I have been thinking about words recently, about how words frame our existence and more importantly, about how they create our existence. How the words you use not only affect the way you feel but affect how you are perceived by others and also how people feel when they are around you and the taste that’s left in their mouths when they leave you. Because I am always thinking about purpose and how to live in such a way that all of my activities ultimately feed into what I was created to do, I find that certain thoughts and words are often in my consciousness. Words like “intentionality”, “purpose”, “congruence”, “authenticity” and other words such as “outstanding”, “excellence”, “fantastic” (I love this particular word) and “phenomenal”… You catch my drift?
Anyhow, I have been faced with so many choices and decisions to make in the past one month and have often found myself asking “how does this fit in with me? If I accept this offer what will I need to do more or less of? And how will it affect the things that are important to me- like family? Will it rob me of more life while giving me more money? Give me less time to write, less time for church, less time to play (which I like doing)? Give me more freedom or cuff me with golden handcuffs? In other words, “is this congruent with who I am?” ( I ask these questions because the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your decisions and the decisions you make are shaped by the quality of the questions you ask yourself).
So back to congruence- congruence is defined as the state achieved by coming together, the state of agreement! It has been described as rapport within oneself, which is where it comes to play for in my life. It has been said that the strongest force in human psychology is the need to stay connected to who we are- the need for identity. To be able to define who you are and once you have a definition- an identity- you subconsciously work to maintain the “truth” of that identity! So if part of my identity is writer, then, I without external push and whether I actually do the writing or not, will feel like I should write. If part of my identity is excellent, I feel a need to add that extra touch, go the whole nine yards and possibly irritate a few people with my insistence on a certain standard or look.
I have found that most of the time, when I’m asked to introduce myself (depending on the setting), I will start by saying “I am a child of God, who is a mother, a wife, a writer and who works as a lawyer”, before I go on to talk about my professional achievements because they are achievements, but they are not me. If you strip me of my achievements and possessions, what will help me achieve even greater, is “who” I am. The essence of me.