Poetic Inspirations and Practical Applications for Blissful Living

Step Back…to Step Forward

 Step Back to Step Forward

I have noticed in life that it often helps to step back before stepping forward. Stepping back allows us to gain clarity and perspective about situations, people and our own selves.

So how do we step back to step forward? We tend to see ourselves as the center of the situations (whether we realize this or not). Love diminishes this self-centered view. A parent, with love for her child, places the child’s needs before her own. God, being love (1 John 4:8), is the utmost example of giving and looking beyond self. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

As we grow in love and in faith, we are able to step back and gain perspective more quickly and readily. For example, an individual may find himself in recurring unhealthy relationships. Growing in his relationship with God, however, he can begin to step back and discern his own relationship patterns and cycles. He may recognize codependent tendencies and thereafter seek God (rather than a partner) to fill his every need – for love, security, significance. Only God can fill these needs adequately. With God’s grace, the process of stepping back will enable this individual to discover the beauty of moving forward into a relationship as whole and complete.

Stepping back even further, this individual can view not only the patterns of his relationships but also the context of these relationships within his entire life. Why did these relationship patterns continually surface? What life lessons lie in these patterns? What beliefs are not rooted in truth? What sinful patterns exist? Stepping back to view patterns in his life, he is able to dislodge false beliefs and instill truth. The Lord promises that the truth will set us free when we obey His teachings (John 8:31-32). Additionally, as we delight in God, He grants us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). Yes, He literally gives us desires that are aligned to His will.

In stepping back even further, each of us is able to view not only relationships and situations from the context of our entire lives but also our lives within the larger contexts of our families, our communities, our nation, our world today and all eternity. It is humbling to view ourselves in the grand tapestry of life and eternity. Yet doing so inspires us to bring value and light and love. As we step back, we long to weave our lives beautifully into this eternal tapestry.

Stepping back is therefore a powerful process. We gain perspective, humility, healing and wholeness when righteously responding to the discoveries. God sees everything in eternity (Hebrews 4:12); yet He also sees each one of us in an intimate manner. He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), and He knit us fearfully in our mother’s wombs (Psalm 139:13). In stepping back and seeing ourselves as God does, as a part of the world and eternity, we gain the proper perspective by which to move more deeply into our own selves. Seeing ourselves from the eternal scale, we can then ask pervasive questions. In what areas can I grow? How can I improve my relationship with God and with others? How can I bring more value? Am I seeking first God’s Kingdom? How can I love more freely and generously? How can I better use my talents and experiences for God and others? How can I live in better alignment to God’s will?

Often when I sense confusion or lack of clarity, I step back and view my life from the eternal standpoint. I then step forward and inward to ensure my mind, body and spirit are in harmony with God’s Will. From what situations can you step back today before stepping forward?

Stepping back, and now I see

My very life with clarity

Blurry confusion at once clears

Seeing minutes, hours, days, years

Stepping back, and now I know

In which direction I must go

Farther from self, yet closer still

Aligning my all with God’s Will

Copyright © 2011 Caroline Gavin

What examples can you give of this? How do  you step back to step forward?

Leave a Comment

  • http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com/ Ann J Musico

    Caroline that was beautifully and perfectly expressed.  I find this to be true in my life as well.  In fact, I many times must remind myself to stop and take a step back.  Too many times I think we tend to react to things automatically – without giving them much thought – instead of taking the time to consider our response.  Thank you for sharing this in such a beautiful way.

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com Caroline Gavin

      Ann, thank you so very much!
      I greatly appreciate your comments! I am so glad the post resonated with you.
      Yes, how easy it is for us to get entangled in situations –
      rather than stepping back to see the eternal perspective.
      Thank you for your beautiful expression of gratitude, Ann,
      and thank you for your devoted heart to God!
      You are indeed a cherished sister in Christ!

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      You always bless and encourage my heart in a beautiful way, Ann! Thank you, my cherished sister in Christ! How true: often we react automatically without giving thought to our responses. Blessed we are when we do step back before stepping forward. May God richly bless you, your remarkable heart and your purposeful path! I am grateful you are a precious part of mine… :)

  • http://www.MarianneClements.org/ Marianne Clements

    Great advice. For me, stepping back means to stop what I have been doing and just do something entirely different and seemingly unrelated. I’ve found that when I stop struggling to find the answers, God reveals the answers.
    Have a Victorious Day!

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      Excellent wisdom from my beautiful friend! Thank you, Marianne! I agree: when we stop struggling, God reveals. We must release to receive. May the Lord continue to bless you and your purposeful pathway! His graces and my gratitude always, Caroline