Reviewing our calendar, this date is one that requires some reading and writing about it. I’ll explain on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
More than one hundred countries observe the celebration, so why not us too?
It’s important to remember that research proves kids who read for enjoyment have higher test scores, a deeper more meaningful vocabulary, are better informed and have a far more well rounded view and understanding of other cultures.
Just imagine if we can share these ideas with other adults, who better late than never can accept those same “Becoming” qualities.
Looking back now at the week that was, our conversations and studies were many and varied. We began our week along our shared path with a discussion of “The Best Policy”.
imply put “honesty is the best policy”. Both for the recipient of the message and the one communicating it. Yes we can handle the truth, sometimes it may be painful, but remember in the moment, ‘this too shall pass’.
We must always speak the truth, because once you say the words you can not take them back. Sure you can and should ask for forgiveness but the energy and intent you have released will still have their own impacts on both those who receive the message and the one who shares it.
Words represent what is in your heart. They can reveal the content of your character. If you embrace falsehoods you empower evil and illicit purposes. And you can not hide this fact. Eventually the day will come when you are fully held accountable. You will not be questioned about who did this, or what they did, only on your actions.
If you express your truth in both words and actions then there is less chance for misunderstandings.
Selecting your words carefully can lead you to great success, while not guarding your vocabulary can have the opposite effect; ensuring your failure.
Quite literally choosing the proper expression can change your life or keep you in the wilderness for another 40 years. Words elicit not only an intellectual component, by whether or not you and those you are communicating with share the same definition, they also often first evoke an emotional response. Whether that’s positive or negative is up to you.
This is where we see so many problems being caused today.
There are two main groups that are excessively involved in these negative behaviors.
First, those who don’t do their research and share misinformation, facts that are simply not true, or in other words falsehoods or let’s call it what they truly are – lies.
Yes, if you simply click, share and forward things around cyberspace without knowing their authenticity, you are lying to other people and actively supporting those who seek to do so. It’s no less of a transgression because you didn’t know.
Just like ignorance of the law does not make you any less liable for your actions, you must take the responsibility to make sure you know what you are saying to others and whether or not your comments or shares add anything to an honest discussion.
The second group are those who are knowingly doing so and have devolved to a level of conspiring to distribute disinformation.
If you fall prey to their traps, again “I didn’t know”, does not get you off the hook, rather you are now actively involved in a conspiracy to lead people away from the truth or in many cases towards evil.
Not only do the Ten Commandments direct that, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”, throughout the wisdom shared in the Book of Proverbs there are multiple lessons about the consequences for those who do not communicate honestly.
Some of these instructive examples include:
Proverbs 19:9, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish.”
Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight”.
Proverbs 12:19, as it is written, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment”.
Plus in Proverbs 6:16-19, take note that references to lying appear twice among the honest truth filled warning:
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers”.
Pretty straightforward there and hopefully compelling reasons to help you find your way to the right side of the issue.
Toosday, we continued our limited edition series on Turning Points. If you don’t know why I spell the word that way, you can learn here. On this past Turning Point Toosday, we talked about how we can create a catalyst for our own growth, development and who we are “Becoming Today” through knowledge.
This lesson begins with a simple question. Are you ready to fail?
Too many times we hear, see, and read messages, attempting to reinforce that failure is not allowed. That failing at something marks you for life as less than. Nothing could be further than the truth.
Failure is not only an option but as we’ll discuss it is also inevitable.
No human is perfect. No person is omnipotent. No matter how much they may believe it or desire for us to accept that they are.
You can not live life without making mistakes or screwing something up in one way or another.
Anyone who preaches otherwise is either making a mistake (and proving the point of today’s conversation), or suffering from severe delusions that require our prayers and their need to seek assistance and guidance.
Failing at a task or not reaching a goal in the predetermined time you intended does not define you as a failure. They are simply learning experiences, which if accepted as such can serve to bolster your confidence and reveal to you new ways, approaches, attitudes towards getting back on track and/or making necessary revisions.Failing at a task or not reaching a goal in the predetermined time you intended does not define you as a failure. They are simply learning experiences, which if accepted as such can serve to bolster your confidence and reveal to you new ways, approaches, attitudes towards getting back on track and/or making necessary revisions.
Some of the greatest minds in modern history realized this.
As motivational czar Zig Ziglar noted, “Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night”.
With that we now have this new day, with a fresh start to revitalize our ideas, revamp our approach and work again on the realization of our desires.
“In my experience, each failure contains the seeds of your next success — if you are willing to learn from it”. – Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen
We all will fail at some point in our life. These are learning experiences so we can do better next time. As long as you choose to accept them that way. If you opt to embrace defeat, then you are more than likely to repeat the same mistakes again. And sometimes again and again until you decide to take a different approach.
Albert Einstein noted, “I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right”.
His statement is testimony to the fact that failure is inevitable. Though it does not have to be a bad thing. Failure can be a powerful motivator.
It pushes us to keep on trying and do better. It may even show us just how close we are to success.
Furthermore it’s not just in recent eras that the idea of failure as a motivator.
Many Biblical leaders suffered setbacks, but refused to dwell on them. Instead they learned from their mistakes determined to keep moving forward. They show that when you fail you get up and you try again, eventually you will get it right.
“Like a dog that returns to its vomit, a fool does the same foolish things again and again.” – Proverbs 26:11
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes.” – Psalm 119:71
“Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
Midweek, Wednesdays are “becoming” our day of searching. It’s our weekly attempt to rescue wisdom. This week’s conversation centered on “Searching Virtuously”.
Our study of the Book of Proverbs, chapter five, reminds us that, while this chapter is definitely written from a man’s perspective, the warning to avoid promiscuity is equally important for us as women.
Afterall we are part of the equation and have a responsibility to be protective of ourselves. To guard and care for ourselves on all four levels, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual.
One of the things I think we need to add here is that some who have had promiscuous seasons in their life are not necessarily condemned for it. I’m talking about the victims of abuse, sexual assualt, rape, human trafficking and others forced or coerced beyond their understanding at the time, to live in such a way as a means of survival.
We cannot blame victims, nor should we point fingers or condemn and judge.
God does not. He forgives us as soon as we have sinned or strayed. That is not to say ‘Oh I’ll do this and then I’ll be forgiven’ – not the way it works. Once we know something is wrong and we choose to act in that way, then the repercussions are on us.
Just as they are if we opt to scorn, gossip and turn our backs on others.
As we read in verses three through six,
The lips of a seductress seem sweet like honey,
and her smooth words are like music in your ears.
But I promise you this:
In the end all you’ll be left with is a bitter conscience.
For the sting of your sin will pierce your soul like a sword.
She will ruin your life, drag you down to death,
and lead you straight to hell.
She has prevented many from considering the paths of life.
Yes, she will take you with her where you don’t want to go,
sliding down a slippery road
and not even realizing where the two of you will end up!”.
A slippery road is not a very “Becoming” path and the author notes if you embark in that direction, not just one person, but both of you need to realize what the consequences will be. To be dragged down, to live a life of embitterment and depression does not seem to be “sweet like honey”, and a few moments of pleasure do not make up for all the strife that can result.
On Thursday, we continued our talks based upon the 8 Points of Light.
And for our email subscribers, our service provider, without warning or any kind of indication chose to “update”. Changing the look and format of the pages, so I’m now working on making necessary adjustments to restore any unaligned bits you may be seeing.
Anyway back to more enlightening issues including, “Illuminating 8.4: Peace”.
Peace can have many meanings. From the dictionary among the offering of definitions are:
-a state or period in which there is no war or a war has ended. Synonyms include law and order, lawfulness, harmony, and accord,.
-a ceremonial handshake or kiss exchanged during a service in some churches, symbolizing Christian love and unity.
Plus the one I find most beneficial for our common understanding:
– freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Similarly described as calm, calmness and restfulness.
Being free from distractions, harassment, annoyances and chains that bind us to past realities and circumstances certainly creates in us the space to manifest a place for and an overall attitude of being peaceful.
f you feel you may be lacking in this area of self-empowerment, fear not, you are not alone. No one is born this way, we all have fears, doubts and insecurities. Plus all of us have the ability to overcome any lack. None of us are perfect, so let’s empower ourselves by receiving peace and calm by first accepting who we really can be “Becoming”.
Perhaps one of your affirmations is something along the lines of, “I am deserving of being treated with compassion, dignity and respect”.
Remember to first practice giving those things to yourself and receiving them gratefully with grace. Do this by empowering your self esteem.
Obviously I hope you are making the choices to improve or strengthen your positive self esteem. We know that negative self-esteem can impact every aspect of your life, including relationships, jobs and your health.The good news is you can correct your false views of yourself, as the following steps borrowed from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will outline.
Identify Problem Areas
Think about the situations that deflate your self-esteem. Identify the triggers. Some examples include:
A crisis at work or home
A challenge with a spouse, child or other loved one,
A change in life circumstances, such as a job loss, a death of someone near and dear or a child making poor choices.
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”.
Once you’ve identified a disturbing situation, you especially need to pay attention to your thoughts. This includes self-talk and your interpretation of what the situation means.
Ask yourself if this belief is true? Would you say it to a friend? If not, then don’t say it to yourself.
Challenge Your Negative Thinking
Be aware that long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though they are not. Often these false perceptions are just opinions devoid of any truth. Then make sure you are not getting involved in patterns of self delusion or accepting falsehoods as the truth.
Some of these patterns to avoid can be:
All-or-nothing thinking. Do not say to yourself, If I don’t succeed in this task, I’m a complete failure and always will be.”
Rejecting your achievements. Do not tell yourself they don’t count. Do not place false limits on yourself.
Reaching a negative conclusion when evidence does not support it. For example, “They didn’t reply to me, so obviously I must have done something wrong.”
Mistaking feelings for facts. Do not confuse feelings or beliefs as factual evidence. For example, “I feel like a loser, so I’ll always be a loser.”
Take Ownership of Your Thoughts
Rather than being overwhelmed by negativity, acknowledge its presence.
Accept it, then shoes to empower yourself. Look at the reality and declare it will be no more. Work, take action, thoughts or feelings to be “Becoming”.
Then yesterday I shared how yes it was a mad, mad world, where Italians played Indians in the movies and on the streets of reality Indians had to portray themselves as Italians to survive. I’ll explain as we share some random thoughts and ask some questions, on this Earth Day edition of “Becoming Today”.
I’m sure nowhere else did anyone note the connection between Al Capone, Native Americans, my friends growing up and Earth Day. You can read all about it here.
Some of our other “Earthly Thoughts” included some random reflections:
- A sad note this week, eight decades after surviving the Holocaust a Ukrainian woman again forced to hide in basements from attacking enemies perished. According to her Rabbi, “Vanda Semyonovna lived through unimaginable horrors. She was a kind, joyous woman, a special person who will forever remain in our hearts.”
- Did you know the richest man in the world is homeless? Perhaps that’s why he suggested that Twitter’s headquarters be turned into a shelter? Elon Musk says he currently does not own a home or rent an apartment and is moving about regularly staying in the spare rooms of friends. While not priced out of the market, he certainly is missing out on the parts of life that make a house a home. Evidence I guess that money can not buy everything.
- I’m slightly annoyed by this woman who keeps popping up on my TV. As part of an ad for new technology intimate wear, she proclaims, “I don’t have the time or patience for wired bras anymore!”.
Really? That’s her breaking point?
How can anyone believe they are so over taxed that they can not find the time to put on underwear? And how much patience does it take to support yourself?
Wire or not, the moments I invest in the process leaves me feeling lifted.
Hopefully ending our week together with a smile, I pray you all have a safe and blessed weekend. Then come Monday I trust you’ll choose to join us again on the next edition of “Becoming Today”.