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 “By claiming what we already are, we best prepare ourselves for what we shall be.”

  ~  Henri J.M. Nouwen. (1932 – 1996).  

I Am. Two of the most powerful words one can utter. (These words are on my license plate Je Suis.)  I Am.  The words that may follow that declaration (in thought or out loud) reflect much of who and ‘what’ one believes themselves to be. 

While there are teachings (of which I am a proponent) that strongly encourage one to declare positive aspects when faced with negative recognitions, this can be a ‘double-edged sword.’  Example – silly as it may seem: I am standing in a pile of poop surrounded by odoriferous fragrances (ha!).  I can acknowledge this {...”claiming what we already are...”}, or instead I can make several statements/affirmations that tout the benefits of poop – aka manure, the sturdiness of my shoes, and the gentleness of breeze that blows around me.  All true. And yet…there is someplace to stand, in between these two, that allows for real change.

Like:  What about the poop and the fact I’m still standing in it?  Where would I rather be standing? Acknowledging the truth of the moment allows for one to ‘best prepare ourselves for what we shall be.‘  (Hopefully in the not-too-distant-future … uh … poop-free!)

If I want to, I can fling-wrist-to-forehead and declare “I’m just a poop magnet” (victim – poor me). Okey-dokey!  Have a fun and fulfilling life with that perspective!

If I want to, I can curse and stomp [carefully there] and decry all dogs and cats and cows for leaving piles of caca just where I wanted to walk. Snarl. (Another form of victim – blaming others for my missteps. Huh. That includes all those folks and events that float around out there so far outside of your personal sphere that you’d need a passport to interact!) Have fun with that one too.

If I want to, though, I can look at where I am standing. Reality check. I can ask self “Self, do I want to keep standing in this poop?”  THINK about the question.  Right here – right now. Maybe muse about the number of times in the past poop-stepping has happened. Historically. Good data – shows patterns. And. What about the current situation? Right here – right now.

Maybe there’s been a recognition that there’s a crappy pattern (Ha!).  Patterns are the past, replayed in the Now, and then projected into the future.  Is that the future you want? 

Tough decision. And, oh brother  ( … and sista…) folks are wedded to their patterns!  Yet, I do know, personally,  those patterns can be changed.  Even dropped.  No matter the length of their history.  Whoa!!  And then, the sense of realness of where I stand, the sense of this authenticity of self, the ensuing sense of freedom becomes a powerful thing!

Release, face one’s own denials, let go, forgive, man- (or woman-) up to one’s own shite. Stop living the old story. Stop hiding behind the Illusions of what were and what can be (….I hope, I hope, I hope…. pretty pretty please?)  

In fact, It only happens when one acknowledges what characteristics and actions are defining ‘me’ up to this point. Not what I wish it to be. (Want another reality-check?  Ask those around you what They truthfully see as your patterns, your personality both positive and less-than-loving. Whew! Takes a brave soul to do that one!)  

Patterns, personal history in all it’s intertwined realms, preferences up ’til now.  This IS who and what I (already) Am.  NOW, I can make new choices (in thoughts and behaviors) and best prepare myself to become who I shall be. 

Go Be.