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What The Shiny Object Syndrome Taught Me About Life

February 22, 2012

Life has a strange way of lulling me into mediocrity. Or does it? I keep thinking that I need to enjoy the moment so much that I don’t even enjoy the moment. Or I have this long drawn out dance in my mind about how I need to be intentional and feel what I am feeling. In the midst of my thinking that I need to be feeling, I am totally absent from actually feeling for the better part of a day.

There is this weird absent from the body present with the body thing that goes on with me, and maybe you too. Or it might just be me. Things happen. I feel things that I don’t know if I was meant to feel. You know when you barge in on a conversation and realize that you are NOT welcome?

That is me… except in life. I feel like I know things I am not supposed to know. I see things I am not supposed to see. I mean in the beyond seeing way, like the shift of someone’s eye. It says things to me. Sentences. The small words cut through the big words that are being said. 

Sometimes I think it is a gift. Sometimes it feels like a burden. Either way, being inside my brain sometimes feels like I am at a carnival. All the noises are too loud, the smells are too strong, the lights are too bright and, “Ohhhhh, look at the cotton candy, I totally need some!”

Don’t ever go to the mall with me because I notice everything from a shiny object flickering in the light, to a person’s untied shoelace dragging on the floor. Every color, every crooked sign and every sigh from a disgruntled employee I see and feel. From a sparrow flitting around in the skylights to a baby crying for attention. I feel it all and with it I also feel the longing to be somewhere else. I carry with me a piece that is not human.

I guess it shows that we are not made for this earth. We are created as beings who’s hope is not here. I see things, I feel things that sometimes don’t seem made for this earth. But yet here I am. Here.

So, this then is my struggle. How do I live presently, happily, excitedly, creatively in a place where I am made to dwell only temporarily? How do I put all the sights, smells, feelings to good use?

I can choose to live presently, happily, excitedly, creatively or I can choose to live in the past, depressed, unenthusiastically and without passion.

I am choosing the former. I am choosing to feel and let the feelings move me. Feel the ups when there are ups and the downs when there are downs. Feel the joys, the sorrows. Feel the stuff. The stuff of life. If life is like a good movie I want it to take me up, take me down, but just don’t leave me the same way I came in. Life fills me. Makes my eyes sparkle. I can’t help it. I love this life stuff.

Question: How do you feel about your life? Are you who you want to be?

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29 Comments

  • Reply Ann J Musico February 23, 2012 at 9:50 am

    What a wonderful post, Michael! You beautifully described the part of Hebrews 11:13 that calls us “strangers, temporary residents and exiles” on this earth. I know I feel as if I don’t belong sometimes too – but for me, sometimes it seems like I should’ve been born at a different time. However, God always knows best and obviously we are here now, at this time, for a good reason!

    • Reply Claudia Good February 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      Ann,
      Thanks… hee-he we accidentally had Michael as the author for a bit there 🙂

      Strangers here on earth… yea it does feel like that doesn’t it!?

      Hmmm I found it interesting that you wish you were born at a different time. I have heard some of my friends say this as well. Would you mind expanding?

  • Reply Michael Wright February 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Nice post! Even this week, I am in this mode of thinking “when will I arrive”, when I need to think “what am I becoming”. You hit the nail on the head – we are not made for this Earth. We will always walk one step at a time, as we enter into eternity. I think it’s great to be a noticer – especially since God is very detailed!

    • Reply Claudia Good February 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Michael,
      A noticer… I’ve never been called that before and I really like it!
      Thanks for the broader explanation of me 🙂

  • Reply Raun Lauterbach February 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I know exactly what you mean, Claudia. I’m also someone that notices everything, no matter how seemingly insignificant. I often find myself disappointed that I remember small details shared by other people but others almost never remember them about me. We may only be here temporarily, but time isn’t a constant. They way you look at your life in the moment can have a dramatic effect on just how much time has actually passed. That’s why the best moments seem too short and the worst moments seem too long. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

    • Reply Claudia Good February 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      I hear ya Raun, loud and clear! Thought I was the only one 🙂

      Have you ever read Donald Miller’s books? It was the strangest thing when I read “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” I felt like he was me talking. The guy version of me… wow that was a tangent… but for what it is worth the book is awesome!

      No time isn’t constant that is for sure. And even though we talk about living in the moment there is no moment to live in because it is always coming or going! I could go crazy thinking about this. I have to just focus like you said and look at my life in the moment as a whole. I look in chunks. Today. Tomorrow. Goals for a year from now, 5, 10 years from now. But always enjoying today.

      Thanks for your comment. Glad there are other “noticers” out there like me 🙂

      • Reply Raun Lauterbach February 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm

        I haven’t read that one yet. It is currently in about 6th place on my list of books to read. I’m currently working through “Weird” by Craig Groeschel. Very interesting so far. You might find it helpful.

        Have you read “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews? FABULOUS BOOK!

        I love what you and Michael are doing. There is obvious growth in both of you and it’s great to be along for the ride.

        • Reply Claudia Good February 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm

          Raun,
          I just read the description for “Weird”… pretty sure I would love it. And “The Noticer” as well! Thanks for the suggestions!

          Hey thanks also for your encouragement. It really means a lot to have people like you coming along side us, speaking these awesome words into our minds and hearts!

  • Reply AnnetteDarityGarber February 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Beautifully and honestly written as always, Claudia. I love the questions you pose:

    How do I live presently, happily, excitedly, creatively in a place where I am made to dwell only temporarily? How do I put all the sights, smells, feelings to good use?

    Those are wonderful questions to ponder, savor, and chew on again and again. These are the same questions I often find myself mulling over. I just wrote in my journal recently how that I often feel when I am doing one thing I think I should be doing another. And when I am doing another, I think I maybe ought to be doing the other thing. I am a student of living in the present… bringing my best self to it…. being aware and open and grateful and compassionate. I am a student of discernment… of how to live a balanced life, a full life, and a meaningful life.

    It is so good to have friends for the journey of life… the ups and the downs– the twists and the turns!

    • Reply Claudia Good February 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Wow Annette,
      I am truly amazed at how balanced you always are and always have been! I think it is a gift. So, the pondering and questioning I think has kept you constantly in this place of balance.

      I like how you said you are a student of discernment. I like that thought. I will pursue that myself. Thank you.

      Friends are the sunshine in my life 🙂

      • Reply AnnetteDarityGarber February 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm

        Really, Claudia? You see me as balanced? Thank you for sharing that. Those are encouraging words as I truly do seek to be balanced! And yes, friends are DEFINITELY the sunshine of life!!!

  • Reply robclinton February 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    This was an incredible post. We were definitely made for something much bigger, so I think the more intuitive you are you can say that is a blessing worth having. Awareness is a place that I believe we can all partake in. But it’s a choice, and it’s learned choice each day to decide to grow deeper in our awareness in paying attention to the infinite of things all around us. It can start with a simple thank you for a breath of air.
    I believe how we start each day can pay huge dividends in how we interact with life throughout the rest of the day. Every, single, morning, I walk down the street with my dog, and I think of as many things as I can that I’m thankful for, and say thank you to each one of them. I do this until I get home… Takes me all about 20 minutes… But those moments of appreciation I believe have been huge in helping walk through my days with a deeper sense of what’s there.

    • Reply Claudia Good February 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Rob,
      I am blessed by your comment! So if I was taking my walk down the street this evening I would say “Thank you Rob!” Wow, that sounded cheesy but it was sincere 🙂

      I never thought of my awareness as a gift till recently. I always thought something was wrong with me… like I was too sensitive. So again, thanks for the encouragement.

      Your morning walk of thankfulness is such a wonderful habit. So many people start their day with the news or something else negative. What a great way to start your mind going down the road of gratefulness right from the start!

      Blessings to you!

      • Reply robclinton February 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm

        Thanks Claudia, happy to know that helped! Yeah, the news is a no-go for me… Especially mornings… BTW, you’re right, nothing is wrong with you… Don’t ever think that… Just BE… and the world is blessed.

        • Reply Claudia Good February 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

          So Rob,
          I really like your words 🙂

    • Reply Michael Good February 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Rob,
      I love that discipline! Gratitude is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. For me, I’ve noticed it makes a big difference when I actually voice out lout what I’m grateful for rather than just thinking about it in my head.

      • Reply robclinton February 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        Absolutely Michael… Voicing out makes it that much more real! It always seems to me that when I voice out an appreciation for something like my family, that appreciation sends them a blessing in the process… At least it appears to do that in my own mind… Regardless, it does great things for my day ahead…

  • Reply Ryan Ash February 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Wow! You’re an awesome writer! Incredible thoughts!

    • Reply Claudia Good February 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Ryan,
      Thanks a lot.

      Wow I always feel way encouraged by your comments!

  • Reply Rob Coburn February 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Wow Michael, a great post that I truly relate to. Thanks for laying out your experiences in a way everyone can relate to. Blessings, @missioncoach

    • Reply Michael Good February 28, 2012 at 6:26 am

      Rob, I agree it is a great post! Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for it. Claudia wrote this one. 🙂 She’s the super perceptive and observant one. She’s amazing, it’s like it’s second nature to her!

      • Reply Rob Coburn February 28, 2012 at 7:58 am

        Michael, thanks for pointing that out. Claudia many thanks for expressing this in such a great way.

        • Reply Claudia Good February 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

          Rob,
          hey thanks!

          We confused everyone by posting the wrong author accidentally 🙂

  • Reply jasonvandehey March 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    The thumbnail says “It’s your life, are you who you want to be”, and I immediately started singing Switchfoot!

    • Reply Michael Good March 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Jason, that song reminds me of Michael Hyatt now. He uses it as the intro to his new podcast.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Hah Jason,
      yup, I had recently heard it again and love how it kicks me into action every time!

  • Reply Eileen April 13, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Thank you for this post, Claudia. I ‘notice’ things, too–we joke that Micah has to hold my hand in the grocery store or I’ll get lost in the dazzle! It really is a blessing/curse–to enjoy the minute details of God’s creation and how he has made us creative as well, delighting in good design and beauty. I have really been struggling with the darker side of ‘noticing’ lately, seeing only the ugliness that sin has brought, how things are irreparably broken until Christ restores. The crush of sin–my own, and more broadly, the deep personal damage the fruit if sin has inflicted to countless others, minute by minute through history since that first lie in the garden is too overwhelming to me to just go on living my little ordinary and privileged life. It has robbed me of being present with my kids and enjoying the sweetness of childhood–I felt like it was a lie. My warped thinking was making me into the very thing I dreaded and despised, and I was throwing away the riches I have been inexplicably blessed with. Your entry reminded me that we are indeed not of this world, that we are DESIGNED for beauty, that the already/not yet of God’s restoration is present in Christ NOW. He HAS broken the ‘power of cancelled sin and set the prisoner free,’ we are not countless but counted preciously. His grace is huge and present in the smallest of things. He is good.

    • Reply Claudia Good April 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Eileen,
      I think of you often and I am right there with you!! I detest big grocery stores!… In fact, Michael always goes into the big ones cause I get stuck and stressed :-/

      What life giving words you spoke here Eileen! They flow out of you so beautifully… I really enjoyed and was completely taken in by what you said here. And again, I can relate to your feelings. I’ve had to force myself to live in day-tight-compartments. In other words, I tell myself, today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Today is the only day I have been given. I rejoice in the fact that every day is a new day and that it can be like starting a new life. I don’t have to drag my yesterdays into today and I am commanded not to worry about tomorrow. So today is all I have left.

      It is funny/and not, how sometimes the very thing we don’t want to become… we do become. I have struggled with that too. And then I realized it was because I expected myself to become that which I dreaded… that was the filter I saw myself through, so I would set myself up to become that which I hated. I have decided to change that filter and it has thus changed how I see myself and what I expect of myself.

      and as you said… focusing on the fact that Christ has set this prisoner free!

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