My years of singleness have been a love affair I’m not ready to let go of.
Through them I’ve experienced pain and joy and gratitude and longing and overwhelming peace. I’ve learned key things about myself I never knew, and solidified my core characteristics. I’ve treasured this stage in my life and I like where I’m at. So why would I move on?
Well, I won’t.
A knee-jerk response at best, this stopped me in my tracks. Why do I feel so adamant and quick to jump on the defense? Even when the feeling that sparks my stubbornness is a good thing for me in this moment, why do I respond in this manner?
To be stubborn is an action – it’s implied in the very structure of how we talk about it. Stubbornness is not something that goes by unnoticed or unchecked. It is bulky and loud. It’s digging in our heels. Actively resisting. To be stubborn is to draw a line in the sand, plant our feet on one side and firmly declare our positions.
How is it, then, that stubborn practices can easily and sneakily work their way into our lives? What does that look like?
Maybe we’re living inside familiar comfort zones, avoiding trying something new. Perhaps it’s not letting someone past our carefully constructed façades. Maybe we’re even not letting ourselves dig a little deeper into who we are – to learn what gives our world vibrancy or even what takes it away. Maybe we’re choosing not to acknowledge our own weaknesses.
Or maybe, for the third time this week, we’re sacrificing sleep to tackle our loftiest and most terrifying goals. We could be refusing to take up less space in the life we’ve created for ourselves. Stubbornness can even manifest when we decide to tell the world how to view us, instead of letting imposing definitions shape us and influence our form.
It’s okay to be aware of when we’re safeguarding our hearts, but let’s not allow ourselves to remain there too long.
Stubborn actions can also be a sort of pseudo-strength. Maybe we need to put up a wall for ourselves, only momentarily, to retreat and patch our wounds. To convince ourselves that, yes, I am worthy, during the times when we believe it the least.
The act of being stubborn – whether purposefully or not – can serve many purposes in our lives. Yet, we need to remain mindful of the line between self-care and putting restrictions on ourselves out of fear or under the guise of protection. It’s okay to be aware of when we’re safeguarding our hearts, but let’s not allow ourselves to remain there too long.
We need to examine our habits, our patterns. Is there stubbornness rooted where we never thought to look? Are we in a rut that is preventing us from growing? Let’s be honest with ourselves and recognize when we’re clinging to things we shouldn’t, whether it be our past, our expectations or our fears. Together, let’s challenge ourselves to embrace even the smallest change. To rise up and move forward.
Where could stubbornness be manifesting in your life?
Image via Michelle Madsen