Inspire…such an underrated word. I feel like we have lost the spirit of the word “inspire.”
To inspire = to breathe in. Isn’t that beautiful?
To “breathe in” to something (to me) is to give it life, meaning, purpose, and form.
The first time I heard this translation/meaning of this word was in religious education classes growing up. The RE teachers would talk about how God “inspires” us with his Word, the scripture. He “breathes in” to us and gives us life.
Whether you are religious or not, I think we can all appreciate the beauty of the image of breathing life into something. It makes me think about blowing up a balloon or an inflatable tube at the pool. A lifeless and formless thing becomes something with purpose, meaning, and utility. Or maybe an empty canvas that becomes a masterpiece with a few strokes of paint. Or a mound of clay that transforms into a sculpture through the kneading and molding of our hands.
What breathes life into us? Is it God? Is it our families and friends? Or maybe a combination of many different things?
I think about my own story. Growing up, I never felt like I had a direct path towards anything. I felt aimless, searching for my place, my people, and my purpose. I got a degree that I thought was sensical: Business. I went to work in career field that was familiar…literally everyone in my family either works in Real Estate or cuts hair, and the idea of cutting or styling someone’s hair scares me to death!
I chose a well-worn path…but it wasn’t MY path.
I hear a lot of eastern philosophies talk about finding your “flow,” the rhythm of life. I feel like this is where we find our “inspiration,” or maybe it is our inspiration. Either way, it is only until we tap in to our authentic selves that we can find the path that was meant for us, because our authentic selves are not fearful or afraid, they are ready to be “breathed in” to. We are that balloon, or blank canvas, or mound of clay. Ready and prepared to transform into something beautiful and uniquely ours.
My journey towards finding my authentic self began with leaving a career that I hated, re-engaging in the activities that I used to love but had forgotten, and taking a leap of faith. We all have it within us, but it sometimes gets lost along the way. The negative beliefs that we learn about ourselves and the world come in between us and the true self, clouding our vision, and making us believe that we are not enough just as we are. So, we get lost on our path, or maybe can’t see it at all.
I am not saying that I am 100% my authentic self or even close to getting there, but I know for a fact that since the day I decided to find her, my true self, I finally felt like I was living. It was like waking after a long sleep, seeing and experiencing the world new and fresh.
Today, I strive to live inspired by surrounding myself with the people, things, and ideas that align with my authentic, true self. I try not to let the little obstacles in life get in between me and this place inside that feels like home.
What inspires you?