Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Five Words

One day, steeped in contemplation, I began reflecting on the idea of character development. Not the 'writing a sitcom' kind, though that would be fun, but the actual idea of being transformed into the people we hope to be. 

This question popped into my head. 

What five words would you hope describe you in the future? 

I began thinking and then jotting down my list.


I also began asking my friends the same question and collecting their words. That was one year and three months ago in January 2012. It feels like a lifetime ago and these words bring me back to what I was thinking, feeling and concerned about at the time. 

I remember choosing 'present'. I remember finding that the more my life became technologically savvy, the harder it became to be present to the moment. I found myself checking emails at stoplights. I found myself itching from the inside if I forgot my phone while out. I still live in this tension and over the year have instilled several technological disciplines like disconnecting my email/facebook/internet from my phone, tech curfews, and tech free zones in the house. My hope was to "love people and use things, not the other way around". It still is. 

I remember intentionally picking joyful over happy. Joyful seems different than happy. Happy is like taking a hit off the helium machine, which I totally did when I worked at a shop that had one, but helium runs out, the high is temporary. Joyfulness is knowing you own the helium machine. Ok, that analogy seemed a lot better in my head, but my point is joyfulness is rooted in a deeper conviction. That's what I wanted. To live in the reality that God is good, each day is a gift and there is much joy to be had. 

Generous joined my list because it is something I value and find joy in. It's not only a cultural value, but something I've grown up with seeing my family live out. I have been the receiver of the generosity of others and that's forever shaped me. I want to be a person that is not only generous with my resources, but with grace, laughter, forgiveness, and love.

Gratefulness was a virtue I fell in love with during my sabbatical, years ago. "Greed grabs. Gratitude receives." If there is one thing I struggle with it's seeing what is there, not what isn't. I hope one day that I'm described as a woman who lived a life that oozed gratitude. In those exact words. 

Compassionate made the list because it's an amazing virtue. If I were writing the list today, I'd swap compassion for empathy. The movement from pity or sympathy to the desire to understand where another is coming from.  

These are the five words I chose in 2012. Five words to remember. If I were to write this list today, other words come to mind for other reasons (risk-taker, trustworthy, brave). Thankfully, we're not limited to five. 

So, what five words would you choose? 


Tina Irene said...

I would also choose present and grateful. So challenging to do but it's so much of what I want.


Blah Blah Layla said...

Love it, T!

Rob said...

I think I'm going to go with:


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