Why I am better than you...
I recently turned 44. The funny thing is, I had thought that I was 44 for most of the year that I was 43, so it was a relief to finally be the right age! I’m not sure why I had to stop and think about it, but every time age came up I had to take a moment and do the math. I know some people struggle with getting older, and there is a part of me that wishes I had my 20-something body (and metabolism!) but overall I wouldn’t trade the younger me for the current me. My 40’s have been the best so far, and I fully expect it to keep getting better. I still have a bikini pic from about 15 years ago to encourage me to dream big (or small), but when I look at this younger version of me, I feel bad for her. I am able to tell her “I am better than you”. You see, she really struggled. She always felt like she didn’t measure up, like she was not quite good enough, a little too heavy (she wasn’t), a little too loud, a little/lot too emotional. But she loved and she gave and she didn’t give up (although she entertained the idea a few times), and eventually, she became the 44 year old that is better - emotionally, spiritually, and in some ways even physically. I have birthed two children and helped to nurture and raise four others. I have laughed and cried and grown beside a man that God sent to me even though neither of us was close to God at the time. I have been blessed so far beyond what I deserve, and I am incredibly grateful for it. And I feel so fortunate to be able to pursue my dreams. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat about why I feel this is so important for us all.
(This post is a little lengthier than most will be, because I want you to get to know me a little bit. I think you’ll see that we probably have a lot in common…I’d love to know more about you, too! Feel free to comment or to reach out via social media. And make sure to scroll down to the bottom and subscribe to make sure you don't miss anything!)
It’s not about having a self-serving dream, but I believe we were all put here with specific gifts and abilities and we are meant to serve others and God. So what does that look like for you, on a personal level? For me I know that my purpose has always been to help people, although over the years that has changed and evolved. I went to nursing school right out of high school and have been a nurse in some capacity since I was 18 years old. The majority of my nursing career has been in hospice and palliative care, tending to those who are sick and dying. While I love certain aspects of that, and I feel that I have been able to make a pretty big impact in that role, I have felt for a couple of years that God has been leading me in a different direction. I left hospice for two years and then, for reasons I still do not understand, felt God very clearly leading me back there. I don’t know if this is something that I will be doing long-term in my current role (after-hours on call), transitioning to a different role, or leaving hospice once and for all at some point. But what I do know is that I am learning to listen to God’s voice and my own intuition, trusting that I will be guided in the right direction.
The past couple of years have been a time of digging deep and doing some hard work on myself. I have come to a few conclusions:
· If we don’t take care of ourselves then we are not able to do what God is calling us to do. That can be any number of things, including:
o take care of our families
o work in ministry
o work at a corporate job
o work for ourselves
o take on a major cause
o or something completely different – the possibilities are endless!
· We all have a purpose, but if we are not able to function we are not able to live out that purpose. Taking time to renew our spirit, our mind, and our body is one small way that we can, I assert, increase our productivity. When we feel better we do better. When our minds are not pulled in twenty different directions we are more effective. The quality of our work improves meaning we have less errors and less time is needed to spend fixing those errors.
· We are all works in progress. I never want to reach a point where I feel that I cannot improve. It is a delicate balance for me to appreciate all that I have while also wanting to be better, for a variety of reasons that we’ll chat about in a later post. That is the reason that the name of my coaching business is “Becoming YOUR Best with Jenny Lytle, RN”. It’s about progress, not perfection, and it’s also a very personal journey. What I want in my life, and what God has planned for me, is likely very different than what your best life looks like.
· A few more things I have discovered throughout my own journey:
people, especially women, crave connection
fear holds a lot of us back
prioritizing ourselves is rare
small changes can make a huge impact
Perhaps most significantly, I have learned that more than anything, I enjoy working with others to facilitate similar growth and breakthroughs. I am not perfect, I don’t have it all together. I am a work in progress that loves to come alongside other women to provide support and encouragement while they journey toward their best selves. I hope you’ll come back often and share your thoughts, comments, and questions! I can’t wait to get to know you better. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom and subscribe to make sure you don't miss anything!