O How Great is the Nothingness of the Children of Men
True self-mastery comes from turning our “self” over to the Master.
I have taken many Professional Development or Organizational Management classes. I enjoy them, and revel in applying new concepts and methodologies into my life. My professional, personal, and religious lives are all so filled with various projects, efforts, and tasks that I feel I need to continue to optimize myself. My family loves being involved with many, many things, and in order to keep a balance with as much as possible there is strong self-mastery needs.
With that in mind, reading this week’s content initially hit me hard because it continually spoke about I am nothing. I felt like I had gone back to my youth where while or after wearing a diaper I would put myself in a personal hell and beat myself up about what I was doing. (This is reemphasized in my studies this morning, for Principle 2) “I would be happy, comforted, content, and at peace with them until an action or event would bring me out of that space. Often, I would look in the mirror and began to mentally berate myself. Making sure that any comfort and peace that I was feeling would surely be gone. Perhaps rebuking myself for enjoying something like diapers.”
I would have a good experience, but then would force it out by entering this personal hell. I would not allow myself to feel worth anything because of diapers. I was nothing.
The parallel is not direct, but in my studies this week I would think about all the amazing things we do in our family and community. Are those all for nothing? Am I truly nothing? I began to peek down the hole of taking any joy away from serving others, because I was reading that I was nothing.
Thankfully that feeling did not persist because we ended our discussion about being Children of men versus Children of God. Matthew 6:19-21 immediately came to mind.
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The last verse is what penetrated me, but the previous two verses provide the context I was looking for. What are my treasures, or why am I doing what I am doing? Asking it another way, what is my intent? Only I know the true desires of my heart, and I would be lying if I did not say that some of my efforts are selfish. Some of these efforts are more selfish than others. That is where, I believe, we can differentiate where we place our allegiance. If I am striving to live on the covenant path, I will make decisions that will enrich and bless the lives of others through the power of the Gospel. The glory will go to him, and I will in turn be blessed for my efforts. I know those blessing will occur because we have been promised they will come through continuing the fulfill covenants that I have entered into. Those two-way promises are bound when we do what we say we will do.
This is best served with constant self checks through prayer and scripture study. Again, only we know the true intentions and desires of our heart. Where are we placing our efforts, and where do we give the glory? That will determine who we are truly serving.
Avoidance is not deliverance
You can not remove an addiction by trying to replace it with something wholesome. These things are good, but do not remove the burden the addiction holds on our lives.
I leverage running as a method to help me reduce and remove the stress of the day from my life. While running is a great thing, with repeatable and consistent positive outcomes, it cannot remove something that I am struggling with. It will provide respite and release for a short period of time where I can get my head together, regroup, and get back in the game, but it will not remove that from my life.
We must incorporate two plans of attack
We must put great things into our lives to help fill us with positive things. Scripture study, running, family time, <insert your hobby/activity here>. All too often while talking with other littles or diaper lovers I notice a void in this department. They don’t have an outlet, or another thing to help take up this space. If you don’t have a thing, discover one!
The second is that we must work to remove the addiction, problem, or struggle from our lives. Only when we are able to minimize or remove our problems are we able to truly progress and succeed down the covenant path. Does this mean that we must remove diapers?! I have tried OVER and OVER. Perhaps as we continue to grow in our lives we can continue to work towards what pushes us to diapers. Mine is a stress relief and comfort. Perhaps the removal of the source of some of those stresses would help me be happier overall.
This is what I’m working on, and I hope to build out a better answer for it as time progresses. Perhaps diapers are an addiction to some. I’m sure they could be for me if I let them. I strive every day to keep them in their place, and not let them take a controlling role in my life. While I do not personally consider diapers an addiction in my life, they are still a part of my life, and my goal is to help them be a part of my life. Like any tool, we are better with them when we know how to use them and we use them effectively.
GOOD, and the power of choice
While writing this post Jocko came to mind. There is a short clip made from his Podcast that I listen to every now and then to help give me a bit of perspective. At the end of the day, we must choose how we react to situations. Wherever you find yourself with a particular struggle, addiction, or trial. Choose today that you will leverage the mentality of “Good” and push today to make yourself a better person.
For those of you that don’t know Jocko, this is a bit different from anything else I’ve posted before. So pad up if you need to, get ready, and click play for 2:19 of goodness.
It has been said that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.