Transition days throughout the year can be a good time to reflect. Whether it's the end of a week, the beginning of a month, a birthday, an anniversary, or the close of the year, these days inspire us to take time to consider where we have been and where we'd like to go.
As we consider the lessons we've learned and the lessons we still need to work on, the traits we've tried on and discarded or kept, and our new knowledge and whether we have encouraged it to mature into wisdom, it can be easy to begin to feel some judgment. Thoughts about wishing we'd gotten further on a project can sometimes turn into wondering if we tried hard enough or even if we as people are enough at all. Remembering a fitness goal we achieved is a good reason to celebrate, but we can sometimes forget all of the supports that were a part of our success. Balance and a big-picture outlook are important parts of reflection. Perhaps that project was never finished but you took that energy and put it into a new, more relevant or immediate project that is doing well. While you put a lot of energy and work into meeting that fitness goal, don't forget the people and resources that boosted you along the way and made your success possible.
In the past year I achieved my goal of being an apprentice at TOTJO. The Initiate's Program made me use my creativity and my analyzing skills in ways I never had and I am pleased that I stepped up and persevered. I also know that I would have quit many times over if not for the support of a Knight and an apprentice who constantly expressed their support and belief in me, even when I couldn't see my own worth. My time as an initiate tested my patience and my attachment to expectations, and I learned to lean into the former and release the latter. I learned to take charge of my own learning when I needed to. Several Knights and apprentices supported me during that time, reminding me that the right teacher and the right time would come, and offering me personal lessons to work on. Without them, and without the waiting lessons in the Supplemental Initiate's Program, I think I might have left the Temple during that time of waiting and transition. As I reflect on my success in becoming an apprentice, I also give gratitude to the supports that I had along the way. It is my accomplishment, but I did not reach it on my own.
I also had a goal of growing my art business. Objectively, I failed at this goal. Not only did I not grow the business, it's actually pretty dormant right now. It's easy for me to feel bad about that; to judge myself as lazy and lacking perseverance and commitment. But when I look underneath that specific failure, I realize that the energy I had been putting into art was put into other areas that felt more important. I concentrated on my health during a time when it was declining further. I put time into becoming a part of the Temple's community and into my lessons so that I could achieve my goal of apprenticeship. My priorities shifted and with that knowledge, I don't need to lay judgment on myself for failing to grow my art business. I will reevaluate it as a goal and perhaps set it again, depending on my current priorities.
As you take time to reflect, whenever you do, take time also to send gratitude to the people, resources, and circumstances that are a part of your life. As you take time to reflect, whenever you do, take time to remember that we all try our best in each moment given that moment's resources. Reflect with a pure heart and non-judgmental mind, shift what needs to be shifted, reallocate resources, and go into the next period of time knowing you are honoring yourself and the world as you continue moving forward.
- Written by River
- Category: Sermons
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