Thursday, September 13, 2007

In response to my previous post, Geckoman expressed my feelings perfectly; "I feel out-of-sync with my personal integrity, am disappointed with life's outcomes, full of stress, depressed, and so lack desire." (And now paraphrasing) I repeatedly knock my head against the wall of same gender attraction while still trying to make it all fit within the perfect LDS framework of eternal families. It's hard to believe in myself, that I'll ever succeed at my previously committed goal.

While feeling this way, today I came across the following reassuring quote from an article by Steven Covey:

"You have to look at each case on its own merit. No case is black and white. It takes real judgment to know what you should do. You may feel that you operate "between a rock and a hard place." Still, with a well-educated conscience or internal compass, you will rarely, if ever, be in a situation where you only have one bad option. You will always have choices. If you wisely exercise your unique endowments, some moral option will be open to you. So much depends on how well you educate your conscience, your internal compass...The more internal uncertainty you feel, the larger the grey areas will be. You will always have some grey areas, particularly at the extremity of your education and experience. And to grow, you need to go to that extremity and learn to make those choices based on what you honestly believe to be the right thing to do."

And from the same article, "As human beings, we have four unique endowments: self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination that not only separate us from the animal world, but also help us to distinguish between reality and illusion, to transform the clock into a compass, and to align our lives with the extrinsic realities that govern quality of life. Self-awareness enables us to examine our paradigms, to look at our glasses as well as through them, to think about our thoughts, to become aware of the psychic programs that are in us, and to enlarge the separation between stimulus and response. Self-aware, we can take responsibility for reprogramming or rescripting ourselves out of the stimulus-response mode. Many movements in psychology, education, and training are focused on an enlarged self-consciousness. Most popular self-help literature also focuses upon this capacity. Self-awareness, however, is only one of our unique endowments. Conscience puts us in touch with something within us even deeper than our thoughts and something outside us more reliable than our values. It connects us with the wisdom of the ages and the wisdom of the heart. It's an internal guidance system that allows us to sense when we act or even contemplate acting in a way that's contrary to our deepest values and "true north" principles. Conscience is universal. By helping companies and individuals develop mission statements, I have learned that what is most personal is most general. No matter what people's religions, cultures, or backgrounds are, their mission statements all deal with the same basic human needs to live (physical and financial), to love (social), to learn (educational), and to leave a legacy (spiritual).
Independent will is our capacity to act, the power to transcend our paradigms, to swim upstream, to re-write our scripts, to act based on principles rather than reacting based on emotions, moods, or circumstances. While environmental or genetic influences may be very powerful, they do not control us. We're not victims. We're not the product of our past. We are the product of our choices. We are "response-able," meaning we are able to choose our response. This power to choose is a reflection of our independent will. Creative imagination empowers us to create beyond our present reality. It enables us to write personal mission statements, set goals, plan meetings, or visualize ourselves living our mission statements even in the most challenging circumstances. We can imagine any scenario we want for the future. If our imagination has to go through the straightjacket of our memory, what is imagination for? Memory is limited. It's finite; it deals with the past. Imagination is infinite; it deals with the present and the future, with potentiality, with vision and mission and goals with anything that is not now but can be. The man-on-the-street approach to success is to work harder, to give it the "old college try." But unless willpower is matched with creative imagination, these efforts will be weak and ineffective."


playasinmar said...

"As human beings, we have four unique endowments: self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination that not only separate us from the animal world..." -Steven Covey

"Weaseling out of things is what separates man from the animals. Except the weasel." -Homer

Elbow said...

That was a really brilliant post. You have a lot of important things to say and I'm glad I'm here to read them. You have a lot of strength and in realizing that we're not victims and we have choices, we can make our situations so much brighter and so much more expansive.

Thanks for sharing that.

Anonymous said...

which homer?

gentlefriend said...

Thank you for sharing that quote. When I get out-of-sync with life and burned out and unmotivated, I am tempted to turn to quick fixes like porn, solo sex, or a chocolate orgy, but I have found that these, although fun for a moment, leave me feeling more emotionally empty. When I can't find comfort anywhere, I try to find someone who needs comfort. When I start resenting 3 hours of church on Sunday, if I start looking for lonely people to befriend, youth, elderly, whatever,and connect, listen and care, and my day changes. If I seek out lonely people, even on the subway, where people don't dare look at each other or at the gym where some fear that I'm trying to hit on them, in most cases I find that people want to talk and my dark day fills with light as I see them lighten up.

Amongst the choices "you will always have" is to reach out to others and perhaps in the process you may find yourself.

Since July 15, 2007