Free Form Friday

This first week of Spring is continuing to be a reemergence of blossoming and “Becoming”. 

Also sowing forward on this week’s overall theme of revisions and first, we are beginning another weekly feature. Welcome to our inaugural edition of “Free Form Friday”, here on “Becoming Today”.

Change is an eternal constant in life. Even baseball since its work stoppage in 1994, its pandemic related challenges to carry on in recent seasons and this year’s delays due to labor disputes has caused us to change our perspective of the poignant words recited by James Earl Jones’ in the film “Field of Dreams”:

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. 

America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. 

It has been erased like a blackboard,

rebuilt and erased again.

But baseball has marked the time. 

This field, this game; it’s a part of our past,

tt reminds us of all that once was good,

and could be again.” 

Change is inevitable and necessary. It’s not to be feared, rather embraced.

Change is a foundational aspect of our “Becoming”. We should constantly be seeking to continue the forward and upward momentum of  an ever changing perspective, understanding and acceptance of what it  is truly to be “Becoming”. 

Hopefully these changes include “Becoming” a better person, a better friend, better lover, in a better world. 

Among our most recent changes is the addition of this new weekly feature: “Free Form Friday”, when rather than focusing our discussions on a single topic, or issue, I’ll share some random thoughts, observations, challenges and victories that have been on my mind and in my heart. 

Something that caught my eye this week was a study of global happiness. They laid their results out on a map. 

According to their findings right now the happiest place on the planet is not Disney World and yes the study was completed before this week’s protests there.

It turns out the happiest people on the planet are in Finland.

 While the least happy reside in Afghanistan. 

Included in their methodology were factors of:

Social support

Life expectancy

Freedom to make life choices

Generosity

Gross Domestic Product per capita

Perceptions of corruption

Positive and negative affects

“The report takes special considerations to track how COVID-19 has impacted aspects of our daily lives, and how it’s affected global happiness levels”

In summary they found we are happier in the first quarter of 2022 than we were a year ago.

On an eight point scale, the world average is 5.6.

Finland topped at 7.8 plus “for the fifth year in a row. Finland is one of five Nordic countries to place in the top 10. Denmark comes in second place, followed by Iceland in third”.

By contrast Afghanistan as the least happiest place on earth scored only 2.4.

In Europe they moted a statistic that was heavily influenced by recent events. Ukraine was the least happy on that continent with an overall level of 5.1. 

Interestingly still in the middle of the ranking factors,  despite what the researchers noted as a contributing circumstance, quote, “ Events in the country have recently taken a turn for the worse, when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022”.

Yes it has been more than a month now since the evil intentions launched against the people of Ukraine. At the time those responsible for the ongoing atrocities declared they expected to battle there for two days. 

This again points to the strength and “Becoming” nature of the Ukrainian people as their resolve remains reigning.

A few “R” words there I know. Not just for alliteration either, as it reminds me of an earlier conversation we had centered around words that begin with the letter. 

In “Becoming”: Readiness, Resilience, and Recovery”, as I still assert to this day, I ask you to remain steadfast and re-clarify your  life’s mission. Ask God to help you recognize what it is that He has uniquely created you for?

Take some time for review. Resurrect your vision for your revival?

In helping you do so, we can explore three key aspects of being ready, becoming resilient and adopting an attitude of recovery.

So how do we ready ourselves for this discussion? Let’s begin with the concept of “Readiness”. 

It’s really beyond just a simple definition so let’s examine three aspects of the word and then develop our thoughts into how it applies to our shared path.

noun: readiness

the state of being fully prepared for something.

synonyms: preparedness, preparation, at the ready, available, on hand, accessible, handy, at one’s fingertips, prepared, primed, on standby, standing by, on stand-to, on call, on full alert

willingness to do something.

synonyms: inclination, enthusiasm, eagerness, keenness, gameness, promptness, quickness, alacrity, ease, facility, address

immediacy, quickness, or promptness.

synonyms: swiftness, speed, speediness, punctuality, timeliness, cleverness, sharpness, astuteness, shrewdness, keenness, discernment, skill, skillfulness

Each of these explanations offer insights to the usefulness of being “ready”.

Readiness allows for us to be ready for change. To have the tools accessible to use to put that willingness into action. The eagerness, the ability, the skills to see ourselves “Becoming” who or what it is we desire, along with the understanding of the immediacy that we need to step forward and build our individual momentum. The first step in exercising our readiness is to commit to resolving our questions and having the resilience to initiate the first step.

Resilience, therefore, is the next aspect we need to examine.

noun: resilience

  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

synonyms: flexibility, pliability, suppleness, plasticity, elasticity, springiness, spring, give, durability, ability to last, strength, sturdiness, toughness, strength of character, hardiness, adaptability, buoyancy, bouncebackability.

Once we have entered the state of readiness we need to strengthen our commitment by stepping up our resilience. We need to have the flexibility to change to become. We need to have the strength and the resolve to continue through obstacles, strengthening our character through both our success and our missteps. 

This adaptability and willingness to learn and grow is essential to our combined journeys along this path of “Becoming”. 

Being prepared and ready , armed with resilience and ability to overcome, we can then take on the next step of “recovery”.

noun: recovery

a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

synonyms: recuperation, convalescence, return to health, process of getting better, rehabilitation, healing, rallying, improvement, picking up, betterment, amelioration, rally, upturn, upswing, comeback, revival, renewal, a turn for the better

the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.

synonyms: retrieval, regaining, repossession, getting back, recapture, reclamation, recouping, retaking, redemption, replevin, recoupment, recuperation

First I’ll raise an objection with the dictionary folks here with the first inclination to be expressing recovery as “ a return to a normal state”. 

Since normalcy or a belief of what is supposedly normal is highly subjective, I don’t feel it adds to a shared understanding.

In fact a recent study found use of the word normal was perceived by many to be limiting, restrictive and if  something was referred to as normal it made them feel as if they were being excluded.

Taking this into consideration then I believe we need to formulate a definition of recovery as to be a return to  or the achievement of individual optimal health, increased strength and a clarity of thought.

No two people are exactly alike, nt even denial twins, so a recovery for an individual is highly subjective and we need to understand that while we can accept a meaning for ourselves and be cognisant of another’s understanding they will always vary. 

Keeping that in mind,  for our communal purposes then let’s consider recovery as an ongoing process of reinvigorating renewal. The ability to rebound, reclaim and respect ourselves and our goals.  Perspectives that are very much an essential part of the essence of our “Becoming”.

Lord, today I take the bold step of saying “yes!” to you.

Give me your heart for the people I encounter each day. Help me not to dismiss your gentle nudges when you want me to talk to someone.

Instead of focusing on my inconvenience,

I will allow myself to be moved by your compassion.

I will be the one. Send me!

From “The Vision” written by Brian Simmons and Gretchen Rodriguez

I hope you enjoyed our first “Free Form Friday”. Some more thoughts for your consideration. 

So are they helpful?

How is your journey towards, “Becoming” advancing?

Let me know.

You can always either comment below or send a message through my “Contact” page.


Tomorrow when you stop by, we’ll talk about the week that was. That’s on our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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