CHOOSING TO BE OURSELVES. . .

Greenleaf writes: The choice I want to talk about, and one of the most difficult ones, is the choice to become ourselves. And I mean something more basic than just one’s outward demeanor. …I am thinking of being oneself in a more fundamental sense of how one chooses to use his life: Does he live his own life or somebody else’s life?

Consider gentle reader that there are a number of ‘Essential Life Questions’ that might help us with today’s ‘Choice.’ Here are a few of them: Who am I? Who am I choosing to become? Why am I here? Where am I going? Why am I choosing to go there? What is my Call-Passion-Purpose? Am I striving to become the person I have the potential to become?

Greenleaf often reminds us that our ‘Being’ informs, guides, confirms and at times disconfirms our ‘Doing’ and that our ‘Doing’ affirms, confirms and, at times, disconfirms our ‘Being.’ If we believe Greenleaf is correct then it seems to me that we have an obligation to embrace certain questions (perhaps the one’s I have offered above), to reflect upon them (they will be more meaningful if our reflection is rooted in experience), and to either respond to them (immediately or over time) or, at times, to ‘hold them’ and as the great German Poet Rilke suggests: To live the questions and some day we might live our way into the answers.

What are the gifts, talents and abilities that I have been endowed with? Which of these have I developed, which at this time in my life might I develop more fully, which have I ignored and which continue to lie dormant waiting for me to nurture them into life? In what ways have I used my gifts, talents and abilities to address a need (or needs) that exist in my world – in ‘the’ world? (This, by the by, is one definition of ‘Call’ – to use my gifts, talents and abilities to address a need that exists in ‘my’ and/or in ‘the’ world.)

It also helps me to discern what I have a ‘Passion’ for. ‘Passion’ is often equated with ‘Internal Fire.’ What ‘lights my fire?’ What do I do to keep my internal fire – my ‘Passion’ – burning hot and bright? What do I do when my internal fire – my ‘Passion’ – begins to flicker or go out? What do I do to renew my ‘Passion’?

Directly connected to ‘Call’ and ‘Passion’ is ‘Purpose.’ For some, ‘Call’ and ‘Purpose’ are the same; for others they are not. For example, I am ‘Called’ to be an ‘Educator’ and my ‘Purpose’ is to ‘Love’ (In previous postings I have shared how I became aware of both.)

By discerning and embracing my ‘Call,’ ‘Passion’ and ‘Purpose’ it is easier for me to ‘live my life’ and not the ‘life’ that others might want me to live. Greenleaf’s final question is crucial for each of us: Whose life am I living?

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