This, That & The Others

It is that time again already. Another week has come and gone, so we pause to look back at this and the others on this weekend edition of “Becoming Today”. 

Our look at the week that was, will not quite be in chronological order, nonetheless, the groupings should point to the themes. We did begin the week on a Monday, as we do 52 times a year and our conversation then was focused on “This Moment”.

The idea of being content but not fulfilled or satisfied is one that for many years somewhat baffled me. How can I be content yet desire so much more? 

In accepting contentment am I denying myself the possibility for further or enriched satisfaction?

Those are some of the thoughts we explored together.

For today’s topic we’ve arrived at that point of transformation  and I am content in that yet accepting that it still has the potential to develop into so much more. So in essence I am content yet not fully satisfied. I am fulfilled yet remaining expectant for the next level.

It’s something that I had to learn. For quite a while I believed that if I accepted feeling content that I was becoming complacent. I was settling and not achieving the possibilities of full potential. 

How wrong I was.

To realize that,  I had to transform my understanding of what living in the moment was. First clue it’s not living just for this moment. 

The idea of learning to become content in the moment is not new, though some might say it is born of a revolutionary spirit. As centuries ago it was given light in the writings and experiences of the Apostle Paul. 

In the Scriptures conceived while Paul was imprisoned for his beliefs, he shares in Philippians 4:11-13, how he overcame lack, hunger and so much more by the realization that he ‘can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’…

Skipping ahead for a moment, Wednesday featured a big event on “Becoming Today”, as we wrapped up our 31 week search and rescue mission for wisdom.

Our extended endeavor ends with some inspired words that have not been without controversy over the centuries. In fact these words have even inspired Joyce Meyer to say they described the woman she used to hate…

In “That Woman!” , we completed our joint study of the Book of Proverbs. Where in the final chapter, we contemplated, what has commonly been called the Proverbs 31 woman. She is the woman that Joyce Meyer admits she used to hate. 

That’s because for far too long these verses had been taught as a virtually unattainable standard, being used to control and / or condemn women.

That is not the point. In fact I believe it is quite the opposite. These lines are intended to offer us guidance and inspiration, opening up worlds of possibility and allowing us the freedom to explore our limitless potential.

I know many women over the years have fallen victim to the false images perpetrated by misteachings of these passages. Some fell deep into despair and depression, because they felt they could not meet such standards if they didn’t compare.

That’s where the problem lies, anyone who says you should compare yourself to this “idealized woman” is a fool. As we have heard several times in our study of Proverbs, fools are to be avoided at all costs. 

As we read in chapter 14, “If you need wise counsel, stay away from the fool. For the wisdom of the wise will keep life on the right track, while the fool only deceives himself and refuses to face reality”.

Furthermore, remember in 1st Corinthians 4:7 we are taught, “When we compare ourselves to others, we are agreeing with the plans of the enemy for our lives. Comparison is the thief of joy and the stretcher of truth”.

Reclaim your joy now and don’t even think about comparing yourself to the fictional character referenced in this chapter.

Before we look at some of the valid qualities and lessons contained though let me point out what some may try to keep secret. There is nothing in the Scriptures that even suggests a woman should have all the qualities listed. And there is definitely nothing that says we need to accomplish them all or attempt to perform them at once.

So there are the “this’ ‘ and “that’ ‘ we pondered, now the “others” were discussions based around responsibilities, rights, leadership and integrity. 

Here in the United States we are 10 days away from an important election on many levels of our government. Plus early voting in many places already began this past week, so it’s time to consider what can help us as a whole move towards more “Becoming” leaders and policies. 

Tuesday in, “To Lead Responsibly”, I posed the question, “what character traits are necessary for an individual to serve as an effective and just leader? 

We must decide to take action . Stand up for what is right. Shine light onto the darkness that is attempting to restrict us. Then we must take that action. Do it. Publicly.

We all share in the responsibility of being the change we want to see. Of co-creating our world for the better.  It’s at the very heart and soul of our shared path. It’s also something that Martin Niemöller, a German theologian and Evangelical Lutheran Pastor, sounded the rally cry for during World War II. 

His famous words still echo true:

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

The responsibility to have your voice heard and hold those we elect to have a leadership role in our lives, lies solely with us. 

I’m not just talking about voting either. There are others we select to lead us. Whether this is a pastor, a mentor, teacher or someone we choose to do business with, by selecting to follow those individuals we are electing them, giving them authority to represent us, remaining hopeful they will serve by reflecting the shared values they claim to stand for.

Thursday I reminded that, “You Are Responsible For Your Rights

Let’s agree to understand we have the opportunity to undertake a period of life altering change. 

I know I’ve been talking about looking at things quite differently than society would suggest we need to. But that is why being uncommon is so necessary.

As we enter this time of Transformative Transition, it’s urgent that we begin to accept the possibilities of and work to achieve extraordinary results. 

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. However they do not end here. I further assert that these God given birthrights also include being treated with Compassion, Dignity and Respect at all times. That mercy, forgiveness and Grace shall be adopted and accepted by all traveling along this shared path of “Becoming”.

A local, national, global shift in consciousness and conscience enabling the rights of the individual to be heard, shared, freely communicated and restored to the levels our Creator intended. 

We are being granted the potential for momentous change and growth. Are you ready? I ask each and everyone of you, are you willing to accept this time of “Transformative Transition” and join me in seeing it’s Becoming?

As we embrace our time of uncommonness, just as the biological explanations of metamorphosis note we are accepting a profound change from one stage to the next in our lives. This can entail a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as well as differences  in  our appearance, character and intentionally intervening to react differently and either accept or deny your present circumstances.

In every stage of these oppressions We have been enduring, we must petition for Redress in the most humble terms We must repeat and repeat again if necessary our calls for change, demanding that they no longer be answered by repeated injury.

Therefore be it resolved from this moment on, that  we who are traveling along this shared path of “Becoming” commit to taking actions, deliberate and responsible initiatives to do our part to work for the well being of all. 

To support compassion, dignity, respect, mercy and understanding of all individuals regardless of their race, gender, color, creed, demographic or any other way the “dividers” try to profile and categorize us for their purposes of intentional disunity.

We refuse to submit blindly to disrespectful, unhealthy and abusive behaviors, attitudes and policies. 

We have the right to and must accept the responsibility to pursue a course that enlightens, invokes and advances ‘’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 Being Becoming”.

Yesterday in “Incorruptible Adherence” , I noted we will slip, we will make mistakes, sometimes even fall flat on our face. However when that occurs, we must decide to take the actions involved in getting up and pushing on.

Integrity. 

What is it?

Why is it so important? 

How do we ensure we are living with it? 

Where to begin?

Let’s start with a common understanding and craft our definition of integrity.

I think to offer a good starting point. “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”, amplified with, “ the state of being whole”. 

Plus the Merriam-Webster explanation can add:”firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY”.  

So let’s add another plus sign (+) followed by ‘incapable of being (bribed or) morally corrupted’.

Then we can do as my teachers always said draw a line, though today it’s probably more like placing a row of underscores, and complete this equation to arrive at the sum of :

Integrity is a foundational aspect of our personalities. It is a deeply held belief that we should be and are adhering to a strict moral code. 

This oath we voluntarily undertake includes being honest with both ourselves and others; living consistent with values that are above reproach and that we must choose to be incapable of being corrupted accepting that living by these  standards in an uncommon manner increases not only our lives to new levels, but also the quality of life for all we encounter.

Without freely embracing integrity we are limiting our lives. It’s why far too many people experience simply existing rather than being rewarded with a fulfilling life. Ully 

Quoting Wikipedia, “the word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.

In order to be living with integrity each of us needs to be living by aligning your conduct with excellence. Displaying a firm dedication to our values and beliefs. Never wavering in adhering to higher standards and pledging to always attempt to do the right thing regardless of circumstances.

Next week we’ll continue to ponder our future directions together. In the meantime enjoy your weekend. I hope you find some respite and then come Monday choose to join us here for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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