True Success: Outside Inside Out
What is true Success?
It happens. The webernet trolls, who seriously I do not understand, have been active this week. Honestly, I wasn’t exactly sure what happened to prompt the onslaught. But then, I was tagged in a post, shared by For Every Mom.
As it turns out, two of my viral posts, The Vomit Blog and An Open Letter to My Children: You’re Not That Great, had been reposted by the popular online mommy magazine.
When I dipped my toes into the world of blogging, it was an act of surrender. Before blogging was even on my radar, I had taken my manuscript to a writer’s convention with a curious interest in publishing. However, my curiosity quickly turned to disillusionment. Honestly, with no experience, no connections, and absolutely zero interest in “platform,” the dream of publishing had lasted about 12 minutes. Frankly, I was fully prepared to walk away from the very idea.
Obviously, success was to be measured in a following of folks who would believe I was something, I knew I was not.
So, I packed my bags and headed home with the full intention of never writing another word.
And then, I blogged.
Funny, I say that as if I committed a crime. Some would propose, I did.
Truly, since that first post, I have changed in so many ways. Now I know, I don’t have to make anyone believe anything about me. From behind my computer screen, I evolved into my true self.
Now, here I sit in a coffee shop in Knoxville, Tennessee, writing to you about success. And, at the moment, I feel like a total failure.
Don’t worry. It will pass, and I swear, there is a point to this madness.
At the moment, as I sift through ugly emails, criticizing my character and beliefs, to my right is my good friend, Rebecca’s daughter, Shawna. Shawna is the epitome of innocence. She is all together, too good to be true. Shawna calls her mom, “Empress.” The little pixie, who has an irresistible lisp and an infatuation with Eastern culture and Tae Kwando, has made my trip even more delightful. Quirky and brilliant, this child eats popcorn with chopsticks and talks to her cats, Lyra and Half-Moon, in Mandarin. Shawna is writing a book, a comic book, and reads fantasy fiction in between.
In comparison, directly behind me, on the coffee-house-chic worn sofa, is a man with a full beard, dressed in women’s clothing, wearing a pair of boots I’d kill for. If he did not have the foulest and most corrupt mouth. Honestly, I would lean over and ask him where in the world he found the trendy leather wonders.
Simply because, it is impossible to find anything to zip up over my Nordic calves.
My senses are on high alert.
In one moment, I feel assaulted by bad words. In the next, I feel hopeful for the innocent. Then, I am covered in worry. Still, somewhere out there, there is a pair of boots made for girls built like me. From one moment to the next, the world gives and takes away.
Go ahead, call me scatterbrained, I know, it is true. It isn’t easy to be bombarded by thoughts and feel compelled to expose them. And yet, here I go again.
Success is defined as the accomplishment of aim or purpose. The attainment of popularity or profit. A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
And while some of the things I have done and will do with aim and purpose will succeed, I know, others will not.
Everywhere, humans around me, well dressed, innocent, foul-mouthed, wonder-filled, and otherwise, might view my aims and purpose with criticism.
Therefore, while these views, just as I described them, may come for or against me, they do not define me.
Praise, popularity, wealth, money, and fame aside, there is but one thing that will truly define success.
For me, the outside forces will not be allowed to dictate what I know is the truth. Yes, I will falter. Sure enough, when I started this post, I was discouraged.
But this much I hold most dear, my God knows me. I am fully known and fully loved by Him.
This to me is everything in the realm of success.
My seven-year-old son, Sam, says this thing, a thing that I am embracing in my life from here to eternity.
When Sam gets dressed or puts his shoes and socks on, if a clothing item is inside out, he says, “Will you fix dis? It’s outside-inside-out.”
I am certain Sam is oblivious to how much this verbiage holds.
And, in the real world, there is criticism, judgment, hatred, and a sliding scale.
Inside my heart, there is the truth of who I am, how I am loved, and all that this God, whose ways are perfect, has planned in the ways of true success.
And, out of that will flow what is good, true, and pleasing to Him alone.
So, according to the world, there is this incongruity called success.
It is even more inside out than Sam’s stinky socks. Out of me, will flow the production of grandness. Inside me, I “should” be motivated to advance, pull myself up by my bootstraps, put on my positivity pants, and embrace a “go get em!” attitude. And, outside, the world might applaud my endeavors, throw money at my feet, and at the end of the day, I would retire to one of my seven homes in seven remote, tropical locations, and sip expensive champagne, that they might call me a success.
Now, here, in a coffee shop, with a pixie by my side, a fashionable, foul mouth behind, a long flight ahead, and a heart full of the truth, I am calling myself a success from this day forward.
So then, let me say, what I never want, what I hope to never achieve, is a reward where I am more, and He is less. Let this be my battle cry, viral post, or open letter to me alone.
Therefore, it is finished. And, I win. For He lost everything, that I might succeed.
[bctt tweet=”It is finished. I win, for He lost everything, that I might succeed. #success” quote=”It is finished. I win, for He lost everything, that I might succeed. #success”]
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Then Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. John 8:54
Now, go check out our latest podcast on Jubilee Road! And, be sure and check out our Patreon page! Seriously, you cannot believe all the goods Rebecca has created to go along with this episode!