I read somewhere that luck is simply preparedness that meets opportunity. I love this definition, as it resonates with me on a faith based level.
Luck or Faith
Whether you are a person with strong convictions regarding faith or luck, it is my belief they are very similar within this basic definition.
Many people when they say someone is 'lucky' mean that something completely random happened to someone who was in the right place at the right time (with no intention on their part). In other words it's like the rolling of dice, completely random and uncontrolled.
Often times, people say when a musician gets "discovered" and becomes an overnight success, that they were 'lucky'. Anyone who has ever 'made it' would argue they were not lucky but worked hard to get where they are. They would also argue that they were able to capitalize on the opportunity when it arrived only because they had prepared for this moment all their life.
Case and point, a musician never becomes an overnight success if they didn't first figure out how to play an instrument and put in thousands of hours of practice. The opportunity to audition for a band and be chosen, is lost because they lacked the skill set preparedness would have afforded them.
With preparedness as a component of the formula for luck/faith (preparedness + opportunity), how does one then access the opportunity potion of the equation? The Truth is, opportunity is never our responsibility to create, control or manage.
For me and my journey, I discovered years ago that it's vital to define what my responsibly is and what Truth's is. Life has taught me I can't accomplish Truth's part and it can’t do mine. In other words it's a partnership and only I can prepare for the opportunity Truth has prepared for me. I've also learned if I choose to trust Truth and wait for the opportunity Truth has created for me, all the while preparing for it to arrive, I won't be disappointed.
However, as I prepare, I've learned if I create an expectation around an opportunity that's not mine, I will be disappointed and will likely stop preparing for the real opportunity that belongs to me. Therefore, my expectation needs to be adjusted because disappointed is proof I engaged in an opportunity that was not mine to have.
For me this usually means I need to circle back and stop engaging in opportunities based upon my expectations, for the Truth is they don't belong to me. My goal therefore is to continue to have faith and prepare for as long as it takes until the opportunity that matches my preparedness arrives.
by Bonnie Penner
Letting others see me when I'm at my best and my worst is what makes transparency difficult. Revealing my fears, hurts and mistakes while owning it all, may sound simple but it's not easy.
No Masks, No Walls
Transparency means I'm not what others tell me or want me to be, I'm only what I was put on this earth to be. No masks to project and no walls to protect. Transparency brings struggle but provides strength and imparts patience, tolerance and compassion. It truly does strengthen one. The trials of transparency are often things we try to avoid but learn to value as we mature. Kind of like the broccoli and spinach we hate as kids but enjoy as adults.
Transparency Leads to Trust
Being transparent means I am clear about who I am, what my beliefs are and what I stand for. It is an active autonomous choice I choose each day. For if I can’t trust to expose the raw me, how can I expect others to trust me? Without trust, there really is nothing. When our time on this earth is done, all one can do is trust that we accomplished what we were put on this earth for, because no one can see what's on the other side. Transparency really is clearer than glass and stronger than steel!
by Bonnie Penner
My journey here on this earth has taught me that every life experience I encounter generates an emotion I feel, positive or negative. Initial emotions are neither right nor wrong, they just are. However, what I believe about my experience will create a state of being attached to an outcome that I am responsible for. I’ve learned there are only two choices to make when encountering any emotion. They are ‘Surrender’ or ‘Control’ and because they’re polar opposites, they cannot be chosen simultaneously. Therefore, the Truth is, it's all about the CHOICE I CHOOSE to attach to the emotion I’ve encountered because of the life experience I've had.
What's Your Belief?
If I choose to surrender, the natural result of my belief (to surrender) is a state of peace, no matter the end result of my life experience. Being in a state of peace naturally opens gateways for solutions to materialize at the right time and in the best way. If I choose to exercise my power to control, then the natural outcome of my belief (to control) is a state of disharmony that creates roadblocks which stop answers from actualizing and breeds ongoing troubles.
I’ve learned being human means I have a tendency to create expectations around how, what and when solutions materialize. I’ve discovered that if my expectations are obstructed or blocked I experience additional emotions, which are usually anger and frustration. Sadly, it's my pride that regularly stops me from recognizing I am the one who created the expectation that built the limiting walls which boxed in and closed off a solution from materializing. Resolution to this issue is of course to circle back; to surrender and fight for my right to choose and actively come to the end of my self-created expectation.
The Surrendight Choice
I created a new word to describe the above process because when I searched the dictionary for a term that communicated the concept, I came up empty handed. Surrendight is the combination of the two words, surrender and fight. One must surrender in order to trust, and must fight in order to surrender, hence the word Surrendight.
By definition Surrendight is the art of mastering surrender and fight simultaneously. It is to surrender what you have no power over and fight for the one thing you do have a choice in, that of course being the right to choose to surrender. It truly is an art because you are utilizing your ability to war without weapons, clothed only by your determination to seek and find Truth!
Becoming aware of and accepting Truth generates a natural resolve to trust which creates Vision and generates solutions that once seemed impossible. Focusing on a problem, issue or an expected outcome limits actualization of new realities but restricting expectations and trusting Truth opens doorways to endless possibilities.
by Bonnie Penner
I've learned that understanding the difference between trust and expectations is crucial .
Trust = Unconditional Expectation
Trust at its core is an unconditional expectation or more simply put, an unrestricted belief in the integrity of someone or something. A great example of trust is ones willingness to jump on a trampoline. You trust that the trampoline has been engineered to handle the weight and tension bouncing creates, so you climb on and jump.
Expectation = Premeditated Resentment
An expectation, apart from trust, can be labeled as a premeditated resentment or an assumption that disappoints. When the outcome your expectation creates is different than you imagined, a resentment is generated. To be clear it’s not unreasonable to have an expectation, it’s what you choose to do with your expectation once it's not been met that makes the difference.
If you remain humble and fluid when an expectation falters, you will continue to be at peace because you trust in the Truth that there is always an answer. This is why I pray every morning, "Help me embrace struggle, so Truth is revealed, acceptance achieved, expectations adjusted, no matter the outcome."
Sadly, if you choose to hold onto your expectation, not only will you be disappointed you will likely feel upset, angry and/or sad. Once your premeditated resentment takes over, there really is no way for a positive outcome to materialize.
In these uncertain times, I encourage everyone to pray this prayer, so you can have the peace that passes all understanding which only trust in Truth can bring.
by Bonnie Penner
In my life I have suffered greatly. A long time ago I made a promise that if I was given the opportunity to live a vibrant, healthy life I would choose to serve others. This Vision is what sustains me in all I do; it flows through me and from me. I work from the end of my life backwards to serve others I may never get to meet.
My Vision many times has been perceived by those around me as a dream. This perception however is incorrect and causes confusion. There is a difference between working to fulfill a dream or being engaged in Vision. Knowing the difference is crucial and is why I do what I do; it can help you achieve incredible things too!
Problems do not deter or weaken me, they excite and inspire me. They create a strength to continue towards the Vision I've been entrusted with. When I encounter trials they create a STRENGTH in me like NOTHING I've ever known. How else can Vision be proven true except to go through the refining fire!
by Bonnie Penner
To end the cycle of abuse, it's crucial for victims to complete a three step process. Understanding the Truth behind forgiveness ensures victims don’t become perpetrators themselves, as a trauma response, or continue to be victimized by the transgressor.
3 STEPS OF FORGIVENESS
It's All About You
Forgiveness is for you, comes from you and is your responsibility to yourself. In other words it's all about you and your well-being. To forgive, you must first become aware of and acknowledge the offense that has been committed and how it's devalued you. This process is called validation and without it, there is nothing to forgive. One cannot cancel a debt they don’t know exists, which is why validation is the first step toward forgiveness. Everyone is different and whether it takes moments or years to validate loss, it’s essential that time not be a factor in the equation of validation.
You Were Wronged
Cancellation of a debt is the second step towards forgiveness. It is acceptance that you are giving up your right to collect what is legitimately yours because you recognize you will never get back that which was wrongfully taken. To put it simply, it is recognition that the debt incurred by the crook can never be repaid. Cancellation of a debt does not need to be communicated to the offender because forgiveness is for your benefit not theirs. Additionally, forgiveness does not automatically generate reconciliation between the victim and the perpetrator. Reconciliation is an obligation only the wrongdoer can pursue, whereas forgiveness is a responsibility regulated exclusively by the injured party.
Empathy Empowers You
Empathy is the ability to sense and understand the emotions of another by imagining what the other person might be thinking or feeling. When applied to forgiveness of a perpetrator, the victim experiences deeply the inherent injustice of forgiveness because they are expected to feel empathetic emotions for the person who didn’t show any regard for them. If one is to look at empathy as compassion for the human condition, which we all suffer from, then it begins to seem plausible to obtain. Empathy is what releases a victim from the mental grip the perpetrator’s unjust actions hold over them.
Be careful though to not confuse empathy with sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for the culprit and is equated with pity. In the Greek, ‘sym’ means together and ‘pathos’ refers to feeling sorry or sad for. Another way of viewing it is that sympathy is becoming one with the trespasser in an emotionally sorrowful way, whereas empathy, in its basic form, is the action of understanding. Differentiating between the two is ultra-important because one entangles you with the perpetrator and the other frees you from them!
Remember forgiveness is for your benefit and is a heart issue which means nothing needs to be communicated to the offender. Having empathy does not excuse the perpetrator for their behavior and it is not victim blaming. Empathy empowers you to move fully through forgiveness so you can live from a point of healing and peace instead of trauma.
by Bonnie Penner