As I embrace this new spring forward in my life, I am already accepting the need for and implementing change in my life and this project.
For the next six weeks, on this specific day of the week our discussions will revolve around a topic that I hope will inform and help to better illuminate our shared path.
In a moment, on this edition of “Becoming Today,” I’ll also explain my unusual spelling of the day as “Toosday…
So this is something I’ve done for a while in my life. I alter the spelling of the day to give it a little more significance and often use it as a motivator for certain tasks or ideas. You see this second day of our week, commonly referred to as Tuesday, can become so much more.
Do you even know why it’s called Tuesday? It’s named in honor of a Norse god of war. Linguists race the word back to the “Old English”, word Tiwesdaeg. Interestingly enough when I type in that word, spell check wants to automatically change it to Tuesday.
Tuesday which I’m told makes perfect sense when spoken in Danish has the meaning ‘day of Tiw’ is named after the Anglo-Saxon version of the Roman god Mars. Not something I’ve ever thought about however as I mentioned for a while I’ve noted this day of the week to myself as Toos-day.
Playing off the similar sound of “Toos” and “Tues”, my motivational meaning for this day is “this day too, shall _______ (fill in your own blank).
This day too, shall shine. This day too shall amaze. This day too shall inspire. Even on an off-day, I know, this too shall pass. The possibilities are endless, so I’d rather note the day as uplifting rather than war like.
Anyway, beginning today, on this Toosday, and for the next five, I shall attempt to inspire and uplift too.
That’s why we’ll be considering these days as possible Turning Point Tuesdays.
So we better begin by reaching a common understanding of what I mean by experiencing a turning point day.
Turning point days are ones you remember, they are “Becoming” catalysts for great change in our life. They can mark a time for breakthroughs, inspiration and transformative transition.
They are encouraging, enlightening and inspiring. Definitely life altering, though that may take hindsight to realize. So why wait for a turning point to just magically appear?
Why not set our focus to achieving them on a specific day, like say a Toosday, and maybe even today!
What is required to do so, well “Step One: Decide”. Then choose to put that decision into action.
Inspiration can be found in many places, sometimes it might even sneak up on you, when you weren’t expecting it. That’s what happened to me this past weekend.
In my Hunt for something to inspire my relaxation, I kept encountering Helen.
I wasn’t searching for her, and I truly wasn’t expecting her to play such a role in instigating thoughts in my life.
Yes, through YouTube “suggested for you” on Saturday and “trending now on Vizio” on Sunday afternoon I was led to two films starring Helen Hunt. Diverse roles, written by individuals more than a century apart yet spanning the generations the characters shared some common ground that served as valuable reminders of lessons learned in my life. Though I doubt Oscar Wilde had that intention before I was born.
Available as “free to me”, with no additional cost, they were just waiting out there in cyberspace for me to find or be led to. In fact I was 30 minutes into the second film on the second day when it suddenly hit me, ‘hey, both these movies I’ve been watching have Helen Hunt in them!’
I hit pause and wondered, ‘what’s that about?’
So I went down a bit of a rabbit hole, asking Google to tell me about her and looking to see if there was some forgotten connection between her and I or if our personal stories were similar.
Well there wasn’t.
In real life beyond being women, there’s not much else in common. Though the two different women she portrayed in these films, they were striking a responsive chord in me.
So how did two unrelated films, one I had never seen before and the other I’ve seen multiple times but within the first 20 minutes, I found myself going, ‘oh I forgot they were in this’,… and yes one of those “theys” was Helen.
Still I didn’t realize this was going to be a catalyst for me, until the turning point when Kevin Spacey wrote the assignment of the chalkboard.
However, before that, I need to go back to Saturday.
My schedule became upended a bit at the end of last week, and my sleep pattern was greatly interrupted so it was kind of a realigning my rhythm days. By mid-afternoon I knew I just needed to stop thinking,unwind and relax, so I started searching for something to watch that wouldn’t require much thought.
I don’t know about you, but even with my hundreds of cable channels it always seems like there are on;y three movies on at any given time, and this month it seems like it’s a choice of Forrest Gump, some misadventure with Madea, or a teenage coming of age angst movie starring kids who are now 60-years-old.
So absolutely nothing. Let’s hit the app button and see what’s there. YouTube is usually reliable for me, so I flipped over and there it was in the second spot of suggestions , a movie I had never heard of. Had a good title though, so it’s worth a look.
Now they lead you to believe that Helen’s character was quite the opposite, but you know she redeems herself in the end, becoming what no one expected of her.
Hmmm.. been there done that. So while the film set in the 1930’s though written as current day in the Victorian Era, took us to places I’ve never been, still I could see some common understanding.
As I listened to the labels put upon her, huh, been through that. When people told her to go away and shunned her, because she didn’t belong, I’ve lived that. Then we learn she has a deep hidden secret, that she has allowed to shape her life through a lens of guilt and shame, then I realized I’ve been her.
Suddenly I found a turning point in my day. I found a connection from an unlikely source, yet I still did not understand what this would be a catalyst for.
One of the things the pandemic has brought to us is a better inter connectedness online.
During this time many doors were shut, and some that were slammed in my face beforehand, now were boarded up. Yet I’ve been able to find worship communities online.
So my Sundays involve not only my own prayer and study but worshiping online via my big screen. It’s like I’m right there in the front row, though I haven’t had to worry about sitting six feet away from anyone.
This has led to me attending multiple Sunday services, receiving a variety of inspired messages.
It also allows me to bend time and travel in ways that would seem to be impossible for mere mortals. Each Sunday I have been “magically” transported from my undisclosed location to Houston and quicker than I could get my coat on, with just a few keystrokes I’m in Atlanta, ‘walking up the aisle’, during the opening song.
This Sunday after doing so, already feeling inspired by kind words that matter and an investigation into Jesus, as I went to ‘disembark from my travels, suddenly I was rerouted.
The TV did its own thing and detoured me to free on demand offerings, in the highlighted box was a movie that inspired me to say, “seen it before, been a while,… why not?”
Thinking it would be a pleasant distraction, twenty minutes in I came to a realization, there was something deeper happening here.
How did I forget about the Jay Mohr character? And hey look there’s Helen Hunt again….
Still “Pay It Forward”didn’t have my attention until chalk touched the blackboard and the assignment was revealed…
“Think of an idea of how you can change the world and put it into action”.
Think about it for a moment and you’ll see how this relates to our shared path.
Thoughts are required for “Becoming”.
We have to think of ways to change ourselves, our lives, the environments around us, how we see and relate with one another.
Just as I introduced this idea, this passion project of mine some 14-months ago, the very “Essence of Becoming” involves world changing thoughts put into action.
As I wrote then, “What I’m talking about is much closer aligned with “Becoming” as a noun: ‘’the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state”. Coming to be always, “Becoming”. Growing, developing and shifting into an attitude and daily practice of always, “Becoming”.
That’s the essence behind, “Becoming Today”.
How do I, as an individual and we as a society, focus on “Becoming” what we are truly destined to be? How do we become all we can be? How do we further enrich our lives and those of our families, friends, communities and society as a whole? What exactly is it we want to become today? Each and every day, becoming the best at whatever we desire, hope for, have set goals for, prayed for and how do we achieve this state?”
Still my turning point was only just beginning.
I am never far away from a notepad and pens.
So I had been jotting down a few observations as I watched when it suddenly clicked, the connection between the two films. It was people.
People who seemed to be mislabeled, dealing with circumstances, overcoming obstacles. People just like us. People who while we all at times can be considered, tragically flawed, find the resilience to not only keep going on, but to seek to be uplifted, delivered and exceed the limits others have tried to impose upon us.
I suddenly had a song in my head, not from either of the movies, but one that pops in and out of my head every now and then. It includes the lyrics,
“Take a look around
Tell me what you see
It’s who you think you are
Who you wanna be
It’s okay to be a little broken
Everybody’s broken in this life
It’s okay to feel a little broken
Everybody’s broken, you’re alright…”
Yes we are, but we can be healed, if we decide to be. So after that first step of making the decision, like Haley Joel Osment’s character in the film, his idea and ours requires an extreme act of faith to encounter the world. To open up to the possibilities. To be an active participant in the betterment of our world.
As Jay Mohr’s character is investigating what he at one point describes as some kind of a “Mother Teresa conga line,” leading to a seventh grade boy giving credit for starting the ‘Pay It Forward Movement’, I write down, “but he didn’t”.
The “movement” has always been present. In fact next month many of us will celebrate one whose life personified in all its glory. Making the supreme sacrifice 2,022 years ago to ‘pay it forward’ for you right now, today.
Then suddenly on the screen, What???
How did I forget Jon Bon Jovi was in this film?
Very relevant because those lyrics I just shared were his.
He co-wrote and performed the song, “Everybody’s Broken”….
“…Step into the deep end
Make yourself at home
When you wonder why you’re breathing
Know you’re not alone
It’s so hard to believe
What’s easier to doubt
You’re trying to hold in
What you’re dying to scream out
It’s okay to be a little broken
Everybody’s broken in this life
It’s okay to feel a little broken
You’re alright, it’s alright
It’s just life…”
And we are. And this is when I realized I had just unlocked a turning point day, a catalyst for action to help serve a need.
We all make mistakes. We can all be forgiven. We must learn to forgive ourselves.
Choose to learn from our past, release it and then actively apply the new found wisdom to our npath moving ahead both forward and upward, beyond our shortcomings to a new point, a new place of “Becoming”.
The action I was inspired to take is right here. To have this conversation with you. To share what I have learned and pray that it can be of benefit to you and through you as well.
Yet this Turning Point Toosday, is just the initial action, as I am committing to five discussion on how to recognize, embrace and put into action these powerful moments that can happen at any given time as long as you are willing to see with your eyes of faith and listen within your heart.
Think about it. Please let me know if this has been a turning point for you today and we’ll talk more about it next week. But that doesn’t mean I’m going away till then.
Make sure you stop by tomorrow, because I’ll share a declaration I’m making for the month of April. That’s on our next edition of “Becoming Today”. Talk to you then.