Why do we do the things we do? I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately. It can be answered flippantly… or honestly. I think honesty with self is one of the hardest yet most important things to cultivate: “Why did I say that?”, “Why do I feel frustrated, or aggravated, or angry?”, “Why did I do this or that?”
I very often find myself surrounded by adults who simply do not know themselves -- Adults moving through life not paying attention to their thoughts or giving contemplation to motives. Do we just accept the quickest and/or most desirable reasons for our actions or do we truly pause and contemplate? When I contemplate, I must admit, I’m not always happy with the answers that result concerning my actions, words, or perspectives. But, I do gain insight into me, my fears, my passions, my gifts; the things that make me tick?
What would happen if we just slowed down to investigate our thoughts; examined our motivations… deeply, honestly?
OK… Honestly? Much of the time, I don’t like what I discover when I look inside. At times, I regrettably find that my motivation is rooted in either fear or pride.
First, when I say pride, I don’t mean the good kind. I’m talking about protecting in some way how I want others to see me, my perspective or a quality that I deem worthy of praise. Yuck! Is my motivation to have others praise me? Or, is my motivation to truly help my fellow being with little to no concern of their acknowledgement? I guess a good way to answer that might be with a follow-up question, “How do I act/respond when they don’t?” Hmm… Be honest! I’m thinking it might be a good idea to practice doing acts of kindness with no expectation of acknowledgemen; or totally anonymously--maybe once a week, or a month, or daily, or just once! It could be sort of like therapy! HA! How would that change me? How would that change our community if like a lot of us did that?
Secondly, when I say fear… well, I mean fear! Although, fear can motivate us to make positive changes in our lives, many times it results in negative actions on our part. Such as in, the fear of losing control; the fear of others having more or better than me; the fear of looking bad; the fear of my child making a wrong decision; the fear of losing power; the fear of not making as much money as my neighbor; Fear, fear, fear! It can be debilitating.
As I think about fear, I can’t come up with a single remedy--except Faith. My Faith is in a truly sovereign God and His plan; a plan that includes and yet transcends me, and therefore doesn’t depend on me or others.
Unfortunately, I have to keep my pride in that faith in check!? Ooooo, there it is again! And isn’t that just ugly -- and truly ridiculous? I’ve already stated, the very reason I can have Faith in Him and His plan is because of who He is in relation to who I am! HA! It’s sort of comical at times actually.
Hmmm… let me contemplate that!
Well, I guess that brings me back to my original point doesn’t it?