Reflecting My Self to Others

When I first read the post back in October, offering a 4-meeting journey to write my mission statement, I hesitated. What does a person like me need a mission statement for? For the next few years, I’m in this staying home thing, raising these little girls before school starts.

img_3818But something tugged at me and I ended up signing up and joining 10 other amazing women as we met via video chat, from all corners. We talked each week, processed specific questions, learned from each other. We reframed the idea of a mission statement into a purpose statement, something that seemed much more applicable to this stage in my life.

At the end, during my one-on-one call with our leader, we were writing words and moving them around, seeing what worked and what just didn’t resonate. At one point, my statement seemed pretty good until my coach asked, Is this for you or for others?

We switched a couple words and suddenly, my purpose statement was for me. My coach said that if this statement was for others, it would falter. It needed to be at the core of my self. If I had a statement that reflected me, it would reflect to others naturally.

This process helped me reframe this idea of self-care, of purpose. It can be so easy to make life about others – how am I best serving the girls? How does our home best create hospitality for others? How can I best love and serve this world?

But, when I take all those core values – of serving and hospitality and love – and internalize them first, it seems easier to go out with energy to give what I have to others. It’s a reminder that self-care often means including myself in the things I’m already doing.

How do you make sure you are included in your purpose or mission? How do you reflect yourself onto those around you?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “Purpose.”

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18 thoughts on “Reflecting My Self to Others

  1. What a key question she asked, is it about you or others? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. I do know, that encouraging others is reciprocal. When I lift their spirits, mine are lifted. I need to consider a purpose statement for the next phase of my life. Well, I need to do more than consider it 😉

    1. Right? It was kind of uncomfortable, but so important…. If it’s all about others and not about what God is doing in me, well…. That is not a strong foundation. I think you should definitely write a purpose statement!!

  2. This is so helpful, Annie. I wrote about my purpose of being there for my kids – but absolutely, acknowledging the need for our purpose to reflect our core self is really important. We don’t lose ourselves in our true purpose; we find ourselves. Thanks for writing this today.

    Jeannie (I’m #44 in the linkup today)

    1. Thanks, Jeannie! That’s my natural instinct, too. Making it about my girls or about what I’m doing for others. But, it’s all connected, and when I’m not focused on my heart, it’s not sustaining for others, either. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thanks so much for that encouragement! It’s such a reminder of caring for my own heart and relationship with God, if I want to be at all effective for the people around me.

    1. Thanks, Tara! I’m learning that when I recognize my core needs and values, I find the rest and energy I need. (All intertwined and mixed up with Christ being at the center!)

  3. What a thoughtful post. I love that you had to be able to see your purpose statement for YOU, not for others. When we know what our purpose is, we can definitely pour ourselves out in living it out. And we can minister to others, especially if we give ourselves time to refuel.

    You got me thinking, friend. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! Right? When my spirit is filled and refreshed; when I keep Christ at my center, giving to others isn’t so tiring or draining… (It’s not like Jesus didn’t teach us that very thing, right?!) 😉

  4. Great post, Annie, and what a wonderful way to develop a mission/purpose statement.

    I have learned in recent times that my purpose was really never about me; that as the mission statement of being uplifting and encouraging to others gained clarity, the essence of what I thought was ‘me’ started to fray, and then to dissolve. I don’t know, really, who or what I am any more, and now I know that the question never really mattered.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    Great post, and I can SO relate!

    Illness has forced the need for rest upon me, when before I had been active from waking to grudging sleep. I resented it for a long time, until I realized that rest was working on me in a constructive way, changing my outlook and priorities.

    I still push as hard as I can when I can, but the times I can’t, I no longer hold in loathing.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/03/your-dying-spouse-279-greatest-gift-fmf.html

    1. Annie, my apologies…the second part of the comment is there because my reply on another blog didn’t take, and I copied and pasted it…then accidently did a paste to yours! I’m so sorry. Fast fingers, glacial brain.

      1. Ha! No worries 😉

        I love your perspective. I wonder if, as we mature and become more sure of our own purpose, the lines between self and others naturally blur…

    1. Maybe it’s just my own perspective as a mom, but I know that especially with motherhood I have to be very intentional about keeping my purpose my own. That when I do, my kids benefit so much more than when I make my purpose solely them.

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