Now halfway through another month, and time continues to march on. While we work together on the forward and upward momentum of our shared path, it’s time to pause.
On this edition of “Becoming Today, we’ll review the conversations we shared throughout this past week, so that we are better prepared for the coming days ahead.
The week began with me asking a question of you. Ready to Receive?
We say we are ready for things.
Ready for things to get better. Desiring for more. Even claiming to be ready for change.
But are we really?
For our common understanding to be ready is to put yourself in a suitable state to take action without reservation to achieve a goal, outcome or result.
Are you prepared for that?
I hope so because it does require some work.
In ensuring you are fully prepared for the effort that lies ahead in readying yourself for whatever your specific “it” is, you need to ask yourself another question.
Are You Ready To Accept Change?
Whoa… wait a minute let me turn the volume down, I was just blown away as I heard nearly 14-thousand of you scream YES!!!!… in unison.
However, while I appreciate your zeal, you need to pause for a minute.
Are you truly ready for this step?
It takes more than a willingness or a desire, it requires genuine work to ensure that you are open to accepting.
Realize first you don’t always get what you think you want, but if you try sometimes, you might just get what you need.
In learning how to accept we are “Becoming” able to live a life with gratitude. That simple act of true humility is pleasing to God. Accepting of child-like trust, to receive without the burdens of judgment shows we are evolving. “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.“ (Matthew 18:3-4 BSB)
Understanding that, now you need to reflect upon this inquiry:
Are You Ready To Do The Work?
Anything truly worth receiving requires effort. Are you determined to make the commitments to dedicate yourself to the cause?
Examine your beliefs about receiving
Undertake some self questioning to determine what could be causing you to be hesitant or putting up a barrier of resistance. What’s stopping you from accepting help? Do you feel undeserving? Why?
Allow yourself to be vulnerable
Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. In order to accept help, you need to let go of control. That may be the most difficult obstacle to overcome. Nevertheless it is required in order for others to step in and help.
Admit if you’ve ever felt weighed down by your past?
Of course you have.
We all have.
The good news is we don’t have to keep that weight upon us.
If your past is holding you back from co-creating a life you truly love. Let it go. The past- not your dreams and desires. By learning how to release the old hurts, shame, guilt, grief or even times of despair, you are helping to rescue yourself from a life of resentment, or a false attitude that you really don’t deserve anything better.
These kinds of pain can be difficult to release. Nonetheless it can be done. While we can never fully take away what happened, we can choose to survive and go beyond by thriving. Life is far less about what has happened to you, it is principally about how you decide to respond to it.
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go. Are you ready to do some releasing?
So now that you’re willing to accept change, understand the change you get back may be not be what you had calculated and and you’ve embraced the idea that you need to be committed, diligent and steadfast toward the need for effort and action, then one more question remains:
Are You Ready To Ask?
You can not receive something if you don’t ask for it. Conversely we are assured that if you ask your needs will be met.
The Bible is full of examples on this step, and receiving assistance, guidance, support, recompense and even zeal are all among the more than seven thousand promises God makes to us that are recorded there.
As it is written in Matthew 7 verse 7, ““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.
And the promise is further emphasized in the next line, “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened”.
On the following day we discussed part four of our series on Turning Point Toosdays.
Our discussions on this particular day of the week focus around how we can create a catalyst for our own growth, development and who we are “Becoming Today”.
So how do we go about energizing ourselves in the moment?
First make the decision. Then use that thought to realign your attitude to not only being joyful but also to share that joy. Taking the action then opens you up to receiving new inspiration, direction, love and to receiving the life you are “Becoming”.
Then it’s time for a little exercise.
In order to properly work our A.B.B.s (Always Be Becoming), it all starts with focusing on and accentuating upon the positive. Surround yourself with positivity. Use your affirmations. Expand upon them. Express a positive attitude in your appearance, maybe you have clothes emblazoned with cheerful, forward-looking, empowered messages; wear them. It all helps to remind your mind where it should reside.
Pay Attention To Your Thoughts:
We all are familiar with the quote, “cogito, ergo sum”. Not ringing a bell? Well that’s probably because most of us don’t speak Latin and have probably heard Rene Descrtes (French Philosopher) words translated as “I think, therefore I am”.
Pay attention to what you’re thinking and how you are embracing or denying those images to yourself.Ask yourself if this belief is true? Would you say it to a friend? If not, then don’t say it to yourself.Which leads us to…
Develop Positive Self Talk
Those endless conversions that go on inside of you, and sometimes aloud when you think you’re alone are the starting line. How you talk to yourself can either help you move on or keep you bogged down.
One technique to improve your internal dialogue is to create a reassuring, Reaffirming Mantra.
Instead of limiting yourself by thinking things like “Why me? Why did this happen to me!” Declare positive energy. Try something like, “I am so fortunate to be “Becoming”. Finding this new positive path in life is good for me.”
Speak your truth.
Find your voice. Use your words. Express yourself. Do not limit yourself. The truth will set you free.To live an empowered life open yourself to a “Becoming”.
Be purposeful in living for great expectations, realizations and continued growth. Empowerment means that you are stronger, bolder, more secure. Better able to deal with those distractions, circumstances and moments of stress. Deciding to empower yourself allows for you to make superior decisions, including having the conscious determination to be “Becoming”. By that action you are committing to continue evolving to the next higher level.
Yes you will still encounter delays, obstacles and troubles. However, accepting the responsibility for your own empowerment, by focusing on who you are and where you want to be, allows for you to live a life that is truly authentic, more rewarding and of significance.
And if you encounter resistance, hold yourself with Grace. Haters will always hate. Gossips will run their mouths and the fearful will try to scare you. Hold your head high, shoulders back and nurture yourself in your new empowered confidence and in who you are “Becoming Today”.
By midweek we were “Searching Two Paths”.
We are now four Wednesdays into our weekly search and rescue mission for wisdom.
Understanding that enlightenment is within our reach we shall seek and find the knowledge and inspiration necessary to uplift, support and enhance our collective journeys as well as our own personal paths.
While many often teach this chapter as wisdom at any cost, I’m feeling the need to focus more on another aspect. Not to downplay the value of wisdom, but rather to accentuate the choices you have to make in opting to choose one of the two paths.
One is good and leads the sojourner towards favor, security and abundance. The other, if chosen, has its repercussions. Let’s review the section beginning with verse 10 called,
My son, if you will take the time to stop and listen to me
and embrace what I say,
you will live a long and happy life
full of understanding in every way.
I have taken you by the hand in wisdom’s ways,
pointing you to the path of integrity.
Your progress will have no limits when you come along with me,
and you will never stumble as you walk along the way.
So receive my correction no matter how hard it is to swallow,
for wisdom will snap you back into place—
her words will be invigorating life to you.
Do not detour into darkness or even set foot on that path.
Stay away from it; don’t even go there!
For troublemakers are restless if they are not involved in evil.
They are not satisfied until they have brought someone harm.
They feed on darkness and drink
until they’re drunk on the wine of wickedness.
But the lovers of God walk on the highway of light,
and their way shines brighter and brighter
until the perfect day.
But the wicked walk in thick darkness,
like those who travel in fog,
and yet don’t have a clue why they keep stumbling!
The two are not mutually exclusive. At times we may find ourselves crossing the lines simultaneously, the importance is recognizing when we are straying from purpose achievement and “Becoming” and then opting to correct our course.
To those in the psychological world, this is considered examining your shadow, which is thought of as for everything we can not or will not see in ourselves.
However my earliest memories of these discussions come from the traditional Cherokee teaching of the Two Wolves Inside. The short version is a grandfather telling a young boy about the two wolves that live inside each of us. They are engaged in a constant battle . One is good. The other evil. The child asks, which wolf wins,and the sage elder replies, “whichever one you choose to feed”.
A question we must ask ourselves daily. Which are we choosing to feed? Just as goodness, mercy and faith are renewed each day, so is our ability to make wise decisions.
On Thursdays we are continuing with another weekly focus. Seeking enlightenment is essential to our journey here.
After all, what I’m sharing each day is 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”. Our idea of the 8 Points of Light is among those.
I have visualized the idea as a multi-colored flower, with eight petals. One for each point of light we have available to use and can be radiating within our environments.In the following days we’ll touch upon an individual petal and explore its beauty and significance.
Over the past few weeks we have shared discussions on this concept. It began when I revealed the first petal as being Compassion. “A single act of compassion can change a person’s life forever.” Making it a very Becoming quality.
Just as important is treating all, including ourselves, with dignity.
When you have chosen to live with dignity, it means you are worthy of respect. That you have achieved a state of attitude, acceptance and caring that fosters a vision of you being worthy of being held in esteem, regarded as trustworthy and dare I say “Becoming”.
Dignity requires us to be self-confident, value our self-worth, foster our self-esteem and always be loving towards ourselves, as well as others.
Living with attitudes of being compassionate and empowering dignity allows us to transform our suffering, pain or pasts into productive, beneficial healing, growth and change.
Our next available tool is the third of the 8 Points of Light: Respect.
Formulating our shared understanding of what respect truly is, let’s choose to agree that R-E-S-P-E-C-T means accepting somebody for who they are, even though they are different from you or you may not agree with them.
Respect builds trust, safety, and fosters healthy attitudes, though these emotions don’t come naturally; they are something you must learn and then share.
Respect also involves treating others the way you want to be treated. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Traditionally recalled as “The Golden Rule”, simply put it is always being considerate of others as well as honoring their feelings, opinions, and property.
Likewise actively and deliberately practicing respect towards ourselves or embracing self-respect is being good to ourselves, holding ourselves in strong esteem, with dignity and compassion.
Plus committing to the ideas of self-discipline by making responsible choices in what we say and then taking action to achieve our personal goals, in alignment with our individual beliefs and values. For me that also means working to ensure that My thoughts, attitudes, words and actions are in accord with the Lord.
Have empathy for people, no matter what their circumstances may be. Try your best to put yourself in their shoes. How would you want to be treated if you were living their current experience?
Listen. Intently, carefully and be accepting of what they are trying to say to you.Encourage others to share their opinions and offer input in the conversation. Remember speaking is only part of having a discussion.
Be accepting of and validate the contributions of others. Respect gives people the space they need to contribute in ways they feel most comfortable. Boundaries remain important.
No gossiping, teasing, belittling, bullying or other non accepting behaviors.
Always be affirming. When you affirm someone,it’s saying and showing that they truly matter, are valued and worthy of respect. Many times this will bolster their ability to more freely practice self-respect.
When in doubt, mirror the actions of someone you consider to be respectful. Someone who walks their talk of living with integrity.
Yesterday left us, “Hoping For A Good Friday”, a day to pause and remember, to reflect upon blessings and the costs that were paid for them.
On this Friday before Easter we are all reminded about how light can come out of darkness and evil can be defeated by having a forgiving heart. That was shown in the very words that Jesus said in his last moments as a fleshly being. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.
He had been tortured, beaten, insulted and literally nailed to a cross on public display and still he called for us to be forgiving and remember the greatest commands,
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”.
This is a day to give and ask for forgiveness as well as renewing our commitment to peace and love.
That is of the utmost importance these days, as the headlines reveal tolerance and acceptance of our “neighbors” is at least being portrayed as no longer the norm.
It seems that a day can not go by where we do not see a headline espousing hate and condemnation. Trying to place blame for everything rather than accepting the responsibility to seek true change.
The rhetoric and name calling does nothing to heal and helps us in no way.
Anger and fanatics are taking the lead and thanks to algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence far too many are becoming indoctrinated in false beliefs, conspiracy theories and nonsensical claims that couldn’t be further from the truth.
We are all born with free will. This gives us the ability to either choose to learn, to seek the truth and answers for ourselves or to be lazy, slothful and accept whatever it is others attempt to inundate us with.
What is so upsetting to me about so many of these incidents that are increasing saily in our society is the fact they claim to be Christians and believe in the Word in the Bible.
Yet their statements constantly are in direct opposition to that Word. They have no basis in the Truth.
Just looking back at the two scenarios I mention today, it almost seems as if not only do they not comprehend the Word, they may not have even ever read it in an attempt to understand and embrace it.
It does not take very long to see that both individuals I noted are not at all interested in honoring what Jesus told us was the greatest commandment. Further in their vitriol and rush to condemn they are also ignoring many other important Scriptural instructions.
Among these are the following.
“For the Scriptures say: ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
In Romans 12 the Lord says we do not need to take vengeance because it is HIs responsibility. Not yours, certainly not someone desiring to be a zealot.
In Matthew 7, the chapter opens with the quote “Judge not, that ye be not judged”.
When you intentionally decide to attack others who do not share your beliefs or definitions then you need to read the next line of the passage, “ For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”.
Or as The Passion Translation reads, “For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you”.
Something for all these finger pointers to remember…
Plus we can turn to Luke 6, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned’.
Nowhere in the Scriptures does it tell us we should condemn anyone. It does not instruct us to turn our backs on others or exclude them.
Now we are gathered here on Holy Saturday awaiting the time to come together in worship and praise for the beauty of the Resurrection and what that means for each of us.
For God so loved us, He sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
A promise that His son, Jesus Christ suffered for. He was persecuted and on this anniversary of his fleshly death do not forget He shed His blood for you. No matter what label others may put upon you, He did this for all of us.
All are created in His image, capable of receiving His compassion, forgiveness, grace, mercy and unconditional love.
The easiest path to assuring you can accept these things for yourself is to always give them freely to others.
I pray you have a Happy Easter, remembering the true reason for this season, even if you do sprinkle in a few colored eggs and some chocolates. Then come Monday, we’ll meet here again for another week of our shared journey we call “Becoming Today”.