OK. It’s June. I’ve made it to summer. What have I learned? How have I changed? Who have I become? Where am I currently at in the game of Life? Let’s figure it out:
In the past 6 months — heck, the past year — I’ve learned a great deal about who I am and what I love about life. I’ve been on a mission of discovering the pleasure of life. I have learned what my top 10 values are, and will be narrowing those down to my core 4:
I think identifying these has changed the way I approach life. I’m more patient with others and the things I cannot control. I’m more appreciative of school and always learning. I look for the joy in all situations. I’m relinquishing control to my heart, and letting whatever happens… happen. I aim to always tell the truth, even when it hurts. I’m building stronger relationships with my family and friends. I recognize now that in order to succeed or be “accomplished” you must first experience and appreciate failure. Above all, I must live with integrity and conviction. Now that I’m actually paying active attention to these values, happiness seems to have snuck into my life. It’s not something I have to search for, or force. With everything else in place, I’m happy.
I’ve sought out the pleasures of life, and found love. I’ve found happiness. I’ve found I can do it all, live by my values, and still enjoy the lovliness of life.
The only thing I’m still struggling with is faith. I grew up going to church fairly regularly. I believe in God. I trust that He will lead me to where I need to go. But I don’t truly know anything beyond that about my faith. Sunday school was playtime while mom sat in “big church”. I went to public schools where people shunned you for even saying you attended church on Sunday. I read passages from the Bible, but nothing ever stuck. I can’t tell you where anything is or its meaning. After college, I recognized that something was missing from my life. I felt drawn back into church. I started attending regularly, joined committees, and became a Deacon. I volunteered to be Liturgist, and I would read the Scripture during service. Yet none of it has ever stuck with me. It was all about doing, and not being. I read the Scripture, listened to the sermons… enjoyed both and got the overall message. But now I couldn’t begin to tell you what those Scriptures and sermons were about. Maybe I have a memory issue. Or maybe there is some reason that I can retain info about ANYTHING else in the world, except religion. Things happened in our congregation recently that threw me off-course, but now the path is wide open again. So am I going to press ahead and finally figure out what it is that I really believe in??
When you can integrate your values into your daily life, you can live by those values in all parts of your life. You don’t have to be one person at home, and a different person at work. As we become older and learn more about ourselves, our values become integrated into all that we do so that we can be ONE person in all parts of our life. Who you are, not where you are.
The truth is that above mundane daily chores, there is a larger issue of leadership and character. How you live and lead at work and at home makes a difference. It’s time that I take all of my values, faith included, and lead the way into the next phase of my life.