The pope. Those two words lately generate quite a bit of conversation and controversy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some time in the future the reasons why he stepped down become evident. His position commands such great reverence and respect from many people that I think some of them believe him to be perfect. I’m sure he would disagree, and his actions, if they were known, would reveal a human being, someone just like any of us lesser-knowns or unknowns.
As we spend time discovering how we might respond differently, the key is looking for consistency. By this I mean something consistent with our inborn nature. When each of us is born, we are born with innate talents, and with capabilities that, with practice, can be developed into additional talents. So I might say I was born with a natural ability to learn. However, until I use that talent, my capabilities in other areas will not develop.
To attempt to do something contrary to your nature is very difficult, requires a lot of energy and focus, and when we consider the change as something we want to carry on for a lifetime, might be considered unrealistic.
I’ve discovered I have several responses I can use to change a behavior. I have a few more days to discover other ways, and to choose the most natural way, such that it complements my nature rather than go against it, making it easy to implement as I practice, practice, practice.
If you had a choice between being well-known, respected, and highly followed (on Twitter or wherever your social universe resides, be it electronic or physical), or having made an impact in several people’s lives (of which you were directly aware), which would you choose?
It’s easy to pick the second choice, altruistically speaking, yet I wonder when we look at our daily lives, which choice our actions reveal to us. Is there much of a difference between the two? I think it boils down to the reasons behind our behavior. And that’s part of the discovery process, in terms of choosing a new behavior. After identifying the root of our existing behavior, (if we are successful in that, which is not a given), we consider how we might behave differently, what actions we might choose to perform instead, from the standpoint of that root cause – not to perpetuate it, but to change it.
And so I want to discover a new action that brings out the best in me, not to glorify myself, but to glorify God, quietly.
In a discussion yesterday someone pointed out two extremes – altruism and psychological egoism – and we talked about them, about how easy it is to do something that looks good and bask in the glow of praise from others. And it is difficult, when the adulation comes, to deflect it, accepting the thought without letting it puff you up.
“You should be proud,” is often heard from others when you do something worthwhile; yet, how opposite this is to Jesus’s teaching, to Buddha’s teaching. (And probably to others, as well.) When you focus on God, and focus on shining God’s light, then the need for praise, for boosting yourself up, diminishes. If you’re capable, it might even vanish if your focus is complete.
As you discover what to do instead of what you were doing, don’t judge the action on how it would make you appear, but rather how it fits in with your personality. If you try to do something that is not you, like an extrovert trying to keep quiet, you’re bound to meet with disappointment. Here we are working to reveal who we are in a way that does not glorify ourselves, because when we reveal who we really are, what we are doing is glorifying God.
Discovery, the third phase of the RADAR change process, is twofold in its purpose. It is about discovering what you might do differently from what you are doing now. And it is about discovering the deep-rooted cause of the unwanted behavior. In this way, we can see discovery through the first three phases, semantically speaking; but then, DDDAR would sound like someone with a stuttering issue.
One might consider that we are moving too slowly. Again, resist the urge to accelerate, but at the same time, if you discover something and want to use it, go ahead. What I find interesting is that if you take the time, you’ll find yourself making changes almost effortlessly as the momentum of the process takes over. You’ll find that instead of thinking about what you want to do, you’ll just start doing it.
This week is about discovery: What could I do differently, naturally, to replace my unwanted behavior? Take time to discover, because over time you might find that the first idea is not the one you end up using.
Okay, I guess I missed Friday when some new windows were being installed. I went back and corrected the day number on yesterday’s post.
Last night I attended a Buddhist prayer meeting, I believe it was to honor someone’s passing, the father of a family, grandfather, and possibly great-grandfather. So we sat in back and prayed with them. The chants/prayers were in two different languages. I believe the first was Thai, although my wife said the monk had mentioned Bali. The second was Vietnamese. As I prayed and listened, it struck me how familiar the feeling was to one experienced when saying a rosary in a group. And how similar to an Indian dharma prayer meeting I had attended as well.
I thought of the commonality of humanity and wondered again why we spend so much time trying to differentiate ourselves and despise those unlike us, when at the core we are all the same: human beings.
This week wraps up the Awareness phase of the RADAR system, and we consider and reflect on how aware we have become to when our response is triggered. By now I would not be surprised if you can anticipate the opportunities for change before or as they are occurring. I’ve reached that awareness at times, and can sense a change in me even when I’m not purposefully doing anything different.
Do you feel a change in the level of peace in your life?