the key to learning

I think it’s safe to say that for most of us repetition is the key to learning. For myself especially I know that learning anything looks a lot like processing any single thing multiple times with multiple perspectives and generally the same outcome. I find that even if I believe something, there inevitably has to be a point where I question and analyze that thing a few times before the belief becomes real to me.

For the past few months I’ve been learning a lot about what it looks like to be faithful in the mundane. What obedience means when you’re just…normal. Where the beauty lies when you’re not doing anything big or seemingly significant. I’ve been learning about true freedom and what that means for my expectations. Of both myself and others. (A lesson I don’t feel like there will ever be an end to my learning)

It’s been interesting to say the least. And even the very first time I was confronted with idea of beauty being present in mundane boring things, I believed in its existence, its truth, its importance. And so I began saying it. I began telling people about how that’s what I was seeking and that’s what I was investing in. I found myself changing the way I viewed and explained my job, my hobbies, my stuff in general. Some people got it and some people didn’t. And honestly some days I get it and some days I don’t.

But there’s another principle I firmly believe in, and that is “if you say something often enough, you will start to believe it”. We see it in culture all the time–body image, societal motivations, even religious organizations thrive by the practicality of that statement. Now this can be a dangerous thing, totally, absolutely, without a doubt, but it also can be a really helpful thing when your heart and your head just can’t seem to play nice.

Recently I found myself talking to a new person—explaining these things and my focus and my passion and my belief in what the unknown future holds. I realized as I was saying—repeating really—things I’ve been saying for a while now, that I meant them. And not just believed them, but I felt them. And I said them with absolutely no hesitation and only felt satisfaction and confidence and joy resting in my chest. Somewhere along the way something transformed and became not just something external that I believed or said, but rather a part of me.

I don’t really know how it happened, and I don’t really know how to explain it even. But I do know that it’s made a world of difference. And I guess the whole point of this is just to say, Don’t Give Up. (Never Quit, Never Surrender) If you know you believe something and can’t quite feel it, keep digging deep and allow yourself to rest and become comfortable in the tension because eventually that tension becomes a beautiful place of support and strength that you likely don’t even realize you’re cultivating for yourself.

you do you.

PS i got a new job which i guess is the real culmination of this experience in my life, but i’m going to save that for another post.

as always, thanks for reading.

-j

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