Published: March 1, 2016, Copyright (c) Sandy Elrick
Nay, the truest story is the one untold. It is the one that never completes. It is literally, your life. To experience the now and to accept it is to live, to do so otherwise is a denial of truth. With the turn of the month into March, 2016, I am filled with anticipation of the coming Spring season. The vernal equinox is March 20th at 4:30 AM Universal Time. Less than three weeks away. It fills me with hope, something I have not felt around a lot of my communities of late.
The passage of time is really a manifestation of our consciousness and a result of how we perceive things. Perception is a critical tool that is cloaked in our ego and our reactions. We are judged by others based on every aspect we present every day. Most of these judgements are subconscious and we are not aware of them. As human beings, our judgement is part of our innate heritage given to us through time immemorial. It is a core component, a force of nature within ourselves, a subtle whisperer to our conscious mind.
As you may guess, judgement is perhaps one of the most powerful tools at our disposal – it affects nearly every decision we make and without it, perception is bereft of company. Judgement and perception are not given to us but learned through experience, through our learning, through our parents, family, friends, colleagues, and other social experiences. I believe that good judgement/perception benefits not just from the learning but from the application of it. How does one learn and apply? Why does this matter, especially now?
Self development is another critical component of our natural being. It armors us against potential threats, harm, and negative outcomes. Failure is not necessarily a negative outcome; neither is success necessarily a positive outcome. It is the opportunities we have throughout our lives that give us a chance to grown, to learn, to advance our perception of our world, to write our own story. The same is true of our communities and the people around us.
Our gifts, whatever they may be, are available to us and as we serve, to others. It is that service that socially, we humans tend to value most and helps bind us together. Those of us who are comfortable tend to forget that. We get lost in other concepts and emotions and those start to control our daily lives. Revisit your perceptions and judgement frequently and you can claw back your humanity. It is one of the revelations I’ve come back to in my thoughts and discussions with friends and family. I sometimes think on so many levels that it is hard to focus on just one thing at one time and it is refreshing to take a step back from the clutter of my mind.
So my plea to you is to take a step back from your hurried life, examine what you value, how you judge and perceive things, and ultimately, what you do with your life. Are you realizing your full potential? Are you ready for renewal?
Upon reflection, action is typically the next step. It is this action preceded by thought that can bring the strongest result. We are human beings and not perfect – it is in fact, my perception that what makes life so joyous is experiencing the imperfections of people and what happens in life around me. Call it the simple pleasure of not knowing. Perfection and absolute action are again, strong attractors, but ultimately – what and whom do they serve?
That is a critical question which exacts a critical judgement. If your skills in judgement are not developed, never given the opportunity, and never allowed to action to cement those lessons in your brain, how can you expect to advance yourself or others? It is this lack of judgement that I see in a lot of dialog and action these days. People are reacting to uninformed matters, without critical judgement skills, and the result can sometimes be… chaos in its purest form. What we bear from this is the results of said action. I think it is a disservice to our youth that they are not taught critical judgement skills and debate and allowed to apply them in school.
The impact of action (or consequence) is what we feel, experience, and natively consume. As a race, humanity is changing from a ‘doing’ society to a ‘consuming’ society. It is shaping young people every day. Simple desires are given far more power (time and energy) than previously would have been allowed – which detracts from critical thinking. The momentum of these actions has more social impact with perhaps a less lasting effect by itself but cumulatively contributes to the whole.
Thinking critically: When you take yourself out of your day to day and evaluate your life, are you proud of where your energy went? Did you advance and change? Did your actions help just yourself and/or others? Did they do the opposite? Were you true to yourself and others? Those questions and answers are key things we must live with.
Back to renewal for a second – so why is hope and spring time such a powerful driver of our thoughts? It is because in that instant, our focus is cleared from whatever is occupying our mind. The anticipation of the reward of experiencing the joys of renewal give our minds and our bodies firm purchase in the now. So I am asking you to consider, regardless of your situation right now, to embrace renewal and hope. Ultimately, it is the logical end of a natural cycle that we are part of.
Why are hope and renewal critical? In times when others are suffering, it is your strength that can make a difference in another person’s life. You may never know that your smile, nod, handshake, hug, conversation, reflection, or outright effort results in making a difference. You develop that strength and diversity through the cycle of renewal.
It is my humble belief that we are not brought into this universe to just exist but to push the boundaries both within ourselves and within our human condition. Lifting up others, for no other reason (that it is of value to them and not a means to an end for yourself) is one of the greatest rewards we can give ourselves. Cumulatively we all benefit from renewal and opportunity. Individually, we are given these chances to advance ourselves and to realize our potential (maturation, growth).
Sometimes the greatest action is to ask. To get over your doubts, your inhibitions, your judgements, your perceptions, and then ask… seems so simple. The key is vulnerability and acceptance in the result. Practice makes imperfect. The more you do try, the more powerful and confident you become. In the end, you are not someone else’s responsibility and you must take ownership of yourself. If you cannot lift yourself up, it is because you may not have had the opportunity to fall and learn how (growth is waiting). At many points in your life, you will have flexed your muscles enough and have to take a test of character. Taking the opportunity to give of yourself at that time and you will most definitely have a worthy result. You will learn and grow. Undertaking an action and learning from it are what renewal is about.
There is no real harm in trying. There are always consequences, guaranteed – that is a net effect of trying. How we react to the opportunity and the consequences are what make us different from each other and yet part of each other. That joy in diversity of humanity is what makes us great. I love that. What opportunity for renewal are you looking for right now?