Leadership is a tool that allows one who has flown far to guide others in the direction of flight. Though where others choose to fly after finding flight is beyond the control of the leader, they are happy to know they have aided in the discovery of freedom that allegorical flight brings. Just as one without wings cannot be trusted upon to teach flight, a leader without values and a life to reflect said values cannot be trusted to guide. A leader leaves room with others feeling valued and respected, and finds joy in other’s success. They are the first to leap and the last to abandon the cause, showing others that their faith in their leader’s strength to protect and serve is not merely an illusion of levitation. Finding joy in trial and tribulation, leaders have the heart that is broken more so in viewing pain than receiving in place of another. This selflessness cultivates a community of trust and appreciation, with the leader hoping others follow their flight plan of compassion. Every leader has a personal catalyst, often being a singular ideal in the form of religion, a life-altering event, or experience with a leader who aided in the formation of themselves. Leaders whom identify Christ as their catalyst yearn for no more than to serve others before themselves, to love as they have been loved. In all, a leader in Christ never forgets Whom first came to give the gift of flight, the gift of freedom, and the gift of leadership.
“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
Where is the line between loving yourself for who you are and changing for the better? Who gets to decide what flaws and quirks are acceptable to live with and which must be chiseled away as they add imperfections to the sculpture of our soul? This thought is something that is often not pondered yet is of utmost importance. The easy answer would be “Answer to only yourself. Stay to true your heart and values. That shall bring you to the correct path.” This is utterly false. Dangerous even. Society has imprinted upon our soul, has twisted our values for better or for worse, has skewed our image of what is acceptable. Because of this not even our inner thoughts can be relied on. As I realize this, I believe I have discovered what the frame of acceptable behavior may be based upon. To have flaws is to be human. To work towards Christ is to be holy. He is the measuring point. Using anything else will cause a soul to attempt to belong in a way that is only unnatural. To attempt to fit a square block in a round hole.
Authenticity. Synonyms that pop into my head: true, real, genuine. I believe living an authentic life means knowing yourself, your values, and living in a way of honor. Authenticity is living life in accordance with one’s soul. It is a way to experience a life full of joy, passion, and wonderment. Authenticity is finding joy in yourself. It is running in the rain to your car, skin impervious to the cold because your thoughts running wild with passion for the event just left.
There are moments in my life in which I can only explain as electric. They are moments in which I am in a place that I could see myself forever staying. These places have a certain magic to them, a magic that stills my driven mind and leaves only a “yes, this is it” in the place of what is usually thousands of incomprehensible ideas happening every second of the day. These moments I am often nothing more than a face in a crowd. I often wonder, are those around me experiencing the same as I? The conclusion I have come to is that the magic of the moment is confined to my very being. I hope others experience these moments of authenticity as I do. That there are places in their life in which they can be nothing but the image impressed onto their soul.
This is what I define as authenticity. A soul where it belongs. A spark set afire. A flame in a place it is welcome. It is a wonder of why all people do not follow this path in life. As I have found it, once discovered, it is distressing having to return to any other type of half-life. Is it that most have not discovered what I have, or is it that the cruelty of a society set against one’s soul is too much to handle? As it is, those who must ask for society’s forgiveness to live according to the soul have yet to truly discover authenticity.
What is a small victory?
Victory. We find one’s victories to often amount to their value and perceived success in life. We define the words used in daily language in the actions we take while speaking them to others. We define words in the tone found in our vocal chords as we speak. We define words in the way a person is perceived who can be described using such word.
This ability is a power that few have discovered. And even fewer have chosen to act on given power. Words are nothing more than sound, echoing around the room in which we speak them. What the room is conceived of is also in our realm of choice. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it truly make a sound? If a person speaks powerfully, yet no soul is stirred, have they even uttered a word?
Victory. It is only what we make it. What the individual makes it. There is no victorious committee. No person to set rule, no person to give value to an achievement. The value given to a personal victory directly corresponds to the image we have of ourselves. To value us is to value our doings. Coming back to the question, what is a small victory? It is what an individual decides is a small victory.