On Becoming

Back in the day, my mother who hails from the Deep South used the expression “that’s not at all becoming” in reference to attire or behavior that she felt detracted from the standard of appropriate she had established in her world.

It’s a quirky use of the word, in that when placed in first person context it really doesn’t make sense. Who can one be becoming ? Is is a verb or a noun?

She had a number of those colloquialisms that often gave me irritated pause yet also inspired my fascination of words.

To become, seems to me, the most accurate description of a life worth living .

Like the start of every day when we lay there, eyes first peeling and we wake to a blank slate of choices.

Starting with: Will I get up or snooze? Will I exercise or rush to the office? Will I build myself further today or will my past define me? Will I wear pants ?

In these choices I become something that heretofore didn’t exist – an ever so slightly different edition of me .

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying,

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Yet many of us thrive and flourish on routine.

Prompt adherence to predictability has a soothing and calming effect on one’s being.

However, when the fear of risk and pain fuels the desire for calming and soothing sensations, replacing the will to evolve and grow despite the potential risk, then I run the risk of proving Einstein’s hypothesis.

The reason it is insanity to repeat the same behavior (dare I say whether it be socially approved or not) is that it attempts to control the limitless opportunities to feel all that life offers.

And Is life not defined by feelings ?

Not sure ?

Walk to a graveside snd ask “how do you feel now?

In the absence of a voice from the other side, all we are left with is the balanced equation of our existence through our thoughts and feelings.

And actually ” thoughts” are a poor second influencer, between those two, simply based on the chaotic neighborhood of my mind, from where they emerge.

Thoughts are all to often from the wrong side of the tracks.

By conspicuously limiting myself to one view is like having only one dessert …ever …or quitting something that’s harming us, eventually we pine for something to stimulate ourselves alternately.

And that’s where we give up mindful choices and start “mindless reaction”.

Like eating our one dessert choice with ketchup in a Moo Moo. Or more typically quitting the diet gorging ourselves and gaining twenty pounds.

Further evidence of the insanity of boredom coupled with the power of choice, can be witnessed daily in the lives of the Uber rich or celebrities.

The absolute debauchery people with money and power seem capable of often can’t be even fantasied by those of us with less fame and fortune.

Why is that ?

Could it be because they stopped becoming?

They have arrived !

When we have all that we imagined we need to isolate us from our fears of insignificance and make us different/ above/ better than –what next ?

Clearly, therein lies the measure of success, for it’s not about who we became to position us where we are, as that is past tense.

No, it would seem that it is far more about the choices me make and the conclusions we accept about where we are today.

Uber rich/ broke … old/young … afraid/at peace whatever the state I am viewing myself from when my eyes first peel will initiate the orientation of my actions- for the only day I ever have – today.

Ultimately … (and here is the big reveal on my choice of website names)- the only way I can have a hope of making a better past is by consciously making different choices today.

By building a present I can be more authentically comfortable with, I have a hope of being in the future and looking upon a past with the eyes of contentment.

I’ve been blessed in life to have had far more than my share of material things and also extended periods where I didn’t know how I was going to provide for those I love.

I have lived nights in the opulent hotels of Europe and mornings where the ceiling has literally fallen in above my head in my home.

Yet neither position, in the moment, provided me with the same growth and learning that the juxtaposition of the two experiences in one life, have taught me.

It’s particularly challenging to lose things and people we assumed defined us.

However, when we do and choose to get up and dust off, we open ourselves to the boundless options and feelings available to us in life.

We learn first hand that who we thought we were is nothing in the pale light of who we are becoming.