EENY, MEENY, MINY, MOE, WHERE DID MY BIG, FAT R GO?
July 13, 2018
I used to play this game a lot! I was not even aware of how many times in one day I would pass my big fat R around. My attention focused rather on how good it felt.
Yet… in the long run it never served me well. You see, I am the sole owner of my big fat R, but passing it on to someone or something else creates the illusion that I am not.
It seems as if my big fat R is permanently nagging me for permission to leave and to walk over to anyone who is willing to take it, play with it, entertain it or make island-holiday promises to it. There is a well treaded path between my big fat R and easy ways out. Safe, secure accessible paths. The eyes of my R are always scanning the perimeter for open doors to disappear into.
I am sure many people know exactly what I am talking about. They must – because their lives also lack the constant presence of R. Just like mine.
The story, familiar to me, about the beginning of life on earth, is quite interesting. Human beings received a big fat R with the Breath that gave them Life. Take R and rule over the earth.
There is a natural order to things. We cannot change it. Things go wrong if we try to. We received the freedom and task to tend to life. From the beginning we were allowed to become relational and even name parts of creation that came into existence without names.
Our blueprint enables us to take charge, because we co-exist with the Creator of all things. We are not separate. We are one.
But we cannot do any of this without our God-given big, fat R.
So what is this R-fuss all about? Let me spell it out for you.
R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y.
I will use a simple example to explain the logic behind this blog. I am really just a normal girl on the block. Nothing about my bloodline, education or life circumstances hints at fame, genius or being a world renown inventor. I grew up in a small town (to be honest, one with a not-so-great-reputation). Nothing stands out about my achievements in school or university.
I left home at the age of 18 and got married for the first time at 20. I tried to survive, mostly not feeling responsible for my own well being. I joined the searching eyes of my big fat R, waiting for a lucky break, a rescuer or a one in a million opportunity to fall into my lap.
For the biggest portion of the first half of life, I was waiting for someone or something to see me and make something out of me, because I intrinsically knew I was created to be significant.
- I knew I was created to leave something behind that was not there before me, yet… I refrained from doing so. I left it to fate.
- I allowed my R to partner with people who seemed to have the power and the right answers to lead me to significance.
- I fed my R with a recipe prescribed by the world, its systems and even sometimes organised religion.
- I chose to put R to sleep and take cosy naps with him while blaming others, politics, weather or the colors in the rainbow; for not thriving personally.
It comes so natural to NOT take responsibility. Taking full responsibility is normally accompanied by tension, resistance, fear of failure and shame. On auto-pilot, human beings choose comfort and safety. We still fall for the old promise of an easy way out.
We still bite into the tempting, juicy fruit that promises us a life without R. This choice will lead us to a realisation of our nakedness and imperfection and the compelling need to hide. This opens the door to shame and once we walk through that door we will hesitate until we eventually stop participating.
We will stop taking care of our garden of life and we will even feel righteous about it.
Last December I felt the nudge to embark on a journey to certify as a Life Coach. It made perfect sense. My background and what I was previously doing supported this next logic step in a very clear way. I googled and found the New Insights Life Coaching Training website https://www.life-coach-training-sa.com/ and compared it with a few others. The quality of the website convinced me that this was IT.
Intentionally I kept my R on a short leash very close to me. (It was pulling away to hide behind: You-are-too-old, You-are-too-Afrikaans, You-are-too-shy-to-put-yourself-out-there, You-are-easily-shamed, You-move-away-from-risky-ventures, You-don’t-like-to-be-tested-in-fear-of-being-found-too-light etc etc etc.)
To make a very long story short…
I TOOK FULL RESPONSIBILITY. I NAMED MY NEXT STEP AND STEPPED INTO IT. I MADE A COMMITMENT TO LIFELONG LEARNING, TRUSTING THAT I HAVE PERMISSION TO DO IT AND ALLOWING THE FEELING OF FREEDOM THAT COMES WITH PERSEVERING.
ANY COMMITMENT TO LIFELONG LEARNING REMOVES FAILURE AS A FEAR AND RE-INTRODUCE IT AS A MAIN CHAPTER IN THE STUDY GUIDE.
WE MUST REGRESS IN ORDER TO GROW AND CHANGE. NOT EVERYTHING WE TOUCH WILL TURN INTO GOLD, BUT IN THE LONG RUN, ALL OUR EFFORTS WILL BE REWARDED.
The word RESPONSIBILITY can be simplified as the ABILITY to RESPOND. We have an enormous ability to respond to the rhythms of life. We can adapt and create new strategies to live life to the full as circumstances around us change and old ways of existing seem to become impossible.
What will your answer be to these questions if you allow me to hold a mirror in front of you with the request to make eye contact with yourself?
Are you hiding?
Do you feel inadequate?
Do you place all your hope on being picked? (Seth Godin will say PICK YOURSELF.)
Do you use your God-given ABILITY to RESPOND?
One of my favourite writers, Dallas Willard, often said in his talks that nobody must simply take HIS word for anything he shares. It is everybody’s responsibility to test his wisdom in their own lives, because nobody can be right about everything.
I tested many of my own theories in real life. I desperately wanted to believe in most of them. I also witnessed others doing the same.
Especially the parts that professed that I don’t have to work for a living or to find purpose and meaning, learn or improve, fail and try again and again in order to become skilled, be disciplined and reach for great goals. I could just hand it all over to my Creator (who strangely enough handed it to me in the first place and created me with the ability to respond to anything) or fate, or my wealthy parents or selfless friends who love to provide for me, or my husband / wife who I learned to manipulate in subtle ways to give me permission to take what I want. I might also build a theory that pardons myself, due to restricting circumstances or buy into the joyful thought of accepting a life of predestined suffering and loss.
In my experience, these theories do not lead to an abundant life. It strips me of my big fat R and it strips many other individuals from the power of working the soil of their lives to enable growth in all its forms. This is an ancient law. We reap what we sow. Any tree is known by its fruit.
There are so many opportunities to use our ABILITY TO RESPOND. Don’t bury what is given to you out of fear of losing it. Accept RESPONSIBILITY and work with it.
The natural things around us are loaded with potential. So is the deepest part of you.