Practice makes perfect

I feel totally out of touch because I haven’t been posting regularly lately. I am still HERE and my journey has been in a learning phase these past few weeks.

Being in this setting where routine is simple has allowed me to rest and recharge. I have been afforded the opportunity to reflect upon the past year and see the dramatic changes.

Today I find myself thinking about how my change of perspective occurred. I didn’t simply wake up one day and make an intellectual decision to turn my life around. Well ok it’s not like I had lost everything yet, but when you go from persuing material things and status oriented titles, to being focused upon helping others and persuing servitude it’s a massive 180!

So yes there was a decision which was made but it was the actions which actually achieved the change. There was no major mystery, I was and am still inclined to be materialistic and driven by self will. I have a weakness for name brands. When I picture myself in a new vehicle it’s a luxury style vehicle with lots of bling!

The difference now is that it’s not my primary focus, frankly I rarely find my thoughts on those paths.

What has hit me is that which we spend time longing for are shapable through practice. I heard a speaker use the analogy of a boy being dressed in hockey equipment. When he is young he cannot do it alone, an adult helps and over time he learns to dress himself. Any adult male who was raises playing hockey knows the names of the pieces and how they are worn. After years of practice the boy can put on all the equipment while chatting with friends, without thought. Through practice it has become second nature.

This is how my perspective has changed, with practice. When I fall back into my old habitual ways, I quickly acknowledge it and replace the thoughts with ones which support the life I am seeking to lead.

This isn’t a simple practice, I am not at the stage of it feeling entirely natural but the efforts are already bearing fruit.

I believe that my longings are shapable through concrete rhythms and practices aimed at what I belies is the “good life.”

In the past when I felt empty and worthless, it was impossible for me to find fulfillment from the achievement of my desires. My desires were superficial and so were the results. Jesus was my answer, he came not as the answer to an intellectual question but as the lover of my soul.

Bizarre isn’t it? I had sought for so long something which seemed utterly elusive and I found it had always been available to me.

It is only by redirecting the direction of my longing that I have found my own value and purpose. Quite simply it is my love which defines me, my loves are habits. By changing my social practices, activities and thoughts my love has been channeled to a different end. Towards an end which continues to afford me serenity.

Paul tells us about this in Colossians 3:12-17

Each day I will continue to clothe myself in the character traits/virtues/good habits I can until I achieve the natural internal disposition to do the right thing!

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6 Responses

  1. I can so relate. Isn't it awesome to have a design for living? When you find yourself slipping back into an old habit or behavior we now have the skills to relign our thinking and change what we are doing. I laughed the other day when my oldest said,"when did you finally grow up mom?" I replied, "when I was 42!" I guess it really doesn't matter when just as long as it happens! Great post!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I'm just starting to realize what you have already embraced. I've spent so much of my life (well, okay, all of it) wildly concerned with the image I projected ~ hey, look at my job/neighborhood/latest trip/fashion choice! Blah blah blah. But now I see that I have NO idea how to be honest about who/what I really am. I kept hearing talk in meetings about how alcoholics lie and I would think "what are they talking about? i don't lie!". Oh boy, did I lie! I lied by constantly presenting and sustaining an identity that was founded on totally external signifiers. I had no idea. I'm still not sure who I am without the trendy loft (where I basically drank a lot of wine) in the hot neighborhood (where I basically drank a lot of wine) and trips abroad (where I basically drank a lot of wine), but I'm so so so happy I'm going to find out… Thank you for helping me think about all of this!

  3. I kind of envy you your religious faith, Julie. Religion was shoved down my throat as a kid; I was afraid of God the father, and I just kind of didn't understand the radical man Jesus was. I don't guess I could ever let myself be tortured the way he did… so I just felt like, how could I ever "follow" him? I try; I consider myself a Quaker, which has its roots in Christianity; but my idea of HP is larger than any one person. It's larger than and different from humanity… thanks for this.

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