In anticipation of Miranda Kerr’s second book, Empower Yourself, I’m actively seeking the best practices to cultivate compassion and contentment.
At the first line of empowerment is a deep capacity to understand the world and our place and purpose in it.
I often break down in ways that most people who know me in real life would never imagine. Unless given work to do, fulfilling its tangible result, and going the extra miles, I feel useless most of the time.
“You haven’t done enough,” the voice curtails as I edit my writing pieces. “You can do better than that. You should’ve done that differently. Why can’t you be perfect?” Well, I am not God, for one, and two, I am merely a human being. It’s this persisting inadequacy I often succumb to that constant self-criticism ensues, which is natural because I hold that an excellent writer is someone who’s simultaneously a good listener, a fair editor, and a just reporter.
So often I, without realizing it, have one way or another been conditioned to reduce myself to believing in the illusion that I am powerless, when the root of the problem is precisely this underlying pattern of negative thinking that blinds me from the fact that every thought that gets digested through my head, as well as those that merely passed without my analysis, is all within my power.
Clearly, at the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.
In honor of one of Miranda’s many influencers, I want to share Deepak Chopra’s practical approach to cultivating self-compassion in life, which is one surefire way I’ve tried and tested to allow myself to feel empowered.
The mind-body guru, who recently co-authored with Harvard University neurologist Rudolph E. Tanzi on Super Brain: Unleash The Explosive Power Of Your Mind, asserts that there are five fundamental practices we can all exercise regularly to set our minds free from perceived limitations and preventing them from discouraging our self-esteem, as he has written in the February 2013 issue of Psychologies magazine:
1. INCREASE SELF-AWARENESS
I call this practice a “What would Jesus do?” moment.
Every time you to take yourself out of any context, whether from your environment or from other individuals when you’re in a group, you are increasing your capacity to recognize yourself as a separate entity, utilizing the power of observation without judgment, opening your eyes to neutral grounds in the situation you’re in, and gaining a whole new level of understanding of your own emotions, as well as your responses to different situations.
Increasing self-awareness is a practice that forces you to recognize that you are always responsible for your actions. As you increasingly perceive yourself independent of your subjective experiences, you will also conceive the quiet power to redirect your immediate thoughts and feelings to achieve desired results. In my case, it is turning self-criticism into a constructive one.
Chopra stated that both Tanzi and him have laid the groundwork of their book under the principle that “you are not your brain – you are the user of your brain.”
On a day-to-day basis, the stream of thoughts that go through your brain requires some serious filtering, lest the incessant stream runs your day and burns you out.
Instead, Chopra invites you to challenge every incoming thought and reflect upon it with the following questions: Why are you afraid of this? Is this true? What is this belief doing to me? Who would I be if I didn’t have this belief? What is the opposite of this experience?
This is where you put on God’s giant spectacles and observe what’s really going on.
When self-awareness is about recognizing your thought patterns, meditation is all about silencing your head and hitting the pause button for a moment – be it a 10-minute period or a single second.
Thanks to my Alkitabku app, I receive a daily devotional of Bible verses to meditate upon. On days that I keep my mind wide open to let in insights related to the verse, or chant the words from the verse repeatedly as I run, it becomes easier over time for me to secretly pray for myself and for others in my daily life without the need to do a yoga pose or take a timeout and sit down in some quiet space. Wherever you are physically, meditation allows you to relax, focus on your breath, and say a prayer simultaneously.
4. CONSCIOUS CHOICE-MAKING
When you have conditioned yourself to think outside the box and become the objective observer of your daily life, you would start to see that, with time, it gets easier to stop yourself from reacting to unpleasant situations and divert your immediate negative thought-pattern as quick as the flip of a switch. You realize that there are a sea of options for you to act for and against, by which, you can choose to erase completely out of your system or, better yet, adopt as your second nature.
Why not learn a good habit and incorporate it as your default mode? As motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
5. REALIZING THAT YOUR PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORLD ARE SHAPED BY YOURSELF AND YOUR BRAIN
In a perfect world, you are living in an environment that reinforces your strengths, and minimizes stressful conditions, and encourages personal growth.
But the truth remains that we cannot change anything but ourselves.
Chopra calls readers to remain aware and alert of the thoughts that knock on your head, as “most of us operate on autopilot, letting our brain lead us; we assume our brain is teaching us. The super brain, on the other hand, is what you create consciously, so you have more insight, intuition, creativity and choice.”
It’s a relief to be reminded that we all have the power to recognize, reflect, meditate, choose, and reshape every thought that enters our mind, and see how it all affects our treatment to ourselves and to others in our daily lives.
Now you tell me: What’s your take on feeling empowered?
Recently, a like-minded friend referred me to this revelatory documentary that asserts many grains of universal truth.
I distinctly remember that day, after finishing the documentary and taking the deepest breath I’ve inhaled to date, that I made the phrase ‘particle of possibilities’ as a mantra to push forward during my meditative mile repeats.
I have a consistent habit before I go to sleep: Journaling, which is arguably a diary. As I was flipping through the old pages, I stumbled upon a relevant note from the past, invaluable things I noted from K. C. Cole’s thought-provoking essay. The piece was covered for some sessions in a journalism class I took while attending the Academy.
Quantitative changes can make
huge qualitative differences.
Given the substantial support for that assertion, I began to contemplate how much we have gone through in the frontiers of science, as well as how much we haven’t, in understanding the single atom, which is the very essence of matter.
It took years for physicists to realize it is not just a tiny little ball that makes up every object we see. For years we thought it’s just a ball with an even tinier nucleus inside that governs its states of being and behaviors, but in quantum physics, the single atom is not even visible to the naked eye, not even on a microscopic level. Change itself is its constant, and whoever or whatever determines its state determines its biggest purpose of existence.
Solid, liquid, or gas?
In quantum physics, the dominant field at which the documentary was grounded upon, I was called to imagine myself as a single particle within the larger scope of the world, swarmed among the rest of the 7 billion people on this planet. I thought, if I die tomorrow, it may not matter the next day, nor will it matter the day after that. But because no human being can physically prove the existence of God the Creator, perhaps not yet, I, as a believer, believes that taking the life of a minute particle, i.e. me, out of this universe, can cause a negative effect to the whole equation of His grand plan, be it taking flight quickly as a domino effect, or on a longitudinal level as a butterfly effect. No matter how reasonable man is, and how much sense man can make in the reality of negating an animate object, for a believer, it’s simply unwise to take the self’s life.
Not long ago, I pondered a bit before committing suicide. When I was half a decade younger, I always assume that people who take their own lives are just plain stupid. They were given a life, and life is a constant fight. Somehow, with whatever you’ve got, you have to keep pushing forward even if the world is changing its state of being at an increasingly rapid rate.
But here I am, sometimes pondering whether my existence brings actual meaning. I’ve only lived for 23 years, and the average lifespan on earth lasts about seven decades, or eight if you take excellent care for your wellbeing. Assuming that a particle’s state is independent of its physical environment, it’s wiser to give the benefit of a doubt, right? I’ve got more than half a lifespan to go through before I knew what’s the meaning of I.
I’m assured that Cole’s elaboration on her assertion will be a more convincing discussion that tells us readers not to give up just yet.
There is something magically seductive about an invitation to a world where everything measures much bigger or smaller than ourselves. To contemplate the vast expanse of ocean or sky, to look at pond scum under a microscope, to imagine the intimate inner life of atoms, all cast spells that take us far beyond the realm of everyday living into exotic landscapes accessible on through the imagination. What would it be like to grow as big as a giant? As small as a bug? Alice ate a mushroom and puffed up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon, bursting out of her house; she ate some more and shrank like the Incredible Shrinking Woman, forever in fear of falling down the drain. From Stuart Little to King Kong, from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids to Thumbelina, the notion of changing size seems to have a powerful pull on our psyches.
There are good reasons to think a world that’s different in scale will also be different in kind. More or less of something very often adds up to more than simply more or less; quantitative changes can make huge qualitative differences.
When the size of things changes radically, different laws of nature rule, time ticks according to different clocks, new worlds appear out of nowhere while old ones dissolve into invisibility. COnsider the strange situation of a giant, for example. Big and strong to be sure, but size comes with distinct disadvantages. According to J. B. S. Haldane in his classic essay, “On Being the Right Size,” a sixty-foot giant would break high thighbones at every step. The reason is simple geometry. Height increases only in one dimension, area in two, volume in three. If you doubled the height of a man, the cross section, or thickness, of ,muscle that supports him against gravity would quadruple (two times two) and his volume – and therefore weight – would increase by a factor of eight. If you made him ten times taller, his weight would be a thousand times greater, but the cross section of bones and muscles to support him would only increase by a factor of one hundred. Result: shattered bones.
To bear such weight would require stout, thick legs – think elephant or rhino. Leaping would be out of the question. Superman mush have been a flea.
Fleas, of course, perform superhuman feats routinely (which is part of the science behind the now nearly extinct art of the flea circus). These puny critters can pull 160,000 times their own weight, and jump a hundred times their own height. Small creatures have so little mass compared to the area of their muscles that they seem enormously strong. While their muscles are many orders of magnitude weaker than ours, the mass they have to push around is so much smaller that it makes each ant and flea into a super being. Leaping over tall buildings does not pose a problem.
Neither does falling. The old saying is true: The bigger they come, the harder they fall. And the smaller they come, the softer their landings. Again, the reason is geometry. If an elephant falls from a building, gravity pulls strongly on its huge mass while its comparatively small surface area offers little resistance. A mouse, on the other hand, is so small in volume (and therefore mass) that gravity has little to attract; at the same time, its relative surface area is so huge that it serves as a built-in parachute.
A mouse, writes Haldane, could be dropped form a thousand-yard-high cliff and walk away unharmed. A rat would probably suffer enough damage to be killed. A person would certainly be killed. And a horse, he tells us, “splashes.”
The same relationships apply to inanimate falling objects – say, drops of water. The atmosphere is drenched with water vapor, even when we can’t see it in the form of clouds. However, once a tiny particle begins to attract water molecules to its sides, things changes rapidly. As the diameter of the growing droplet increases by a hundred, the surface area increases by ten thousand, and its volume a million-fold. the larger surface area reflects far more light – making the cloud visible. The enormously increased volume gives the drops the gravitational pull they need to splash down to the ground as rain.
According to cloud experts, water droplets in the air are simultaneously pulled on by electrical forces of attraction – which keep them herded together in the cloud – and gravity, which pulls them down. When the drops ate small, their surface area is huge compared to volume; electrical (molecular) forces rule and the drops stay suspended in midair. Once the drops get big enough, however, gravity always wins.
Pint-size objects barely feel gravity – a force that only makes itself felt on large scales. The electrical forces that hold molecules together are trillions of times stronger. that’s why even the slightest bit of electrical static in the air can make your hair stand on end.
These electrical forces would present major problems to flea-size Superman. For one thing, he’d have a hard time flying faster than a speeding bullet, because the air would be a thick soup of sticky molecules grasping him from all directions; it would be like swimming through molasses.
Flies have no problem walking on the ceiling because the molecular glue that holds their feet to the moldings is stronger than the puny weight pulling them down. The electrical pull of water, however, attracts the insects like magnets. As Haldane points out, the electrical attraction of water molecules makes going for a drink a dangerous endeavor for an insect. A bug leaning over a puddle to take a sip of water would be in the same position as a person leaning out over a cliff to pluck a berry off a bush.
Water is one of the stickiest substances around. A person coming out of the shower carries about a pound of extra weight, scarcely a burden. But a mouse coming out of the shower would have to lift its weight in date,r according to Haldane. For a fly, water is as powerful as flypaper; once it gets wet, it’s stuck for life. That’s one reason, writes Haldane, that most insects have long proboscis.
In fact, once you get down to bug size, almost everything is different. An ant-size person could never write a book: The keys to an ant-size typewriter would stick together; so would the pages of a manuscript. An ant couldn’t build a fire because the smallest possible flame is larger than its body.
Shrinking down to atom size alters reality beyond recognition, opening doors into new and wholly unexpected vistas. Atom-size things do not behave like molecule-size things or human-size things. Atomic particles are ruled by the probabilistic laws of quantum mechanics. Physicists have to be very clever to lure these quantum mechanical attributes out in the open, because they simply don’t exist on the scales of human instrumentation. We do not perceive that energy comes in precisely defined clumps or that clouds of electrons buzz around atoms in a permanent state of probabilistic uncertainty. These behaviors become perceptible macroscopically only in exotic situations – for example, superconductivity – a super ordered state where pairs of loose electrons in a material line up like a row of Rockettes. With electrons moving in lockstep, electricity can flow through superconductors without resistance.
Scale up to molecule-size matter, and electrical forces take over; scale up further, and gravity rules.
As Philip and Phylis Morrison point out in the classic Powers of Ten, if you stick your hand in a sugar bowl, your fingers will emerge covered with tiny grains that stick to them due to electrical forces. However, if you stick your hand into a bowl of sugar cubes, you would be very surprised if a cube stuck to your fingers – unless you purposely set out to grasp one.
We know that gravity takes over in large-scale matters because everything in the universe larger than an asteroid is round or roundish – the result of gravity pulling matter in toward a common center. Everyday objects lie houses and mountains come in every old shape, but mountains can only get so high before gravity pulls them down. They can get larger on Mars because gravity is less. Large things lose their rough edges in the fight against gravity. “No such thing as a teacup the diameter of Jupiter is possible in our world,” say the Morrisons. As a teacup grew to Jupiter size, its handle and sides would be pulled into the center by the planet’s huge gravity until it resembled a sphere.
Add more matter still, and the squeeze of gravity ignites nuclear fires; stars exist in a continual tug-of-war between gravitational collapse and the outward pressure of nuclear fire. Over time, gravity wins again. A giant star eventually collapses into a black hole. It doesn’t matter whether the star had planets orbiting its periphery or what globs of gas and dust went into making the star in the first place. Gravity is very democratic. Anything can grow up to be a black hole.
Even time ticks faster in the universe of the small. Small animals move faster, metabolize food faster (and eat more); their hearts beat faster; their life spans are short. In his book About Time, Paul Davis raises the interesting question: Does the life of a mouse feel shorter to a mouse than our life feels to us?
Biologist Stephen Jay Gould has answered this question in the negative. “Small mammals tick fast, burn rapidly, and live for a short time; large mammals live one at a stately pace. Measured by their own internal clocks, mammals of different sizes tend to live for the same amount of time.”
We all march to our own metronomes. Yet Davis suggests that all life shares the same beat because all life on Earth relies on chemical reactions – and chemical reactions take place in a sharply limited frame of time. in physicist Robert Forward’s science fiction saga Dragon’s Egg, creatures living on a neutron star are fueled by nuclear reactions; on their world, everything takes place millions of times faster. Many generations could be born and die before a minute passes on Earth.
And think how Earth would seem if we could slow our metabolism down. If our time ticked slowly enough, we could watch mountains grow and continental plates shift and come crashing together. The heavens would be bursting with supernovas, and comets would come smashing onto our shores with the regularity of shooting stars. Every day would be the Fourth of July.
An artist friend likes to imagine that if we could stand back far enough from Earth, but still see people, we would see enormous waves sweeping the globe every morning as people stood up from bed, and another huge wave of toothbrushing as people got ready to bed down for the night 0 one time zone after another, a tide of toothbrushing waxing and waning, following the shadow of the Sun across the land.
We miss a great deal because we perceive only things on our own scale. Exploring the invisible worlds beneath our skin can be a terrifying experience. I know because I tried it with a flexible microscope attached to a video camera on display at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The skin on your arm reveals a dizzy landscape of nicks, creases, folds, and dewy transparent hairs the size of redwood trees – all embedded with giant boulders of dirt. Whiskers and eyelashes are disgusting – mascara dripping off like mud on a dog’s tail. It is rather overwhelming to look through your own skin at blood cells coursing through capillaries. It’s like looking at yourself without clothes. We forget the extent to which our view of the world is airbrushed, that we see things through a shroud of size, a blissfully out-of-focus blur.
An even more powerful microscope would reveal all the creatures that live on your face, dangling from tiny hairs or hiding out in your eyelashes. Not to mention the billions that share your bed every night and nest in your dish towels. How many bacteria can stand on the pointy end of a pin? You don’t want to know.
We’re so hung up on our own scale of life that we miss most of life’s diversity, says Berkeley microbiologist Norman Pace. “Who’s in the ocean? People think of whales and seals, but 90 percent of organisms in the ocean are less than two micrometers.”
In their enchanting journey Microcosmos, microbiologist Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan point out the fallacy of thinking that large beings are somehow supreme. Billions of years before creatures composed of cells with nuclei (like ourselves) appeared on Earth, simple bacteria transformed the surface of the planet and invited many high-tech processes that humans are still trying to understand – including the transformation of sunlight into energy with close to a 100 percent efficiency (green plants do it all the time). Indeed, they point out that fully 10 percent of our body weight (minus the water) consists of bacteria – most of which we couldn’t live without.
Zoom in smaller than life-size, and solid tables become airy expanses of space, with an occasional nut of an atomic nucleus lost in the center, surrounded by furious clouds of electrons. As you zoom in, or out, the world looks simple, then complex, then simple again. Earth is from far enough away would be a small blue dolt come in closer and your see weather patterns and ocean; closer still and humanity comes into view; closer still and it all fades away, and you’re back inside the landscape of matter – mostly empty space.
So complexity, too, changes with scale. Is an egg complex? On the outside, it’s a plain enough oval, like Jupiter’s giant red spot On the inside, it’s white and yolk and blood vessels and DNA and squawking and pecking order and potential chocolate mousse or creme caramel.
The universe of the extremely small is so strange and rich that we can’t begin to grasp it. No one said it better than Erwin Schrodiner himself:
As our mental eye penetrates into smaller and smaller distances and shorter and shorter times, we find nature behaving so entirely differently from what we observe in visible and palpable bodies of our surroundings that no model shaped after our large-scale experiences can ever be “true”. A complete satisfactory model of this type is not only practically inaccessible, but not even thinkable. Or, to be precise, we can, of course, think of it, but however we think it, it is wrong; not perhaps quite as meaningless as a “triangular circle,” but more so than a “winged lion.”
When the heart of the matter is shifted outside of the self, that is, doing selfless acts that is purely for the sake of enacting those acts (also known as being in a state of flow, dubbed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi), it allows I to perceive passing time as an expansion of our lifespan, and that I don’t matter compared to the quantity of changes the I needs to make in order for qualitative differences to take effect.
The whole time I was watching the What The *bleep* Do We Know!? (2004), I keep reflecting and asking myself what an existentialist would question on being: Which state am I in right now? What am I doing, who am I? And most important of all, why do I matter?
To that, I prefer staying massively small, energetically big, and speedily efficient. The I here decides to fill the black hole inside its heart with positive emotions, so as to give its 115,200-a-day beatings a purpose.
Recently, I stumbled upon this insightful reference from a friend, an extract from Debi Pearl’s Created to Be His Help Meet.
Though I’m not a married woman yet, I still consider myself a traditionalist when it comes to romantic relationships. I believe that on a fundamental level, women, like men, are equally created with an independent streak. But once attached, a woman has to adjust accordingly to the man who’s going to stand by her side for the long haul. After all, women generally fare better at compromising than men.
Suffice it to say that I haven’t read the book, but I think this extract is all you have to know for now. Read on, and you’ll recognize those three types of men you’ve probably dated (or secretly pictured dating) in the past:
MR. COMMAND MAN
God is dominant — a sovereign and all-powerful God. He is also visionary— omniscient and desirous of carrying out his plans. And, God is steady — the same yesterday, and today, and forever, our faithful High Priest. Most men epitomize one of these three aspects of God. No single man completely expresses the well-rounded image of God.
A few men are born with more than their share of dominance and, on the surface, a deficit in gentleness. They often end up in positions that command other men. We will call them Command Men. They are born leaders. They are often chosen by other men to be military commanders, politicians, preachers, heads of corporations, and managers of businesses. Winston Churchill, George Patton, and Ronald Reagan are examples of dominant men. Since our world needs only a few leaders, God seems to limit the number of these Command Men. These men see life as if they are looking from a high mountain, they see the big picture rather than individual needs.
They are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot. A Command Man does not want his wife involved in any project that prevents her from serving him. If you are blessed to be married to a strong, forceful, bossy man, as I am, then it is very important for you learn how to make an appeal without challenging his authority. We will discuss how to make an appeal later in this book.
Command Men have less tolerance, so they will often walk off and leave their clamoring wife before she has a chance to realize that she is even close to losing her marriage. By the time she realizes that there is a serious problem, she is already a divorced mother seeking help in how to raise her children alone. A woman can fight until she is blue in the face, yet the Command Man will not yield. Yielding would be against his personhood. He is not as intimate or vulnerable as are other men in sharing hi s personal feelings or vocation with his wife. He seems to be sufficient unto himself. It is awful being shut out. A woman married to a Command Man has to earn her place in his heart by proving that she will stand by her man, faithful, loyal, and obedient. When she has won his confidence, he will treasure her to the extreme.
A King wants a Queen, which is why a man in command wants a faithful wife to share his fame and glory. Without a woman’s admiration, his victories are muted. If a wife learns early to enjoy the benefits of taking the second seat, and if she does not take offense to his headstrong aggressiveness, she will be the one sitting at his right side being adored, because this kind of man will totally adore his woman and exalt her. She will be his closest, and sometimes his only, confidante. Over the years, the Command Man can become more yielding and gentle. His wife will discover secret portals to his heart.
If you are married to a king, honor and reverence is something you must give him on a daily basis if you want him to be a benevolent, honest, strong, and fulfilled man of God. He has the potential to become an amazing leader. Never shame him, and do not belittle him or ignore his accomplishments. Make it your life’s goal to become his queen.
God is a Visionary as seen in his person, the Holy Spirit. He made some men in the image of that part of his nature. Prophets, be they true or false, are usually of this type. Some of you are married to men who are shakers, changers, and dreamers. These men get the entire family upset about peripheral issues, such as: do we believe in Christmas? Should we use state marriage licenses? Should a Christian opt out of the Social Security system? The issues may be serious and worthy of one’s commitment, but, in varying degrees, these men have tunnel vision, tenaciously focusing on single issues. They are often the church splitters and the ones who demand doctrinal purity and proper dress and conduct. Like a prophet, they call people to task for their inconsistencies. If they are not wise, they can be real jerks who push their agendas, forcing others to go their way.
Visionaries are often gifted men or inventors, and I am sure it was men of this caliber that conquered the Wild West, though they would not have been the farmers who settled it. Today, Visionary men are street preachers, political activists, organizers and instigators of any front-line social issue. They love confrontation, and hate the status quo. “Why leave it the way it is when you can change it?” They are the men who keep the rest of the world from getting stagnant or dull. The Visionary is consumed with a need to communicate with his words, music, writing, voice, art, or actions. He is the “voice crying out in the wilderness” striving to change the way humanity is behaving or thinking. Good intentions don’t always keep Visionaries from causing great harm. They can stir up pudding and end up with toxic waste if they are not wise. An unwise wife can add to the poison with negative words, or she can, with simple words of caution, bring attention to the goodness of the pudding and the wisdom in leaving it alone. Every Mr. Visionary needs a good, wise, prudent, stable wife who has a positive outlook on life.
The wife of Mr. Visionary should be just a little bit reckless and blind in one eye if she is going to enjoy the ride. If this is your man, you need to learn two very important things (beyond how to make an appeal). Learn how to be flexible, and learn how to always be loyal to your man. You will be amazed at how much happier you will be and how much fun life can be if you learn to just go with the flow — his flow. Life will become an adventure. You will actually begin to feel sorry for the gals married to the stick-in-the-mud, steady type. And once you get it into your head that your husband does not have to be “right” for you to follow him, you will finally be able to say bye bye to your overwrought parents, even when they are screaming that you are married to a crazy man. People looking on will marvel that you are able to love and appreciate your husband, but you will know better because you will see his greatness.
Greatness is a state of soul, not certain accomplishments. Over time, this type of man will become more practical. If you are a young wife married to a man whom your mama thinks is totally crazy — then you may be married to Mr. Visionary. Right now, purpose in your heart to be loyal to him, and to be flexible; then, let your dreamer dream. Lean back and enjoy the ride; it should prove interesting. Visionary Man will talk and talk and talk to his honey if she approves of him. He will be subjective, thinking about feelings, moods, and spiritual insights. One of his greatest needs will be for his wife to think objectively (proven truth) and use common sense, which will help keep his feet from flying too far from solid ground. He spends his life looking through a telescope or microscope, and he will be stunned that what he sees (or thinks he sees), others do not seem to notice or care about.
God is as steady as an eternal rock, caring, providing, and faithful, like a priest like Jesus Christ. He created many men in that image. We will call him Mr. Steady — “in the middle, not given to extremes.” The Steady Man does not make snap decisions or spend his last dime on a new idea, and he doesn’t try to tell other people what to do. He avoids controversy.
Being married to a Steady Man has its rewards and its trials. On the good side, your husband never puts undue pressure on you to perform miracles. He doesn’t expect you to be his servant. You do not spend your days putting out emotional fires, because he doesn’t create tension in the family. You rarely feel hurried, pushed, pressured, or forced. The women married to Visionary Men look at you in wonder that your husband seems so balanced and stable. The wife of Command Man marvels at the free time you seem to have. If your dad happened to be a Steady Man, then chances are you will appreciate your husband’s down-to-earth, practical life for the wonderful treasure it is.
When you are married to a man who is steady and cautious, and you have a bit of the impatient romantic in you, you may not see his worth and readily honor him. You may be discontent because he is slow and cautious to take authority or make quick decisions. A bossy woman sees her husband’s lack of hasty judgment and calls her Steady husband “wishy-washy.” His steadiness makes him the last to change, so he seems to be a follower because he is seldom out front forming up the troops. There is no exciting rush in him, just a slow, steady climb with no bells or whistles. You wish he would just make up his mind, and that he would take a stand in the church. He seems to just let people use him. There are times you wish he would boldly tell you what to do so you would not have to carry all the burden of decision-making.
Some women equate their husband’s wise caution and lack of open passion as being unspiritual. His lack of spontaneity and open boldness may look like indifference to spiritual things. However, he is like deep, deep water. The very depth makes the movement almost imperceptible, but it is, nevertheless, very strong.
He will be confused with your unhappiness and try to serve you more, which may further diminish your respect for his masculinity. Disappointment and unthankfulness can make you wearier than any amount of duties. His very steadiness keeps him on his middle-of-the-road course, and it will drive a controlling woman crazy.
This is why many disgruntled ladies married to Mr. Steadys fall victim to hormonal imbalance, physical illness, or emotional problems.
I think my guy is Mr. Steady, though sometimes Mr. Command, and not so much Mr. Visionary. It’s just fascinating that Pearl’s descriptions speak volumes about my Mr. Steady:
Know Your Man
Wives are very much flesh and blood, and as young women, we don’t come to marriage with all the skills needed to make it start out good, let alone perfect. When you come to know your man for whom God created him to be, you will stop trying to change him into what you think he should be. The key is to know your man. If he is Mr. Steady, you need to learn to be thankful and to honor him as the one created for you in the image of God. Your husband’s gentleness is not a weakness; it is his strength. Your husband’s hesitation is not indecision; it is cautious wisdom. Your husband’s lack of deep spiritual conversation is not a lack of caring; it is simply the cap on a mountain of intense emotions.
If this describes your man, you need to learn how to stand still and listen; then let God move your husband in his own good time. Ask God for wisdom and patience. Seek to always have a gentle spirit. Stop expecting him to perform for you, to pray with the family, to speak out in witnessing, or to take a bold stand at church. Stop trying to stir him up to anger toward the children in order to get him to feel as though he understands how badly you are being treated. Let him be the one God made him to be: a still, quiet, thoughtful presence — for you!
A Steady Man likes a woman to walk beside him, yet grow in her own right before God and him.
He needs a resourceful, hardworking woman with dignity and honor. It is important to Mr. Steady that his wife is able to be self-sufficient in all the mundane tasks of daily living.
These men can be some of the most important men in the church, because their steadfastness is sure, and their loyalty is strong. They make wise, well-thought-out decisions.
Typically, Steady Men do not become as well known as Command or Visionary Men. They are not odd or stand-out men. They are not loud. They are neither irritating nor particularly magnificent. Women and men alike envy and desire a Command Man. People are often drawn and compelled by the Visionary. But the Steady Man is taken for granted
Much of this book has been written to help young wives learn to honor, obey, and appreciate the Steady Man just as he is.
Mr. Steady will enjoy the company of others and be most comfortable spending time in small talk with whoever is around. Of the three types, he is the one that will be most liked by everyone. Mr. Steady is always in demand. He belongs to people. He does not focus on the eternal picture like Mr. Command, nor is he looking through a microscope as Mr. Visionary, but he does respect both views as important. His vision is as a man seeing life just as it is. He can shift his sights to the sky and know there is more up there than he can see, and he wonders about it. Or, he can stare into a muddy pond and appreciate that there is a whole world in there that he knows nothing about. In most of life, he is a bridge between the other two types of men. He is a very necessary expression of God’s image. Of the three different kinds of men, it is more important that Mr. Steady have a help meet who likes him just as he is.
Looks like I still have a lot to adjust to my Mr. Steady. I’m still young and have yet fully developed into a woman as mature as my own man. It’ll take time, just as how the frightening idea of marriage will eventually take off. Nevertheless, I’m downloading this book on my Kindle to get myself mentally ready.
Let me give you a bargain: I will reduce my original 100-year-old lifespan down by 3 months. In return, please, endow me with your utmost patience for today, for this moment, for being alive and not merely existing in the heyday of this lifetime.
I no longer care for the yesteryears, but I do care to progress. I am always aware that the internal clock keeps ticking, and life is not getting any easier. But I am also aware that every morning when I wake, a new hope is given freely to me. Thank God’s mercy. I’m sure you remember them – the rays of sunshine smiling at you and all, don’t you? Yea, if that’s not the case, you won’t look so youthful with the natural facelifts you’re known for giving yourself (and especially for others).
How the heck did you have such patience? Is it from marathoning?
… or did you succumb yourself to being a lab rat for a lifetime?
I know for sure that both you and I have committed to the written word once in exchange for not committing suicide when we were 21 years old. For all I know that’s the only thing we have in common: Commitment.
But once again, please, bestow upon me just a dash of your measureless patience to not sweat the small stuff.
I was extremely pissed when I subconsciously reacted to my situation earlier. My gym had lousy electric service and, for some reason, they’ve been leaving this problem unfixed for quite some time. Many times throughout my 7-month membership at the club, without any sort of warning, the whole row of treadmill machines (except for the last two at the far right corner) abruptly stops running as the powers completely went off. I usually give these glitches a go, because they usually do whatever technical work they needed to do and I have always been able to restart my runs without further problems.
Today, though, was a biggie. It went off 4 times in total … within just one night! Before I finish my 5-minute warmup, it stopped. Then in my head, I changed my 35-minute workout for the night and shortened it to a 33. The machine started again, and it stopped yet again for after about 3 minutes. The next one, I thought I’d change my perspective to look at it as a blessing. These things happen so that my heart rate increase slowly, gradually, and effortlessly. It’ll be a very steady warmup toward a longer run, where I will be saving the most amount of energy to give out my all at the 35-minute mark. Yet tonight, my longest-running record was only around a 30-minute continuous run with a distance of, as I recall, 3.30-something kilometers – yes, the machine stopped again. It’s frustrating that I can’t recall the exact data. I don’t blame my memory because in this case, it doesn’t mean I have a lousy memory. I also love running and spacing out so much that I don’t really lock my eyes constantly on the running time as I run.
So what happened?
During my drive home, I had an epiphany – what if I simply decide not to blame anyone? After all, I do have a choice to not blame anyone. I don’t have to blame myself or the gym, the workers at the club, the electric service, the lifeless treadmill machines, or anyone, anything else related to my mini disaster today.
It’s not even a disaster. By blaming others or myself, I will be the disaster.
My first reaction was, does this gym really hold the quality it promises on its advertisements? Will my readers believe that I actually made that 30-minute mark, even without me getting the chance to take a picture of it?
But hey, 99-year-old self, you know better than I do. You know that responding is 180-degree different from reacting to life’s beloved little problems.
Sorry for taking your time, but I promise to use my lifetime wisely … now that 3 months are gone from my centenarian life. For everything else other than patience, thank you for just the amount of care and attention you always take to look after me. It’s unbelievable that compared to me, your 23-year-old self, one can describe you holding the kind of perseverance an ultra-marathoner would need to wear, because these long-distancers abode to plod far and long through life’s vicissitudes – they are almost always ready to cross great lengths (and transform mere miles into feats) along their way.
Once again, 99-year-old self, thank you for your time. You are, by far, the best listener I’ve ever met.
You ain’t got what she have – good looks, statement bags, a wide network and a high-flying career. The guy drives a Lamborghini, and he’s got a newer iPhone than yours – all your friends are impressed. While your mother tells you to be this kind of person, your boss expects you to be that kind of person.
Pressured? Check out this Ryan Higa‘s awesome video, a result from his collaboration with the guys at Wong Fu:
It’s wiser for us, especially those living in a third-world country, to refrain from complaining about our daily inanities and step out from our fancy cars to see that there’s actually much more people deserving our goods, treatments, and other riches we’ve so conveniently inherited from our parents.
You’ve got two legs, two hands, one fully-functioning head to keep all your limbs working. Unlike the disabled, you’ve got everything you need PLUS a free ticket to own the finer things in life. With that amount of power, isn’t it better to reach out your hand and distribute what you have in excess to the orphans, beggars, widows, and the underprivileged population in your country, rather than complaining about them?
You may think, okay, that’s cute. It’s easier said than done.
This week marks the beginning of my second month working for the nation’s largest media company. The fact that I chose to drive by myself, even if my mother advises me to use our chauffeur, reminds me daily of how much we have not provided for our citizens. Everyday on my way to and back from work, I never fail to forget that, under the umbrella reality beyond myself, we’re still living in a third-world country. At every stoplight throughout the city there’s almost always an empty hand asking for your kindness. Isn’t that an opportunity, even if it’s not much, for you to help someone who needs more help than you?
But it’s your call.
There’s a reason why we are all created with two ears and one mouth.
Pay attention to your surroundings, and, rather than making a big fuss out of trivial matters, pray for those in need instead.