Saturday, September 26, 2009

When I come to the place of personal responsibility, I'm close to breakthrough!

You cannot let people who don’t want what you do tell you how to act or respond!

We have to be willing to ask ourselves the DIFFICULT QUESTIONS. Without facing ourselves, we cannot change the situations, which consistently cause us debilitating frustration. We have to get to the place where we GET enough information to finally address the issues, which keep us from changing.
If you & I are honest with ourselves, it’s the identical issues, that cause the identical setbacks.
During a conversation with my great friend Cindy, I was approached about fasting on the Day of Atonement: Yom Kippur.
Known as the Day of Atonement the 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer will begin at sundown this Sunday (9/27/09) and will last until sundown Monday (9/28/09) evening.

Two holy candles are blessed and then lit, signaling the beginning of Yom Kippur 9/27/09. Once this has been done, there is no more eating or drinking, no bathing, no using creams and oils, no wearing of leather shoes, and no sexual relations.
Even Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast and attend synagogue services on this day. This is considered the Day of Judgment, a day to practice repentance, say prayers and give charity in an effort to receive God’s forgiveness for all sins made in the past year.
My choosing to follow Yom Kippur this 9/27/09 got me thinking about our world’s great need for personal, professional, emotional, relational and physical re-calibration of our lives.
This definite commitment causes us to practice principles, enabling us to become one with them.

This sounds so amazing and life changing, yet how does it exactly occur?

Feelings are never going to go away. We don’t have to follow our feelings; we can manage them. There’s this uncanny process which we all succumb to. It is my actions...beliefs...behaviors...consequences which create cycles in my life. I get so consumed (consciously and subconsciously) that whatever I’ve fed takes center stage of my life. Our greatest times of growth are when we do what’s right, when we FEEL wrong…. this sucks; yet it’s the truth for all of us.

The life empowerment exercise I immediately set out to accomplish centered on identifying what I was feeding subconsciously and consciously in various aspects of my life. This is my list:

1) Tradition. I was pre-occupied with wanting things to be a certain idealized way in my marriage & in my professional relationship with one gentleman in particular. The reality is that the idealized marriage I envisioned myself to be apart of didn’t have someone who’d been previously married. It didn’t include anyone who’d been hurt or driven to despair of some sort, causing unyielding mistrust. My working relationships didn’t include an individual who would consider him or herself, before everyone ELSE no matter what. I dreamt up someone who would travail for those they work with; that they’d be this servant-leader that was persuaded to live the ideals they share in corporate emails & during motivational speeches made in the presence of other executives.
2) PROFOUND Sadness & despair. I have wrestled with grief over my relationship with my bonus child and my blended extended family unit. I walked into the 10th act of a horror novel. Everything looked so shiny at the onset. Yes, finally I’d have that big family I never had with unconditional loving well adjusted people who had no issues…WRONG. Rather, the main characters were so adept at “their way” of doing things, & everyone walked with a limp that I shined the light upon. It was the most melodic perfect & worst thing that could simultaneously occur in all of our lives.
3) Trust. Trust that everything could finally stabilize in my life. That all of the crooked places of my existence would be made straight. That everything that I’ve worked to manifest in every aspect of my life could finally take center stage & delightfully be.
4) Celebration. Celebration of all of the RIGHT things I did and am doing got moved to the background of my life. Somehow the first three issues I recounted in this blog sideswiped my life. These successes indeed need celebration and gratitude because they are indeed life changing and serve as the infrastructure of the imminent life-change in store for my and the worlds life as we know it. The way of doing, thinking, feeling and believing will be CHANGED…all because of my being a willing vessel & learning to practice what I preach…in the midst of victory, setback, anxiety, frustration, extreme sadness, pressure, uncertainty, pain, profound loneliness & isolation et al.

Ultimately each of us needs to understand what’s appropriate and inappropriate for our lives.

But how do we turn things around when our THERE seems so FAR away?

To modify things, you & I have to see things differently. We have to begin by making a quality decision to never allow others who don’t want what WE want to be at their mercy.

This is the heart of what atonement is all about. Atonement is calling each of us to RE-THINK every aspect of our lives. Purposefully, we are promising to abstain from the very things, which tend to trip us up & gain enough peace to permanently CHANGE.
In the action of mastering the body for 24 hours, you are believed to
create clarity & direction.
This 24-hour period creates three distinct endpoints: desolation-consecration-restoration.

The immediate results are zoning in on who you are and becoming one with it. Learning to clearly identify everything that grades aspects of my life as opportunities to GROW in peace, resilience, & personal accountability.

This approach lays the infrastructure to do what you can & leave what is best left ALONE.

So many of us brag about having “no regrets.” The problem with this mindset is it inevitably guarantees repeats of the same challenges in the future...because we never fully dealt with the past.
Its imperative we schedule time to regularly reflect, so we can see the ERROR & TRUTH concerning every aspect of our lives. It’s in the mastering of our moments, that we craft the masterpiece of our lives.

The great thing about our lives is that we can atone DAILY. As we become masterful in atoning, we can learn to atone each moment.

Please share your victories, your setbacks & your questions. I swear that none of us is as smart as all of us.

I’m surrendered to the process. I will win. I will continue to master the art of active listening, communicating & forgiving others & myself…. all with intact boundaries.

Each day:

Identify where your thinking went/goes wayward?

Identify the answer and ask yourself why it isn’t working in your life?

Make it your goal to make someone else’s day. Get past all of the good intentions.

Now when life’s three, four point formations (popularly witnessed in football play) come your way, you can handle them.

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