Oh, seriousness. "Why so serious?" "I've learned to stop taking life so seriously." "You're too serious." The word "serious" has such a negative connotation, it seems. Maybe that's just how I've taken it from time to time. My high school drama teacher told me my sophomore year that over the course of the summer, I had morphed into too serious of a person and subsequently, I was no longer fun anymore. Ouch.
But serious doesn't have to mean "not fun." Or stressed out. Or overwhelmed. Or heavy-hearted.
Serious is necessary. Serious can be translated into dedication, commitment, effort, intention. It makes things happen. It turns dreams into reality. It turns wishes into wants.
My prayer over the past week has been for maturity. I want God to know I have a serious heart. I don't want there to be any question as to what my heart desires. I don't want to continue listening to the fluffy, self-centered, flippant voice that is all "me me me." I want my husband to know I have a serious heart, an obedient heart, a faithful heart. I want personally to be able to stand behind 100% of my work 100% of the time and be content knowing that I did my absolute best. Whatever it is I'm trying for, I want to try my best. I know I can't be perfect. I know I WON'T be perfect, even if I want to be.
I have to give myself a lot of pep talks. Anybody else out there like that? Anyone else ruminate on wisdom they've observed or learned or taken in, and then forget it? (Perfect memory is such a double-edged sword. Just when I think I need to hold onto everything I've ever heard, I remember all the negativity I need to just brush off... maybe God gave us our imperfect memories for a reason!) Giving myself pep talks and seeing my dreams and all those things I want to be "serious" about on a regular basis sure helps them become more like reality.
An esteemed chiropractor in the Nashville/Brentwood area spoke to our yoga teacher training class Sunday afternoon and imparted a whole lot of wisdom on us. Here's a little pep talk based on his speaking.
On accomplishing goals...
See it (your goal) as clearly and obnoxiously big as you possibly can. Give as much detail as humanly possible as you envision it.
Say it to yourself and write it down. If you see it regularly, it'll happen faster.
Weigh it -- what will it take to get to where you need to be? How much time, effort, practice, dedication do you need to put in? Define it.
Pay it -- DO IT. It's simple. Know that whatever it takes, you will do it. It may not be an easy road to travel, but do it.
On helping others...
The crisis begins the process. Help others take baby steps. Rarely ever does someone make a dramatic life change in an instant.
On changing our lives...
We think 80,000 thoughts in a day. 95% of those thoughts we think again tomorrow. If you want to change your life, change your mind.
On adopting "the right" mentality and maturing...
I am responsible for my choices, present and future.
I will tell my ego to shut up.
I'm going to let the better part of myself captain this vessel.
I'm returning to my Father's family business -- building the kingdom of God.
When I fail, I shall repent. Dig into my instruction manual, and listen to His revelation.
On making mistakes...
It's called "paying stupid tax." God lets us do what we want, but that's not His will. He wants to bless us -- he loves His children!
Failure is an opportunity to start over again with wisdom.
You present yourself for inspection, and let the Good Physician heal you.
On making decisions...
Allow yourself 24 hours to pray and "look before you leap" before you move forward. Ask for wisdom and understanding before you take that next step.
When faced with a difficult situation, ask these questions:
If not me, who?
If not now, when?
I will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, and I will do it right.
On our creation...
We were created for two reasons. To please our Creator, and to love our neighbors and be a Light -- to honor ourselves and others in that light.
When you start to honor others, you spread light.
We are all broken people.
We are all clay vessels meant to collect and dispel love. It's a gift.
I am the recipient of grace. I can't be perfect, but I am forgiven.
Seeking your best and highest good at all times is agape love.
You exchange years for wisdom.
What makes you so special that you can't receive grace and forgiveness?
Receive grace. You can't give what you haven't received.
On forgiveness/deconstructing the negativity...
Forgiveness is sending sin away from the individual who wronged you.
1. If it involves another person, forgive them for any harm they may have caused you.
2. Allow them to forgive you for any harm you may have caused them.
3. Forgive yourself for any harm you may be causing yourself.
4. Learn the lesson. Find the good.
5. Wish them well and mean it. Wish them a prosperous and beneficial life.
On doing well...
You can't be perfect. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.
Don't fall back on human nature. Be a champion. Do it for the Lord.
Operate in your gifts! Learn to feel the draw and resistance. We all have different gifts.
There are good things from everything. Put them in your backpack. Let go of what doesn't serve you. It makes you a cripple carrying them around.