Recently, a dear friend said to me, “Sally! God created you to be a human being, not a human doing. You must slow down and you must focus on ‘being’ … not so much ‘doing’. I found this so interesting. Self thought: ‘Hmmmmm, but I have so much to do?!?!’
One of the things I do when I don’t have time to think is to give an assignment to one of my OA protegé’s in the hope that they will help me sort out my own thinking. And so I asked a few of them to write for me about ‘being a human being as aposed to being a human doing.’ This assignment gave me food for thought and of course, and helped others. The answers and the words that were generated were so powerful. One answer that came to me within the fabric of a protegé’s writing was this:
The fear prayer in the AA Big Book (Pg. 68, Anonymous) screams, ‘To be or not to be!’
“We ask Him to remove our fear and
direct our attention to what
He would have us
What would God have me be? We live in a world that calls us to ‘be’ “ALL THAT YOU CAN Be!” (The U.S. Army!) But, God has called us to ‘be’ what He has created us to be. And we run, like busy ants, building pyramids of sand on a side-walk crack that will one day be trampled under foot by others. And so, doesn’t it make sense to, daily, pray and “Ask Him!”…. and then follow the plan, mindful of the presence of our God? This is no small feat. As I reach an age where my life may end in just a few short decades, or years, my time is becoming, more than ever, precious. And I’m asking myself, ‘Is what I’m doing what I was meant to do? Am I fulfilling my purpose?’ This is what brings the greatest joy! To know we are where we are supposed to be, doing what He created us to do! (Even Jesus said, “Father, I have finished the work you have given me to do.” John 17:4) At times, we get bench marks. It’s like the stars, doing a dance, line up for just a moment and stand still! And we know that we are exactly where we should be. Perhaps it’s a bill board that we see, or running into a long-lost friend, or an appointment that yields unexpected gifts; all of these and the like, provide that heightened sense that we are where we are supposed to be and doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. But I am learning that ‘being’ is an art. Not just being present for conversations and actions. Being a human being is an art. Being a human doer, any one can do that!
What will people think! I do and I do and do some more so my life will appear to have value! There’s so much outside stuff, it’s hard for me to clarify the inside. So I keep doing so I don’t have to deal with what’s inside. Doing is a smoke screen…. is that it? Or is the smoke screen for others and how they see me? Value and Worth… What is the lie I tell myself. If I wasn’t a singer or a busy bee, who would I be? If I took off the armor, what would I look like? There appears to be an element of people pleasing in the doing, That’s the lie I tell myself. People-pleasing is a form of dishonesty. We give others what we think they want and we are not true to ourselves. The thing is, I’ve been a people pleaser for so long, I’m not sure of who I am, what I like, or what is honest about what I’m doing. I am the chameleon.
In the past, I changed colors to please who ever I was with. But, no more. I am me and while, very imperfect, I’m ready and willing to have this defect removed.
Being honest and direct and ‘being me’ is not easy for any of us. It might seem easy, but in truth, it’s a defect to not be ‘ourselves’. Once again, God to the rescue! I admit that being the real me is risky and even scary. I believe that being authentically me is what I was created to be! Will the real Sally please stand up? I’m not working on this. I can’t fix me. But, I am praying about this. Being me in the face of those I love and I truly desire to please and be respected by, takes courage.
One last thing about being vs. doing. On Pg. 77 of the AA Big Book (a very Godly number, I might add.) it says, “Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” So this is our ‘real’ purpose. Focusing on other people and sincerely caring about God’s children, this is my purpose. I practice this principle every time I walk into the home of one of my patients and give them my very best. Life at its best is having a significant influence on other people. The challenge is keeping my eyes on my God and only caring about what HE thinks!
“God, grant me the serenity to accept me, the courage to stand up and be me, willing to be changed , and the wisdom to know the difference! Thy will, not mine be done!”
The Serenity Prayer