the hamster wheel of trying to only be that girl.
So, on IF: Gathering Eve, it only seemed appropriate to go back over the notes I took during her talk and write this post. (I do wish I could just let you hear her entire talk for yourself. It was BEYOND.)
Here's what I'm shattering about my ideal self:
I don't fit into the clothes I fit into when I was 22, but I'm tired of blaming my anxiety meds or my metabolism for the body I have now. I either want to learn to exercise to get a banging body and/or I want to accept the one God gave me. I feel certain there's a healthy balance.
I sometimes go right to bed without taking my makeup off. This doesn't mean I'm failing as an adult.
If I wait until my home is clean and just how I always hoped it would look (#Pinterest), I will certainly miss out on loving others well in a comfortable space.
I can't wait until I grow up and turn into my dreamy, ideal self. That's not who I'm made to be. This life really isn't about me after all. Jess said, "We were put on earth to bring people into the marvelous light - not for any other reason."
All of that to say, we are created to be FREE in the Lord. The gospel is true, and it's for all of us. Go in to the weekend with this in your mind.