It has certainly been an interesting journey and thought provoking to the point of exhaustion and sometimes pure restlessness. This last week was particularly convicting as I examined my choices. The fourth chapter, Listening to What Moves You- The Passion That Defines You we dissected the notions of our realities. Allender says,
"We are both powerless and unimaginably powerful simply because we have the ability to choose... We are the sum of every yes that we udder...Seldom do we know the implications of our choices".
Listening to my heart and saying yes or no (making choices) determines my future and helps me to more closely examine what Allender labels as the Ideal Self, Real Self and Ought Self. Upon reading the section on Ideal Self, I took into consideration who I am as a physical being: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, believer, worker. Within each of those labels I determined the characteristics/adjectives I'd like to possess: devoted, strong, ambitious, honest, trustworthy, creative, knowledgeable, loving, compassionate, & passionate.
- What we do is what we really value.
- What we value enough to do tells other what we really believe.
- What we really believe shapes what we become.
...So we always choose what we value most, even when our choice does us harm. We won't change our behavior until we first recognize what we value most deeply and then honestly face how our passions reinforce what we really believe. We can change our beliefs, but doing so won't alter our behavior until our beliefs transform our values. We can change what we do, but the changes won't last if our values and convictions are not transformed."
This made me think. As the Real person that I am strives to reach the Ideal which I'd like to become, what am I willing to risk, compromise, fight, and fail at to achieve it? What moves me? What are my greatest pleasures, desires and passions? What has God already created in me to become? These are tough questions for me. But here's what I know: I am uniquely designed to reveal something about God to others. I also know that this will include my child(ren), spouse and family. But, am I willing to gather and refine the components of my Real self to become who God intended me to be? Am I someone who is only willing to do the most comfortable thing because I'm too afraid of failure, rejection or discomfort?
"Does it hurt?"
"Sometimes." For he was always truthful. "When you are Real, you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. but those things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to those who don't understand."