Being shy is like being in a prison. Although I don’t know what it’s like to be in a physical prison, I do know what it’s like to be locked up inside. Recently, my husband asked me to attend a dinner for a roller blading club where he belongs. He sensed my hesitation, even though I thought I was hiding it. My old habit of feeling shy at meeting strangers had cropped up. I told him, “It’s just my shyness.” He wanted me to meet his new friends, so I went, and to my surprise, I wasn’t shy.
As I reflected on this, I realized the practices I have been doing in the last decade are transforming me to be my more authentic self – who really does care about others, but always had to fight the shyness. Through the created habit of listening and asking good questions, I realize my focus has shifted from myself to others, from “What will I say?” to “really listening” to what others are saying. The learned listening skills have set me free from the prison of shyness. The Listen to My Life maps have helped me to go back to my childhood and examine the cause of my shyness, and through the process and presence of the Lord, I am free.
Questions to Ponder:
- In what way might you be feeling locked up?
- Where has God used spiritual disciplines in your life to help you experience greater freedom, change your focus and be your more authentic self?
- How has this freedom allowed you to better express care and love to others?
- What have you learned about “really listening” to another?
The Lord sets prisoners free. Psalm 146:7b
Lord, as I seek you and spend time with you, I am amazed at the way you transform me over time. And until I step into those places I once avoided, I may not notice the work you have done in me. Help me to notice your wonderful works in my life so I may give you thanks, praise your name and live into to the new freedom you have brought. Amen.
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