What is one of your most favorite quotes? I smile every time I read or hear one of Yogi Berra’s infamous lines.
“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”
“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps parents off the streets.”
Then there are the thought provoking ones like from Lao Tzu, “From caring comes courage.” Or from Martin Luther King Jr., “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by bad people but the silence over that by good people.”
I am sure that with the beginning of the New Year we have all made personal promises to ourselves. We may have even claimed a quote or set of quotes that we want to set before ourselves as self-motivating speeches. Words that have been put together by a single individual who has insight into the needs of a needy person. As soon as we claim a statement as our motivation, we declare our “need”. A “need” that says I have an inner desire that requires an external stimulus. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having motivational quotes around your home or in your presence. In fact, I strongly suggest finding really great ones… great in the sense that they not only pacify but they push you past a point of discomfort and into awareness.
Sometimes we need to have an external voice that comes along with our inner voice and tells us that we can be more than we even dare to dream to be… now notice that I said “be” not “do”.
“Doing” is an action that is typically short lived while “being” is something that is reflected in how we interact with others.
The act of “doing” can often times be a pacifier. Often times we do things because we have this perception that we need validation. Sometimes, we act out of a need to fill a void deep within ourselves. We may have never been given the gift of knowing how valuable we are; so we act in response to showing that we are worthy of being present. We accomplish many things in essence to make up for what we fundamentally needed… a deep sense of self validation. The problem with that is that when self-validation is satiated by doing something, we will constantly always have to do be doing something; when in reality we need to validate who we are by embracing our own intrinsic value.
Many times the act of being present is not by being seen but by being felt. We are so deeply connected with the beauty and value of who we are that we have the space and energy to offer the same gift to another person.
The act of “doing” is often times seen as a necessary process of gaining something… a reward… a possession… a better “position” in life. If our purpose of acting is only to gain something then I am afraid that we have missed our greater gift.
Our greatest gift is our presence.
Thich Nhat Hahn once said, “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
What is one of your favorite quotes? Mine is something that I heard a long time ago but it now has a new meaning for me.
“And the Word became Flesh…” - John 1.14
I understand the context that it was written but I think that we are missing a greater picture.
Here is what I see when I read that quote. Make your words an action. Live out what you believe in. If I want to be known for what I believe in then I need to reflect it by my own presence because it continues on by saying “and lived among us.”
I am very much a believer in acting not with judgment but with compassion. I have a tendency to lose sight of that. It happens when I allow stress, anger, insecurities, and fear to sprout from the soil of my being. The one thing that I am learning is that these emotions or thoughts that I consider as being negative and fight against are actually stern teachers that give me insight into who I am. It is not the presence of those emotions that I need to be aware of but I need to be aware of the reason that they are there.
Why am I stressed? Why am I angry? What am I insecure about? What am I afraid of?
These emotions are not meant to be weights that drown me into despair but are weights that I need to use as an exercise in becoming stronger.
Inwardly, I bow into the thought of allowing my words and thoughts becoming flesh. Allow the One that came in the act of love and forgiveness be the Model for how I live out the rest of my life.