What A Week!

Yes with an exclamation point is how this week progressed for me. 

From my getting unstuck through our bold declarations and me again needing to work on my life-long challenge of forgiving myself, it was very action-centric and rewarding.

Let’s take a few minutes on this edition of “Becoming Today” to review the week that was…

Before the world became busy with issues of war and peace, I was sharing some personal testimony that comes from recent experiences.

While the global situation remains tenuous, I want to shift our shared focus back to our continuing conversation from the early part of last week, when I noted, “so overcoming the month that has been thus far has been a bit challenging for me”. 

I couldn’t just snap my fingers or wiggle my nose and find myself closer to where I wanted to be. It’s taken effort to escape the “Depths of Dormancy” , “Roll Away the Stone” and “Reignite”.

However, getting myself unstuck is certainly worth it. That’s where we pick up our discussion now, recalling my “Getting Unstuck”.

Like all of life, it’s been a process.

One that began with questioning myself, recognizing my needs and having my path forward revealed in my reflections.

As I scribbled in my journal, noting the conversation I was having in my head:

NO!

Forget it.

Anything you feel you may lack, you ARE capable of developing. 

I had to stop the negative self talk I was feeling, influenced by the physical pain I was feeling, and challenge myself to suspend self judgment.

I knew this. It was not anything new, but again I found myself in the company of an old companion. Again it was necessary for me to say goodbye to guilt.

Now notice I referred to him as an old companion, not a friend. Because he’s been anything but in my life. So when he tries to sneak back in the door, I need to nor only stop him, but slam the door in his face!

Uh-uh. 

We’re not doing this again. I not only don’t have the time and energy for it – it is totally unnecessary. 

Guilt is worthless. 

A lesson  that took me decades to realize, understand and fully accept.

Plain and simple guilt serves no good purpose. It does not assist us, strengthen us or empower our momentum. It destroys. Limits, distracts and prevents us from achieving our next levels of “Becoming”. 

I know this. I just needed a refresher.

On Tuesday we began with a question: “Lion or Lamb?”.

A new day. A new month and with at least two new seasons beginning, plus an alteration of time, March can prove to be an extremely interesting one.

As the old saying goes, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. Referring to our weather in the Northern Hemisphere, however I’m feeling rather the opposite. 

Yes I mentioned the beginnings of at least two new seasons lay ahead this month. Spring will begin on the 20th, and tomorrow is the start of Lent, for many beginning the Easter observances.  

I say at least two new seasons, because we each also have the opportunity to welcome, renew or refresh our own season of life. 

In addition this month it is the return of Daylight Savings Time, so our clocks will be altered. An hour will disappear in the early morning of the 13th and we cal all adjust our biological clocks to the new timing of light in our days. 

So with all this already happening, why not add even more?

I’m glad I heard you respond yes and amen to that! Because that’s what I’m doing.

Like our yearlong effort to “Resurrect Positivity”, each day this month I’ll be sharing another daily feature as well. March is Women’s History Month. We’ll celebrate it by sharing about notable women and their accomplishments. Keep reading to see our first installment today.

Personally for me this month is about marching forward. Continuing my own renewal, aligning my time better with those efforts and continuing my recovery from the past 28 days.

Today we approach another of those steps on the path to “Becoming” that at times can sound easier than it is. To develop strong positive self esteem is more than just saying you want to. It takes work, hard work, deeply personal work and concentrated effort. 

Once you readjust your thoughts. Aligning them with your essential beliefs, then focusing on the positive is “Becoming” much easier.  Consider lessons learned. Plan to avoid falling into the same traps or diversions again. 

Reward yourself. Acknowledge gains made. Give yourself credit for positive changes. Do the work involved and you will feel better because positive self esteem will firmly take root. 

Midweek our discussion drew from current events.  “The State of YOUR Union” again called for some effort on our part. 

Understanding that state in this reference is defined as “the particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time” and union is described as, “the action or fact of joining or being joined, in a club, society, or association formed by people with a common interest or purpose”, I ask you what is the State of Your Union?

We all have many, on different levels and of course they overlap. How “becoming” are your associations? Are they aligned with your core values and beliefs? What areas do you need to work toward being more “Becoming”?

These are not ‘shoot from the hip’ issues and require reflection and thought. So I’d like to encourage you to do just that. 

Are you ready? Take some time to carefully consider each of the following questions:

What makes it truly exciting for you to get out of bed each day?

What three things in your life have made you the proudest?

Can you describe what and when have been the most defining times or events in your life?

What makes you truly feel like yourself? 

Are you living an authentic life?

Is there something you are believing that others don’t understand? Do “they” really need to?

What is the one thing you absolutely would do, if you knew you could not fail?

Do you understand who it is you truly, honestly want to “Become”?

Answer these questions, sincerely. You will only be lying to yourself if you don’t.

Then think about and write a summary statement of your declaration of what the  State of YOUR Union is.

Thursday we spoke about just that, I shared my declaration and offered some possibilities as to how we can empower our nearly revised declaratory statements of intent. 

I like declarations. They are simple, decisive, action oriented statements in which we can empower our beliefs and hopes, while simultaneously sending a clear message as to our intentions

To boldly declare is not to be loud, obnoxious or obstinate.

 It is to let ourselves be understood, firmly yet calmly. 

Our words have power. The power to uplift and create or to destroy. Our declarations should be bold enough to inspire creation from a palace of humility.

I’ve shared some of this concept before in “Becoming: Meek -The New Bold”. 

To summarize, too ofen the world uses meek focusing on being submissive and equating that to being weak. However, that couldn’t be further from the Truth. Yes Truth – with a capital “T”. 

Bold does not have to be loud, obnoxious or in their face. Bold can be realized, renewed, revitalized as being an active proponent of right. “Becoming” one who is willing to firmly stand their ground, with resolve, empowering the courage of conviction as our strength, supported by faithfulness and trust. 

Therefore be it declared that with purpose and resolve sustained by faith, my report is that:

The State of Rochelle’s Union is Becoming.

I am stronger and more Becoming than I was a year ago.

I am Becoming stronger day by day and as such will be exponentially stronger a year from now.

Now is my moment to meet and overcome the challenges of this time. 

And I will always be Becoming.

Praying and trusting that you will too.

So how can we begin to implement our declarations?  By being honest with ourselves and committing to them by living authentically and expectantly.

Always be expecting, and expecting nothing less than the best. Earlier I shared the results of a 16-day contemplation, I did to determine the authenticity of the life I am living. You can find it in the archives. For now, here are some highlights:

Let go of habits, routines and people that no longer serve you.  

Speak your truth.

Learn to trust your intuition. 

Celebrate Life.  Live it. Feel it. Be it. Honor yourself by living every day to the fullest.

Empower Yourself 

Dive into your strength. You were intended to be joyful, successful and confident.  You’re only limited by your own thoughts. 

Create a shift in your thinking;  empower yourself to live the life you want. Ask for ( and receive) the support of your higher power. Can we get another Amen! Here? I ask ceaselessly and it is granted.

Practice Forgiveness. You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current  realities go.This is a vital part of “becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.

Hmmm… forgiving myself. That was and seems to continue to be a hard lesson for me.

Forgiveness is something that for many people is easier said than done. For me it was especially hard to learn how to forgive myself.

To fully forgive involves allowing ourselves to let go, To actively and consciously release the need to hold on to past baggage, old quarrels, unfinished business or the need to get even.

You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current  realities go.This is a vital part of “Becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.

It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and then you can get busy moving on.

To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as you practice self care and love.

Then you can say good-bye to anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.

In doing so it becomes much easier to practice gratitude.

See the good in everything and everyone. Cherish beauty, kindness, love, and joy. I believe everyday should be Thanksgiving. I am constantly giving gratitude for all things including the lessons we sometimes don’t want or think we need.

Being grateful puts us in a better state. One of bliss, joy and abundance. When you decide to adopt and commit to an attitude of gratitude, God listens and rewards you. Then you are free to be, in an atmosphere of abundance rather than lack and fear. Being grateful is a conscious and easily sustainable habit. Make it one of yours.

In terms of self-forgiveness we must not get stuck in the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” mentality. 

Hanging onto what should have happened, what could have happened, or what you wished would have happened, give yourself motivation to get over it. Release it and heal. Or keep a grip on it and be paralyzed; immobilized by feelings of pain and bad memories. 

Realize your reactions resonate. As one of my favorite quotes from Chuck Swindoll reminds us,  “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

So begin by accepting the fact that you are a co-Creator. You are more than capable of choosing the right actions when pushed, promised or promoted. 

Also required to forgive yourself is to accept personal responsibility.  In order to fully accept your reality, you must take ownership of any role you may have played, good or bad, in leading you to where you are.  When you do, then you can work on decisions for the next steps. 

Accept your mistakes. You can’t fix anything until you acknowledge you have a problem. Own all of it. Not just the challenges but also your strengths and success. Taking ownership of all your outcomes can teach you to do better, and that overcoming leads to a learning moment. Nobody’s perfect. We all act in error, we all have screwed up and yes we will do it again, no matter how hard we try.

The key is not to allow the mistake to rule over us. I learned to understand that as soon as I have made a misstep God forgives me immediately. So I still have to at times struggle with why don’t I release it then too? I’ll admit I do still question why I let some things negatively resonate in myself for decades. 

Be kind to yourself. We are all our own worst critics. Now is the best time to show yourself some kindness and compassion. Treat yourself like you would someone else. Nurture, be loving, and kind. The more you are able to let self-care become an automatic habitual response into your daily life, the more you are empowering yourself.

Then let your emotions flow freely. Do not keep things bottled up. Burying your feelings not only causes the pain to  remain, oftentimes it can increase and have negative physical effects on our bodies (and minds) as well.  You are not the only one who has ever been afraid to face a negative or painful emotion, just realize you need to do it. Face your fears, breathe and let them pass through you. Do not allow them to define you.

Whew! 

See I told you it was a busy week here. Plus next week promises to always be becoming even more so. I pray each of you has a safe and blessed weekend and stop by again, come Monday, for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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