Renewing Momentum

Another week has wrapped up here along our shared path. As we prepare to press ahead together and welcome the new month that is fast approaching, we need to pause, reflect and review the week that was here on this edition of “Becoming Today”.

Trust is one of those things we’re constantly told we should be doing and sometimes we believe we are. However that’s not always the case even if we believe what we are saying. 

On Monday in our discussion of “Trusting In Trust” to give us a working definition of the basic elements of what it means to trust in someone or something, let’s agree to discern the term as:

“Exhibiting and practicing full faith and confidence in an idea or individual, with reasonable expectation and reliance on their abilities to operate with the sureness of truth”

That seems like a lot to ask. It is. This is where we need to accept the idea that there are varying levels of trust that are perfectly acceptable. 

For example it’s okay to trust the garbage collection service will haul your trash away, but you should not expect them to be trusted to deliver the mail, much less to transport you to eternal salvation.

There is trusting within limits and trusting implicitly. Therefore when using the term we need to understand that we should treat trust with differing levels of accountability, expectation and protection. 

I don’t use the word childhood when discussing my past. I was always expected to be a short adult and circumstances dictated that I grow up a lot sooner than most. So let me say early in life I was taught to trust no one. Keep everything secret, do not tell anyone anything because they’ll use it against you.

This is not the proper lesson on developing trust. It is one I had to spend many years unlearning. 

I had to learn early that there is a significant amount of discernment necessary, even coming to understand that for my own protection I had to trust others outside of the ones we are commonly expected to believe in. In addition I had to trust that inner knowing to not let the ones I was supposed to trust find out I was trusting others. 

I could go on for several chapters on that, so for the purposes of our discussion today let me just say, I have known people with ties to organized crime that had more honor and were more trustworthy than some of those who publicly portrayed themselves as saints or claimed to be called to help.

In my early life trust  was intertwined with secrets, lies and hiding. The good news is I have come to know that truth and faith are what truly go hand in hand.

This past week we also wrapped up our six week 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”.

In the final installment called, “Turning Point Truths”, we discussed how n our shared path of “Becoming Today”, we all must deal with our own consequences, the result of our actions, decisions, attitudes and beliefs.  So why not make it so we are celebrating the outcomes rather than trying to repair, overcome or run away from? 

As we lovingly detach from things that no longer serve us, among those is the need to know everything. There really is no need to understand all that we encounter and endure.

When we choose to involve ourselves in the practice of letting go, releasing, detaching, whichever term you feel more comfortable with all require that they be done so lovingly. 

When we do so we are rewarded not only in our relationships but also in our individual personal growth, being better able to embrace inner peace, which is beneficials across all areas of our lives.

It boosts our personal power,  teaches us to be more resilient and allows us to better encourage others while maintaining healthy boundaries that aid our personal freedom and acceptance of responsibility for ourselves. 

We are only responsible and can only be held accountable for our own thoughts, emotions, decisions and resulting actions. The consequences of the choices of others ultimately are not ours. 

Becoming one’s emotional caretaker is not healthy for either person when it is based upon a false belief that you can control their pain. 

What may lay ahead for someone, even ourselves we may never truly know. That’s why here on “Becoming Today”, we’ll explore why not knowing is more than okay.

I think most of us are familiar with the phrase “on a need to know basis”. However did you realize it applies to us concerning our own lives?

I suspect for many it did not. I was suspicious of the idea, but once I allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to explore the idea, I’m glad I did.

I realize it’s an uncommon conversation, but one I feel many of us need to consider.

It was a tough lesson for me, and at times is still challenging. As throughout my life and professional endeavors I have always been involved in uncovering information.Bringing issues to light of day and seeking truth, justice and liberty for all. More than a cliche it was a credo, my motto, part of an oath affirmed for my life to be of service for the greater good.

While I have no regrets about that, I have come to the realization that when it comes to the future and details about my own life I really do not need to know. Furthermore my struggle to uncover these elements has led to delays, obstacles and heartbreak.

As uncomfortable as it remains at times I have had to learn to accept not knowing. I have come to see that God has the solutions and my demanding answers often only interferes with His plans for me. 

Wednesday we came together for the purpose of “Searching For Truth Or Consequences”.  Now I’m not talking just about folks in New Mexico, and as you’ll see this edition of “Becoming Today” is an exploration into universal wisdom that can serve the world well beyond any borders you may have had drawn around you. 

We are continuing, on our  weekly Wednesday odyssey, having undertaken a 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.

This week we studied Proverbs Chapter Six from The Passion Translation® .

In our discussion of the second segment entitled, “Life Lessons”, we examined some things we should never stop seeking or attempting to learn from.

Summing up verses 6 through 11, “When you’re feeling lazy,…learn from the example of the ant and enter into wisdom”. “If you keep nodding off and thinking, ‘I’ll do it later,’ just watch how the future unfolds! By making excuses you’ll learn what it means to go without. Poverty will pounce on you like a bandit and move in as your roommate for life”.

Ouch. Bam! There’s a thought that feels like getting hit upside the head with a board.

Actions have consequences, we reap what we sow and take personal responsibility for decisions including whether or not to take an action. It all matters. God is in the details, ready, willing and able to assist, nudge and even push you in the right direction. 

I am especially drawn to this metaphor of the ant. The tiny insect with the mighty, sheer determination and an amazing work ethic. I know cultures all around the globe have parables and stories about the ant and I would love for you to share your understanding and retellings in the comments section below.

For me, when teachings on the ant come from the indigenous roots here on Turtle Island

The ant symbolizes patience, determination and resilience. Despite its size it can and 

Is willing to move mountains one speck at a time. Ants are also community minded.  They are great planners and are a living example of how being content in the moment can build their dreams steadily over time. Ans are an example that the Source, God,  will provide and ensures that whatever is yours will come to you in its time

Thursday I realized we were already five weeks into our understating of the “8 Points of Light”. Previously we had discussed, Compassion, Dignity, Respect and Peace. This week continues to move forward and upward as we turn our focus to the fifth point of light, perhaps the greatest of them all, today it’s all about love. 

Love is so powerful because it transforms and evolves throughout the course of our experiences and lifetimes. What I’m talking about includes, not only being loving towards ourselves, but also accepting the love of others and sharing love with others, plus through loving God.

The love of God purifies our heart, fueling transformation and teaching us self-sacrifice. The nature of all religions is opening ourselves to the Love of God, and is the foundation of all the sacred teachings.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)

The word “love” is mentioned on almost every page of the English Bible. Depending upon the translation you can find the topic addressed multiple times for good reason. When something is important it bears repeating.

So let’s examine and ponder these numbers for a moment:

In the King James Version, love is mentioned 310 times.

In the New American Standard Version, love is discussed 348 times.

In the New Revised Standard Version, there are 538 instances of the word 

And “love” In the New International Version, is discussed 551 times.

Perhaps now you’ll agree that ‘The Greatest of These Is…Love’. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5(NIV)

Love is indeed patient and kind. In the scriptures, love is what unites people. Brings groups  together against hate and dishonesty.It is what enables forgiveness and restores confidence.

C.S .Lewis, some six decades ago, in a then controversial book outlined “The Four Loves”: 

  • Storge – empathy bond.
  • Philia – friend bond.
  • Eros – romantic love.
  • Agape – unconditional “God” love.

They all play a role in our lives and our individual paths of “Becoming Today”.

Briefly here is a description of Lewis’ concept. Consider it an ulta-mini, micro book report.

Storge – The empathy bond

Involves connecting with someone through the fondness of familiarity, family members or people who relate in similar ways. This includes the natural love and affection of a parent for their child. 

Affection, Lewis,considered it responsible for 90 percent of lasting human happiness.

Philia – Friend Bond

Philia, like Storge, as well as the other forms of love he mentions are Greek words. This Philia is the love between friends who become as close as siblings. Friendship is the strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities. Lewisy differentiates friendship love from the other loves, teaching it is “the least biological, organic, instinctive, gregarious and necessary” of the natural loves. Yet it is a higher-level love because it is freely chosen and grows from a root of compassionate  companionship.

Eros – Romantic Love

Eros is the sense of “being in love” or “loving” someone, as opposed to sexual love.

Eros, Lewis believed transforms the need for erotic pleasure into the most appreciative of all contentments, warning against the modern tendency for Eros to become a false god to people who fully submit themselves to it, serving as a justification for selfishness, even what he termed a “phallic religion”.

Agape – Unconditional “God” Love

Agape is defined as Charity. It is the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances. Lewis recognizes this selfless love as the greatest of the four loves, and sees it as a specifically Christian virtue to achieve. He focused on the need to subordinate the other three categories. Lewis wrote, “The natural loves are not self-sufficient “– to the love of God; who is full of charitable love.

Having an understanding of the differing types of love allows us to make informed decisions and hopefully better choices. Self-enhancement involves making a decision. You make the choice to have a  positive rather than negative self-view. 

Yesterday in “Free Thinking Friday”, we looked at a number of random ideas ranging from Know Nothings, proving gratification beyond a reasonable doubt and is cream corn being used as a defense for border security? 

Also I shared the following example of a conversation I have had, truly thousands of times over the years.  When entering into a discussion about those things were were taught we shouldn’t talk about…  politics, religion and sex… hmm, I’m talking about all three today… anyway a number of those “forbidden conversations” I’ve had have gone something like this, with me steering the talk with this question:

“What do you know about Nebraska?”.

Nine and a half times out of ten the response is, “Uh…. nothing”.

To which I ask, “do you know why that is?”.

I then either hear a “no?” or more often than not I just receive a blank stare, which I then respond to with “because it works.”.

We usually only hear about the failures, the lack of resolution, the inability to competently carry out the business of the people or the unwillingness for so-called leaders to come to rational agreements. So it’s no surprise that when something works you don’t hear about it.

Nebraska is unique to the nation. In many ways, but today let’s look at their system of state government. Nebraska is home to the only Unicameral Legislature in the nation. There is no bickering between the house and the senate, because there’s only one chamber and even more “revolutionary” is the fact that all of the members are non-partisan. 

Nebraska saw success immediately when they transitioned to the format in 1937. 

They cut the number of elected legislators from 133 to 43, around a 70-percent reduction which during the Depression also cut the expenses for taxpayers greatly. Furthermore the system within the first year proved far more efficient resulting  in more cost savings and a reduction in the amount of time necessary to get things done. 

According to the official site of the Nebraska Legislature, “The number of committees was pared down from 61 to 18, and 581 bills were introduced in 1937, as opposed to twice that many the previous session. The last bicameral session in 1935 ran 110 days, passed 192 bills and cost $202,593. The first unicameral session two years later ran 98 days, passed 214 bills and cost $103,445”.

Efficiency, fewer taxes required and less opportunity for grandstanding and name calling. With an affirming and very “Becoming” motto of “The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen”.

Now the idea of unicameralism is not only embraced in Nebraska. A number of countries are governed in this way including Israel, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. 

Isn’t it interesting that among those five examples, four are consistently ranked among the happiest populations in the world? 

I also wondered aloud about the inexplicable disappearance of cream style corn.

Surmising that perhaps, at this point in our mad mad world I’m afraid (audibly giggling), that I might learn that all the cream corn has been confiscated by the Governor of Texas in an effort to build a wall, that if penetrated by the cartels, they might lose their footing on the slippery substance and cut themselves on the jagged edges of the cans.?

It has been another week of forward and upward momentum here along our shared path. Thank you for being a part of it. Have a safe and blessed weekend and come Monday join us again for our next edition of “Becoming Today”. 

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