I'm EXTRA...I Know It!
On my way back from our family thanksgiving trip...and thoughts are racing through my mind. In fact, every time I go away, I always come home with a new perspective. As I'm looking out the window, observing the beautiful mountains, hills, and simply thinking about how I would love to move away from Michigan (Ha!), I truly realize that I am a very "extra-ordinary" person. Like, I really am an out of the box thinker; and I truly view the world through unique lenses. By definition, extraordinary is defined as: going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary. This was interesting to me as I instantly connected when I read this description. Growing up, my mother would often tell me that I was a very "different" child. She frequently shares how I always challenged the norm and would do and say things that were totally unexpected from a child of my age. So, being "extra" is pretty much what I've always been (Ha!).
I've always been that girl who would see things that others often ignored. Or that person willing to launch into the deep, while others sat comfortably on shore. I was always the one willing to take the risk, even if it meant failing! Yep! I was willing to fail trying than to fail to try! I never understood (still don't) how individuals would complain about their relationships, community, marriages, friendships, etc., yet never be driven to lift a finger and/or be willing to put in the "extra" time and effort to make the very things they were complaining about better. And let's be clear. I'm in no way professing to be perfect; nor am I claiming to have all of life's issues figured out. Trust me, I am far from that. However, what I am saying is: when it's all said and done, we are only responsible for our own actions. Thus, we cannot expect to have more, be more, see more, and do more if we're not willing to put in the extra work. Yes, you heard it right…it takes work. It’s hard. It’s exhausting at times. You’re not always fully supported. You’ll be judged. You’ll gain enemies, spectators and you might even be blessed to gain some new friends as your desire and heart for “more” will push out the old and welcome in the new.
Additionally, one thing that I've noticed over the years is that people tend to stick with what they know and/or what feels comfortable. By nature, we hate change. I have talked and chatted with so many individuals who often share their disappointment/dissatisfaction with their careers, relationships, environment, church, community, etc.; nevertheless, as soon as I challenge these same folks to take the necessary steps to change and/or develop a strategic plan to implement change, they shift gears or suddenly go silent (smile). Another thing that I have learned is, people who truly want more, will go after more. You can talk, yell, and preach until you're blue in the face, but one thing you won't do is convince people into doing something that’s not important to them. When a person is hungry, they search for food. When they're thirsty, they look for something to quench their thirst. Granted, the food and beverage may not be the healthiest option, but if it satisfies their desire, they stick with it. And herein lies the problem. Many are eating from the wrong tables and drinking from bitter/tainted fountains. You are what you eat. You cannot expect sweet orange juice to flow from a grapefruit. Hence, the very reason why so many are eating and drinking, yet still longing for more strength, and more energy! It’s like bypassing the produce aisle in the grocery store and heading straight to the processed foods. Its comparable to wanting a better relationship, yet you're not willing to invest into it. It’s saying you want to feel, look and eat better, yet refusing to purchase the very foods that will properly nourish your body.
In conclusion, when you really want more (in all areas of life), you will do what's needed. You will go the EXTRA mile. You will attend those conferences, workshops, trips, etc. You will go back to school. You will do what others aren't willing to do. You will view that two-hour seminar as an investment, and the information will be like medicine and fuel, pushing you further into what God has in store for you! You will see the treasure and beauty in those small and large investments. You will see what’s hidden from others. Your vision will become clearer and more distinct. You will travel and see the world so differently. You will disconnect from toxic people, and you will open your heart to allowing God to bring and birth new covenant relationships. You will be annoyed and sickened by racism, inequity, gossip, and anything that screams hate, jealousy, envy, unfaithfulness, and the like. You will become a doer…and not just a talker or onlooker. You will be free from “people bondage”, meaning you will no longer allow the distorted and/or poisonous opinions of others concerning you or anything/anyone you’re connected to directly affect you or throw you off track.
So, yes…I am indeed an EXTRA-ordinary person…and I do not plan to ever be ordinary! I was born to be different! And guess what? So were you!
Canena Adams, LLBSW, MA, SRAS
WOW Founder & Director