Tag Archives: becoming you

Being Real

Holidays are usually studded with family or good friends. And it brings focus to how real we are. What does it mean to be real?

Some people think it’s saying what you want with no filter. Some think it’s reacting–however you feel. Is that really being real? How do we measure reality when we are talking about authenticity or genuineness?

I was thinking about it yesterday, and dreamed about it last night. I was at a wedding, but it was different from all other weddings in that the decorating was all lighting. It seemed to be heaven and the emphasis was on the commitment to God and then to the other person.

After the ceremony, I was invited to join the community who were being mentored by  someone who seemed to be God, and I was thrilled. The only requirement was that you had to want to become who you truly were meant to be. And that meant being willing to take the feedback of others, especially your mentor. I didn’t care. I had never wanted anything so much.

The feelings were intense and the most vivid part of the dream. I’m having trouble coming up with words to describe them. The atmosphere was the most positive I have ever experienced. Everyone looked supportive; their faces had good humor, joy, and kindness, and they spoke as if they wanted you to be there. The mentor was so gracious, that when he spoke to you, or even looked at you, you felt so accepted, so capable, so motivated. I felt the purest desire to achieve with no thought for whether I could do it or not. I was sure that here I could be or do anything.

I woke up and wanted to go back to sleep and be there again. I did have another good-feeling dream, but definitely not the same.

I’ve tried to think how to describe the feelings all day. Is that what it means to be real? To be truly you? To feel loved?

It was so pleasant, but that is too weak of a word. Joyful comes closest–though I’ve never thought of joyful as being motivated. This, however, included a motivation to become part of the joyful place–to belong there, to stay.

By afternoon I was feeling, again, the insecurity family has always made me feel. I say something that comes out wrong. Or what I do has the opposite effect that I intended. Or I try too hard and the choice I thought was best turns out clearly not true to myself. So  easy to be disappointed; so many opportunities to feel bad!

So I run off and get alone for just a few minutes, with the One in the dream, because I know He is real. Interpreting the symbols in dreams is tricky, but the feelings are real, and I know His unconditional positive regard for me is real. A few minutes is all it takes, to say what I’m feeling and let go of my expectations with a few tears, and I am righted again, centered, and the day is better.

Maybe someone out there has this same seeming curse of sensitivity. I offer this to whoever needs it for whatever help it can bring. He is there, and He does care. AND the best really is yet to come!


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Mandela — A Guide to Being You

I’ve written how I loved Invictus, a movie about Mandela and how he used the rugby team to solidify South Africa. I remember Matt Damon (team captain) going to visit the prison where Mandela spent 27 years, and in wonder spreading his arms to touch both walls, both ways of the 8×8 cell. There was a hard-back chair and that was all.

I still can’t imagine it–how anyone could survive that and come out as a beacon of love and forgiveness. But he did. One man can change a country, a world.

Inspiration like that doesn’t last long unless you feed it. Have you noticed that? But how can we keep it alive?

The same way he achieved his amazing triumph of spirit–by choice.

It just now came to me. He was in an easier place to do the thing we don’t do, because in that kind of desolate place, it is continually before you every waking minute–choose! You have to choose how to think about this, how to relate to it, or your emotions will eat you alive.

Here’s what I know: in that situation emotions take over and fire up every possible kind of anger, fear, and despair–running the gamut and determining your perspective. Or you completely shut down and go into depression, overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.

The grinding day after day sameness and privation would break most of us, but not Mandela; or you, if you believed in choice like he did and if you were committed to right like he was. The one line of “Invictus,” the poem he kept with him continually, says it all, “I am the captain of my soul.”

In other words, I don’t have to react, I can choose and depend on Goodness and Love to bring it around–eventually.

Sometimes all you can choose is your perspective, but that is yours. And no one can take that if you don’t allow them to choose how you see or how you react.

Think about that. You are capable of choice.

My husband and I are currently reading the prophet Hosea in the Holy Scriptures. What has jumped at me is God’s perspective on pain. He says He took them to the Valley of Achor (Suffering or Troubling) as a door of hope.

Really? Say again… So He did. When they had plenty, they became full and left Him…they didn’t need Him when it was good and forgot that He was their Source, their protector, their happiness.

If God blessed them they forgot Him. That became a huge problem for Israel. Over and over it happened. They either didn’t believe that He really loved and cared for them, or they didn’t care. But again and again when things got good they forgot about their living God and ran after gods they created.

Suffering was their safety.

Suffering is one of our best teachers, and we have another sublime example of it in Mandela’s life.

Suffering forces choice. But it’s not God’s desire.

His problem and ours is that when things are good enough we forget about God and choice.

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