Don’t Settle.

Most of us dread Mondays. Even if Monday is a holiday, it’s only preparation for the drag back to work or back into the routine of children, homework, laundry piles and exhaustion. As women, we’re often groomed to focus our energies on getting married, having babies and taking care of our families. If we do have a career or dreams, they are to be put on the backburner for our spouses and our children. We watched our mothers and grandmothers sacrifice their dreams for the family and we are expected do the same.
But….I want something different. 
I applaud my mother for her hard work…she taught me the work ethic I that got me where I am today but, I am also sad.  In spite of my mother’s hard work and sacrifice, she retired only to return to work shortly afterward because she simply could not afford to live on her retirement. At 73 years old my mother is still working and she’s never had a single day of vacation in her life. Is this all life offers?  
It’s heartbreaking and the cycle must stop. But, how?
I’m a “tough” woman according to most. There’s no question regarding the strength God instilled in me and I am grateful. Unfortunately, many misconstrue my strength and think I’ve never known what it feels like to want to give up. 
The reality is even the strongest get tired and want to give in. Living with bipolar disorder, there are days I do not want to get out of bed or open the curtains. There are days when I think of my job and I sigh in agony because of the stress it brings. I think of days when my responsibilities were less and I long for them as a young girl for her childhood crush. 
After over a year of sulking and complaining, I realized the dissatisfaction I felt was not there to frustrate or stress me; in fact, it was the complete opposite. Dissatisfaction came as a result of my complacency and its purpose was to help me recognize I was on a path to settling. I had two choices: 
A.  I could continue my current path because I am miserably “comfortable” where I am or, 
B.   I can trust Spirit Who leads and allow this to propel me into the greater Will and experience joy.
I think I like option B. 
Most High has given us the choice of life or death and encourages us to choose life. Unfortunately, we can get so wrapped up in the things of this world that we choose what’s most comfortable, even if it isn’t the most “life producing” option.
It is important for us to review our choices to ensure we’re choosing life over death in all areas of our lives – relationships, careers, health, diet, social and spiritual lives, etc. 
Are we choosing life when we choose to work that extra shift but we KNOW we need to rest?
Are we choosing life when we put foods in our bodies that we KNOW work against it?
Are we choosing life when we constantly put ourselves last under the guise we’re “serving others” but internally we’re complaining about the reality that no one thinks of us (how can they if you never think of yourself?). 
We MUST choose life. And choosing life isn’t always comfortable. 
Death is the absence of progress. It is when things cease to move forward. There is no hope or opportunity for greater. Death is hopelessness. The grave is comfortable.
Life is the birth of progress. It is when things move forward and they do not cease until death. Life offers hope and opportunity for greater. Life is uncomfortable.
And how does life begin? With the discomfort of labor. Labor that includes intense pain, exhaustion, hard work and endurance.
Life is labor: A labor of love. A labor of service. A labor of endurance. Labor must be endured to produce life.
Settling is a sacrifice of hope. Settling says to the Universe this is the best You can do. Settling says to self, this is the best I deserve. 

Don’t settle. 

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