Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To Learn

taken Fall 2009 along the river trail

If I could pick the one thing I took away from my college education as a teacher, it would be the importance of reflecting.

"Reflecting," my professor told me, "is what makes a great teacher. These are the ones that grow with the years."

Reflection is often called pondering in our church. I have pondered much and often on this blog.

Oh what an incredible learning experience it has been! What I have recorded in this space has changed my life.

My thoughts are more concrete. I've always known that writing is a way to solidify what you already know, sort out and organize ideas into recognizable patterns. Ideas in your head are often mixed in with cultural fluff, prejudices, or half-truths. This space has allowed me to strip those down into what I really know. What is opinion and what is fact. This is no stream of consciousness, this has been boiled down into ideas that are usable and quite real to me.

My life is more congruent. Recording things in this space has allowed me to live what I know. Before I wrote things down in this format, they would often be forgotten, written in the margin of a book somewhere or scrawled in a journal to review when "I had time." Now that these ideas are recorded out in the open, in short, manageable snippets, I come back to them often. I read them again and again. I feel responsible for them. I think about these ideas constantly, always refreshing, always pondering.

I can see real growth. Life can be overwhelming sometimes. I have spent plenty of the years of my life feeling like I was not progressing, discouraged by my set backs and thinking that I would always be the same. Although it is quite subtle, this blog has allowed me to see that I am making changes to become better, however small they may be. I may not have nipped the behavior but my thoughts are changing. I may not be perfect but I can see the pattern to get there.

An unintended bonus has been the way I now see others. Because of the nature of blogs, other people read my thoughts. I have come to realize that part of being a whole person, congruent in thought and act, means not being ashamed of what you believe, who you truly are. What I didn't expect is that people would treat me better. They are kinder, think me spiritual, and assume the best. They associate me with my highest thoughts. It has made me realize that we all should be treated this way. Doubt the bad, assume the good. See people at their best, and they will act their best.

God is so merciful! What started out, for me, as a silly little place to record pictures, has instead become a place to record my life blood. To learn, to grow, and to live as I always wanted to.

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