Learning: UnLearning

This past week we’ve bridged a few things. The months, as August gave way to September and hopefully we also helped you cross over some divides in your life that may have been preventing you from making progress.

This week much of our attention has been focused on learning the process of “UnLearning”. So as we take a look back at the week that was, we’ll review these concepts on this edition of “Becoming Today”.

On Monday we launched this series on “UnLearning”.

It’s another step here along our shared path. Sure we need to continue gaining wisdom and inspiration however the fact is that for many there is a significant amount of things we were taught that need to be released.

After undertaking a study of how the definitions of learning vary greatly based on where and when you consider it, we came to develop our official definition for the week:

“UnLearning is the process of releasing prior restrictions. Letting go of false, misleading or incorrect information we acquired over time. It is the deliberate process of relearning the principles involved in a specific scenario, skill or talent. 

It requires a willingness to truly learn, grow and become. It is a developed skill, that like all of life must be adaptive, flexible and open to revision at any moment. UnLearning can give us alternate attitudes, better vision, deeper insights, more concise and developed understandings. 

The process puts us on the path to knowledge and wisdom that when received, is intended to be shared, freely and for the betterment of not only the individual, but also the whole.” 

-Rochelle Jeanette

That gave us the foundation for our conversation throughout the remainder of the week.

On Tuesday, we delved into “UnLearning: Fear”.  Focusing on the first of three areas that I have come to realize we must address with our “UnLearning”. We spoke about why the sooner you can release and overcome fear, the better we all are.

Fear should be completely unnatural, yet for many of us in our early years we are not only taught to be fearful, live in fear, we are misled to accept that fear is a clear and present danger everywhere we look. 

We are not intended to live in a state of being afraid.

As the Scriptures reveal, in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline”.

Our Creator did not create us to be fearful, yet some of my earliest memories from people who were much larger, much more possible included the threat that they would “ put the fear of god” in me.

Now of course I understand that they completely misunderstood the intended usage of the word fear in their mantra, however when your first memories are formed as a three or four year old, you quickly learn that god is to be afraid and that if you don’t do what he or others want then you will be punished. 

For me those corrections were not gentle and far too often they were physical acts of violence. 

So yes I did learn to be afraid of this “god” they invoked. He was to me at the time all seeing, watching me constantly, just waiting for me to do something to give an excuse for me to be struck down. Often that “I’ll put the fear of god in you” was followed by “I’ll knock you through the wall”. 

I did not know it at the time, but I would have a lot of “UnLearning” to do and it took a long time. That’s why I say the sooner the better when you can come to accept that fear is an unnecessary thing. 

So in order to be actively involved in “UnLearning: Fear”, what must we do?

Choose to reject fear.

How do we do that? By choosing faith over fear. Faith is the assurance of things we hope for, but have not yet received. Faith is also the confidence, belief and trust in things that are not seen. Faith must be present before a prayer can be answered.

Faith is hard work, but its rewards are truly remarkable. 

In putting my Faith into action and actively without reservation demonstrating my confidence in God I learned that fear is a liar. It’s not conceived by God, and it is fear that is constantly telling us false things to hold us back. 

In the Scriptures we are instructed numerous times to not fear anything.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Where there is risk, there is always the potential for reward. We must choose to act in those moments and not react to circumstances that develop from our lack of action or the outright refusal to act, decide or choose.

And when making those decisions we need to remember that honesty is the best policy.

Don’t make excuses. When you are honest with yourself you will find it easier to accept and embrace what is before you and create a  foundation to be built upon.

Some wisdom here to motivate you towards accepting the responsibility to make and commit to your decision can be found in James 1:4,  “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”.

Which is also a little foreshadowing for Friday’s discussion…

Wednesday, technically we stepped aside from the “UnLearning” for a moment to look more at the learning and becoming better educated aspect. In “Becoming Wise” we spent our time together involved in our ongoing extended search and rescue mission for wisdom.

The world needs more of that today. This week we studied together in Proverbs 22.

Verse one offered us these insights,  “A beautiful reputation is more to be desired than great riches, and to be esteemed by others is more honorable than to own immense investments”.

Our name should stand for something. It should be a symbol to all of what we are and who we are “Becoming”. To tarnish our name is in a sense to bankrupt ourselves.

And I also wanted to point to verse 16, “There are two kinds of people headed toward poverty: those who exploit the poor and those who bribe the rich”.

This is one that could very easily be ripped from today’s headlines. While many seek to be divisive and think they can buy their own regulations, rules and even laws, ultimately the Vindicator will step in and what seemed like riches to them will be an eternity of quite the opposite.

Skipping ahead to verse 28 as it is written in The Passion Translation, “The previous generation has set boundaries in place. Don’t you dare move them just to benefit yourself.”

In the N-I-V, it is written as “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors”.  In Biblical times removing these landmarks was a severe penalty, To do so one was attempting to defraud another attempting to steal land, property and the inheritance of another.

However I think the wisdom here goes beyond the protection of personal property. It even entails more than not coveting what another has. It speaks to not destroying laws, traditions and beliefs. 

Too often we embrace today as a disposable society. Not only are landfills overflowing and oceans filling with trash, we dispose of people just as easily. Rather than listening  and learning then putting that wisdom to use, too many have adopted the modus operandi of using them and abusing them. 

That’s the case we are seeing everyday here in the U.S. but refusing to address openly. As for worker shortages, those in power want to say no one wants to work or choose to attack potential employees as lazy. However what we are realizing is that people are tired of being treated poorly, in negative environments for short pay.

In fact one young woman I spoke with recently defined her job search by saying “why would I want to work a crappy job for minimum wage, when I can find another crappy job for $18 an hour?” 

While not the best attitude it does point to the fact that those who have treated workers as less than for decades are now seeing their profit margins slip away, because they can not get the job done.

Empty platitudes of “essential workers” without compensating people for exceptional above and beyond performance are being rejected and it’s the ones opposing the workers that are paying the price.

As we read earlier, “the Lord will rise to plead their case and humiliate the one who humiliates the poor.”

On Thursday we came together to consider “UnLearning: Doubt”.

It’s another step here along our shared path. Sure we need to continue gaining wisdom and inspiration however the fact is that for many there is a significant amount of things we were taught that need to be released.

Now we’ll take a look at how we go about “UnLearning: Doubt”.

A key element of being “Becoming” is living a righteous life. To do so requires we cast all of our cares upon God.

Doubts certainly qualify for inclusion as a “care”, as does fear, anxiety , worry and troubles.

By handing them off to the Lord we are demonstrating trust in God that He is able and willing to deal with our concerns.

Inasmuch as Scripture Instructs us to cast our cares, and Jesus himself told people not to worry. Not to show obedience in this matter, would be the opposite of righteous living. It shows not only a lack of obedience but can be described as being dishonorable to God.

Why? Because if we do not release the anxieties for Him to handle and try to battle them alone, we are trying to do His job. Attempting to take His burdens upon our shoulders will crush us. However if we follow the advice of the Apostle Peter that weight can be immediately lifted.

Peter’s advice is to cast all our cares upon God.

None of us need to weigh ourselves down with emotional baggage. We don’t have to carry the burden of our worries. Nor must we submit to the bondage of fear, self doubt or loathing. 

God is willing to release us from all of it. By taking all of our anxiety and concerns upon Himself.

By now you’re saying something similar to ( if not exactly as) ‘easier said than  done’. True but “Becoming” as we have well established by now involves work. Sometimes arduous labor. Making deep commitments and then elevating that dedication to the level of covenants.

You need to make a sincere commitment to “UnLearning Doubt”. 

Why?

For one thing and do you no good. For another God says not to do it. Here’s a few inspirational passages you can reflect on when you feel doubt nagging you:

“Do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:6)

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1),

“Don’t worry” (Matthew 6:31). 

And maybe even “Dont’ Worry Be Happy”?

T

o begin the process of “UnLearning Doubt” by casting your cares upon God is truly an accountable measurable leap of faith. I have never said it would be easy nonetheless it is required for our shared paths.

Let’s get started. The first step to releasing your anxiety is stopping it before it starts.

The mind is where doubt takes place as the battle between worry and peace, fear and faith, you and the enemy takes place. 

Whatever you allow to hold your thought, will rule your life.That’s why, in order to cast your cares, you must stop worrying before those concerns can start to take control.  

When you first try to change this behavior it will seem like you’re having troublesome thoughts every minute. Acknowledge them. Then to help you let go, replace them with some encouraging words. Memorize or read scriptures that reinforce the messages you want to be striving for. Put them on index cards, in your journal, on the refrigerator, keep a file on your phone, have them always at the ready for your times of need.

Replacing your worry with the Word, shows your obedience. It glorifies God that you are taking a decisive corrective action. You are empowering yourself to learn, grow, develop and be “Becoming”.

Yesterday’s headline read, “UnLearning: Scarcity”. 

The final of the three areas of concern I’ve suggested are the both the starting and renewal points of releasing to move ahead. 

Are you ready to let go of what for far too many has been a multi-generational issue. Scarcity and lack. Yes this also deals with being afraid of those concepts, but all can be overcome.

Again like fear and doubt these are battles we all fight in our minds. However they can won and we can work towards becoming healed and relieved of the,

Web MD defines this fear of lack as “A scarcity mindset is when you are so obsessed with a lack of something — usually time or money — that you can’t seem to focus on anything else, no matter how hard you try”.

The medical science also presents evidence that not “UnLearning” these behaviors can lead to physical and mental health ailments.

“Focusing on something you don’t have can take a toll on your mental health. You can get “tunnel vision” when all you think about is the unmet need.‌ Scarcity mentality also has other impacts on your brain and can even cause it to work differently.”

Not something I want to deal with and I do not believe you do either.

Still it’s something that has existed for centuries as flipping through the Bible you can read, in Genesis 50:21, God saying, “So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.”

Plus the promises found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

He has been, is and will always be faithful to His promises, so why worry? Why doubt? Why live in fear?

There is no reason to, you simply need to make the decision to change your mind. You can do that at any moment in a given day, so are you willing to now?

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? 

That’s something you need to consider for yourself.

Fear, doubt and scarcity are major opponents along our shared path of “Becoming Today”.

Defeating them, letting them go and overcoming these obstacles can not only benefit the individual, but in doing so it also empowers the collective whole.

I truly hope that you’re working your way through the “UnLearning” process to become all you were intended to be. 

Here in the U.S., the Labor Day Weekend is upon us. It’s a ceremonial end to Summer that grew out of what was initially a day to recognize the American worker, by giving them an additional day of rest.

No matter how you may or may not celebrate it, please do so safely, then come Monday, I’ll be laboring for you on our next edition of “Becoming Today”. 

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