How to Avoid Going through the Motions | The BridgeMaker

How to Avoid Going through the Motions

By on Apr 27, 2009

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

Sometimes we allow our lives to become stale and uninspiring. We begin to settle for the good enoughs and we don’t challenge ourselves to be who God has meant each of us to be. We may pretend we are living a passionate life, but really we are just going through the motions.

There have many times when I perfected the art of being busy. My workload and long hours was impressive to some, but I wasn’t accomplishing anything of real substance. I wasn’t improving my relationships and I was not moving any closer to living my life’s purpose.

The mechanics of life should not be confused with the content of life. For me, it’s easy to go through the motions. I can get up in the morning, shave and begin my day with a calm and self-assured outward appearance. I know how to say the right things and what to do, and not to do, that will create a favorable impression. I know how to feign that I’m engaged and interested, but underneath the polished exterior I feel like I can’t hold my breath any longer.

My heart is longing for more. However, my faith tells me there is a plan He created just for me. I’m beginning to understand when I peel back what I put out there for the world to see and allow everyone to see the real me; the authentic Alex instead, then I stop acting to please and start living to be me.

We need to be honest when the realization smacks us in the face that we are moving, but not really going anywhere. When we feel our faith shaken, it’s time to be real with ourselves. No more pretending. No more going through the motions. It’s time to take hold of the gifts we have been given and begin living within our hearts.

Be free
When we hear our souls cry out to be free, we can choose to ignore the quiet desperation or we can respond by allowing our spirit to feel the freedom it craves. We often build personal prisons with walls constructed of should haves and doubt.

Overtime we may feel more comfortable living in their confinement because it’s what we know and there is an odd security with the familiar. But to grow we need to wake our souls and tell them there is more to life than the mundane and the mediocre. Waiting for all of us is passion, greatness and the ability to open our minds and allow love to flow and cover us in its compassion.

Be free to take the chance you have always wanted to take. It’s not about knowing how to do it, it’s about knowing what you want to do. When you set the what free; the how will be revealed to you.

Be free to begin living the dream you have painted in your mind. Be free to take the first brick out the wall that has made you motionless. Use these bricks to begin building a path to take you wherever you want to go.

Hold on tight
Stepping from the familiar and into the unknown takes a new kind of balance. When we are walking through life and simply going through the motions, we are walking with a recognizable pace. We have learned where the landmines are buried and we have a mental map of the potholes so they can be avoided.

One step in the wrong direction and our lives can blow up right in our face. So, we don’t venture off the conventional path. We play it safe and we don’t do anything differently. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Begin walking in a new direction. If you need help, ask. Grab hold of the last piece of faith you have and feel its strength to keep you upright, balanced and moving forward. Faith is a wonderful thing. Once you surrender to it, no matter how much you think is left, it will regenerate itself to whatever amount is needed.

Hold on tight to Him and trust the final destination is a place you can finally call home.

Let your light shine
When we shut down our spirit and succumb to just doing rather than being, an eerie darkness covers our spirit and doesn’t allow our potential to give all it has to offer.

The light in all of us never really goes out; it just feels that way sometimes. Our light is the center of our existence and as long as we are living, the light still burns. The temperature of its burn is what matters.

Breathe in hope and feel the power of the fresh oxygen ignite the fire inside of you. Let your light shine for everyone to see. Share your gifts, reveal your kindness. Hide nothing so others may also believe the Provider of the light has plenty more to share.

Be there
Wake up and feel, really feel the emotions surfacing inside you. When we push down the feelings and thoughts we want to ignore, we don’t leave enough room to celebrate the goodness we all possess. And there left attended, but allowed to pile up, is regret for a life that could have been, if only we had not settled for just going through the motions.

Be there today. Be there today and choose a different result. Be there with the feelings and knowledge you can take your life any direction you wish. Be there in His presence and understand whatever you want; whatever your thinking, He has placed those thoughts in you. You own them. And one day, if you believe and never give up, you will live them as intended.

Be there in this moment. Either a step to the left or a step to the right will make all the difference.

We are never alone. While there are many times loneliness can be the agony of our souls, an invitation is always extended to share our burdens. However, the power of prayer is not in the opportunity to ask for our problems to be resolved, but rather in asking for a relationship to grow.

For me, prayer is like the cellular phone television commercial where the mother tries to explain to her children the importance, and value, of hanging on to the roll-over minutes. There may be a month, she insists, when they are caught short because too many minutes were used and they didn’t keep proper track. The roll-over minutes should never be given away, she explains to her children, because you never know when you might need them.

Prayer is like that for me. It may be easy to forget the need for that close relationship when things are going well. But none of us really know when disappointment and pain will surface again. Consistent prayer keeps the communication channel open.

When we pray, if we really pay attention to how our hearts are being nudged we will sense when we are going through the motions and when we are truly living from our hearts. We can feel the difference.

Open the floodgates
Lately, I feel like I have been drowning and no one has heard my cry for help. I’ve been waiting to be saved and feeling frustrated that no one is responding.

The truth is I have had the power all along to save myself. My life is where it should be and I need to be thankful for that. I stay stuck, motionless at times, because I keep waiting for what I want to happen and not finding peace with what is actually happening. I go through the motions because I dig in my heels and refuse to see the value in what I have been given.

There is no way to know what tomorrow, next month, or even next year has in store for any of us. But if we believe, and allow the floodgates to open, we will be drenched in feelings of hope and purpose and we can move gracefully from merely doing and into being who we are meant to be.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Shaye

    I agree rachel. I just had my daughter the 8th of this month. I had a scary postpartum hemorrhage. So the last couple of weeks I feel I have been going through the motions so I googles it. Found this article. Very inspiring. Thank you Jesus for peoe like Alex. Thank u for sharing!!