Be the rest.

16 Apr

These remaining commandments don’t a full post each make, so here’s a brain dump of the rest:

Be impressed.
I’m a typical Millennial: well-educated but entitled, tech savvy but tech-addicted. I was lucky enough to be born in a time when modernity made anything possible. A dream like seeing a man walk on the moon is a foregone conclusion. My generation expects to hang the moon. Miracles of science don’t seem like miracles – I expect the miraculous.

But, my God, what a terrible way to live. How can I find a purpose for myself if the world seems decided and even the new is no longer exciting? Jaded. Bored. Apathetic.

So, I’ve taken a commandment to be impressed. God created these amazing, evolving creatures who themselves create. Clever creatures. We can still amaze ourselves, if we’re willing. It’s simply a matter of perspective, and I imagine most of you already know that. Looked at from the right angle, the world is full of magic.


Be mindful.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Be silent.

“God is silent. Now if only man would shut up.”
― Woody Allen

Be grateful.

“Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means that you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back.”
― Anne Lamott

Be Sara.
The hardest thing to be has always been me. One day at a time, by practicing gratitude, faith, and love, I’m hoping to find a way to do just that.

Be brave.

12 Feb

To be brave is not to be without fear. You know this, yeah? It’s to act in spite of your fear. To brave is to endure, to act with courage.

My earliest memories are fear. Paralyzing fear. The fears that gripped my gut the most include: thunderstorms, the dark, monsters under the bed, and giants. My first childhood home was perched on a sort of cliff and I had recurring nightmares that giants would come climbing toward my bedroom window that overlooked our steep back yard. Our car once broke down about a block from that same house and I remember being frozen in the back seat as I smelled the rain creeping in. I couldn’t imagine my mother would get us safely home before the lightning struck. But I didn’t really have a healthy fear of death until my 20s. These childhood fears, much like my adult fears, were rarely of the outcome of the danger scenario but of enduring the danger. I thought – I think – I can’t possible bear this.

My parents taught me to “put on my brave shoes” and march through the fear. Stomp the spider. But my fears only morphed and amassed themselves into greater, more gut-wrenching terror. My brave shoes seemed lost or ill-fitting. Maybe one on, one lost under the bed with the ghouls.

The terror grew inversely with the danger. As I became better equipped to care for myself, as more securities were provided for me, I only became more frightened of what I might lose or what I might not be able to hoard for myself.

I have made a number of major life decisions on the basis of fear, for better or worse. Graduate school, job for job, marriage, divorce, town for city for town; spiritual, emotional, and financial debt growing along the way. The weight of it crushing me.

So, I’ve been making a choice recently to be brave. To accept that I am afraid but to endure the fear and fake courage. To act in spite of my gut and because of my gut, and to keep moving my feet firmly along the road when the way is clear but every fiber of my being is begging me to stop, give up, crouch, and hide.

And the more that I endure, the farther I carry the fear heavily on my back, the more my muscles tear and heal and grow and mold around the weight. My posture straightens and I become strong. My diaphragm stretches and makes way for a power greater than me to move in. God nourishes my trite little soul and greatness becomes possible.

By giving up the fight against the unconquerable fears I am granted reprieve.

I become brave.

Be your beatitudes.

5 Feb

I cheated on my twelve commandments a little. I came up with a twelfth that allowed me to add six more. This is exactly how I operate, if you’re wondering.

I once heard a great sermon on the beatitudes, but at the time (I’m ashamed to admit) I didn’t know what the beatitudes were. I’d heard this part of the bible before, but I didn’t know it had a name. This was long before my excellent education in EFM, to be sure.

Anyhoo. I got the impression Pastor Pete was talking about something he had coined the “Be-Attitudes.” As in, “Be meek.”

All that confusion and silliness is just to explain how the ball got rolling in my mind to create “Be” statements for myself that I call my beatitudes. It’s a curious place in this oddball mind of mine.

So, without further ado, here are the remaining commandments I’ll be explaining next:

My Beatitudes

  • Be brave.
  • Be impressed.
  • Be mindful.
  • Be silent.
  • Be grateful.
  • Be Sara.