I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.
Instead, every season, I grapple with a different area where I need change or improvement. Right now, it’s about friendships… More to come later.
The last season was about figuring out how to do urgency.
I’m a calm, peace-filled, bright and shiny, fun, logical, God-loving person. While I fully grasp the degree of importance and timing of issues, there’s close-to-nothing on Earth that rattles my spirit to the core and causes crazed, cursing, loud panic.
What a blessing.
Interestingly, last year exposed the challenge that accompanies the blessing of a calm and peaceful spirit:
When you are called to lead, and your voice needs to make the cry to action, failing to make your cry heard is an irresponsible use of power.
At work, at home, with friends, family, it was consistently problematic that in rare moments where it was needed and appropriate, I couldn’t seem to communicate urgency. I realized how bad it was when the aftermath of such moments proved, had the urgency been communicated, the outcome would have been different.
My father is an amazing man and one of my closest friends, my mentor, my neighbor, and my boss. Fun times… Really… Well, sometimes. He reads these. Let me stop. Love you Dada!
Anyway, he struggled to get me to understand how critical it was I perfect this area but I couldn’t hear him, because his style of communicating urgency is so different from and not aligned with my spirit.
He urged: “You have a powerful message people need to hear and you’re not getting heard when you most need to be.”
I heard: “Be loud, panicked, and angry if you need to, but be heard!” He never used those words at all.
Not only do we subconsciously filter understanding, we also learn from what we see.
What we learn defines the realm of what we think is possible.
Be very careful with how you educate yourself, even passively. If the models given you, the information around you isn’t what you need, aggressively look for it.
Knowledge of the need for change can be weakened and hindered by lack of knowledge about the possibilities.
Don’t let that limit you.
This took me a while but I figured it out.
So how do I make sure powerful messages people need to hear are getting heard when they most need to be?
The first step: Recognize how you assign urgency. I value love and life above all else. That means I may drop everything to drive hours to a hospital to visit a friend, or take time to comfort someone suffering from loss. I may consider it just as important to honor a child’s birthday as it is to help someone in need. To spend hundreds of dollars on celebrating art and life instead of designer clothing or investments.
To figure out what my urgent looks like, I needed to trust myself and my judgment first.
When I realized and accepted my brand of power and communication is regulated by Godly love, that trust came easy.
The next step: Recognize what communication tools were given to you to express the message. I write. And I sing. I draw, paint, dance, cook, and design clothing among other things.
With trust and understanding of my resources, came confidence in my abilities and the willingness to use them as bold tools, weapons of love.
In the middle of a tense and angry meeting who’s to say it’s inappropriate for me to sing for a couple seconds, and then speak when folk’s hearts and ears are more open?
Who’s to say art can’t communicate a message as powerfully as the written word?
Who’s to say an outfit can’t express light and love on a day when you feel like you’re under attack?
Who’s to say a meal filled with love can’t open spirits to receive?
Who’s to say our words have to be negative to communicate urgency?
To speak truth to power, we have to understand and align ourselves with the right source of our own power, which is higher than everything else in our lives.
That’s the substance that gives truth power.