Changing the variable

Guest post by Jillian DuBois, @JillDuBois22

i’d love to say that life is easy. that the path is always clear + you can see the direction in which you need to travel for miles and miles.

and i wish i could tell you that there are more victories than defeats.

but i cannot give that validation. and i am ok with that.

it has taken me quite the messy road to get here. to that place where i can fully embrace life + all the goodness and joy it has to offer.

tricky little thing about life’s journey is that the destination is a changing variable. it’s position, order, value, and degree of expression are not coordinated simply.

this reminds me way too much of the haunting struggles i had with algebra as a teenager.

calculating changes + solving equations often left me frustrated. i felt like the time + effort i put into understanding problems with numbers + letters had to be more promising.

i found the numerical challenges to be infinitely great during that season of life.

so, i cheated.

i cheated my way through algebra, batting my eyelashes at unsuspecting boys who shared answers in exchange for assistance with writing excellent essays to prompts from romeo + juliet in mrs. stark’s literature class.

not my proudest moment. but a good one to reflect upon + share with a bit of vulnerability.

i’d like to say that i repented + changed my cheating ways in math to become a high-achieving arithmetic genius.

obviously, that did not happen. i am laughing right now because when i homeschooled my son, guess what i got to relearn all over again?

algebra. one + two. and geometry.

sufficient atonement.

all of this to say that – life, like algebra, is complex. when we try hard to calculate the outcomes of the changing variables, it leaves us overwhelmed and unsuccessful.

this has left me to believe that if we just take one step…one step at a time to find the position, value, order, and degree of expression in life – well, won’t we come to the factual realization that we are not meant to stay constant + unchanging?

the problems we are left to solve will be discouraging, leaving us tempted to cheat + find the easy way out. there is always an answer, but it could take several different paths to get there.

i want to encourage you today.

take those changing variables. take those things that you have to face every day and refocus your intentions on how you will solve them.

they may be big and obtrusive.

hey, i am no stranger to massive challenges. a child of divorce, an adult with infertility, a woman who lost her dad + sister to a rare genetic cancer…i could go on. we all have considerable backgrounds that have brought us right…here.

three things i have learned.

i shared these in a recent session i presented + i believe they all apply to fixing our eyes on the path that is before us.

number one.

refocus your intentions. step forward, choose your direction wisely with determination + strength. listen, listen, and listen.

number two.

remodel your boundaries. check your heart + know your limits. if it is not a ‘heck, yes!’ then it’s a no in my book. this is not a drive for perfection, but for growth, even by a small measure.

number three.

reframe misunderstandings with purpose. not everyone will ‘get’ you or like you. woah. that’s a tough one. we all desire to be loved + accepted. expect misunderstanding to occur + let it change your heart.

allow these simple approaches to restore your joy.

to be the reason you don’t cheat in life (or algebra).

to take the hard road when necessary + learn from every twist and turn along the way.

that’s how we grow. stretch. amplify. connect.

i am here to report that there will be more defeats than victories. more losses than wins.

the glory will come in the way you handle those changing variables.

with joy.


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