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WHEN THE CENTRE HOLDS

What centre are we talking about here? Sure you are raising your eyebrows already. Well, let’s get on with untying the parcel from the bag. Chatting with a friend on a social media one cool evening, I said to him “please may I get to know you better spiritually, socially and emotionally. Then he gave me his answers;

Socially I’m just a cool guy.

Emotionally, I’m stable.

Spiritually I’m spontaneous.

Spontaneous. That word was like a whip and I felt the lash of it on my conscience. Spontaneous according to the ABC dictionary means “done out of one’s free will naturally without pressure”. This means not trying to work something out but rather allowing things to just happen on their own. This also means that whatever it is, it’s prone to variability.

Spirituality refers to our beliefs in a deity. Our belief in a supreme God affects our reasoning hence our actions. Therefore, our values, norms and principles are borne from our spiritual beliefs and these values are expressed in what we think or reason {the mind}, how we feel{the heart with its emotions}, the way we relate with others, and the personality we assume. We can therefore say that our spirituality from where our values are borne is the centre piece from which other pieces draw their strength. If the centre holds, other parts hold. If the centre is spontaneous and variable, other parts vary spontaneously.

According to Goethe, things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories. It is futile to try to improve our environment without improving ourselves. Improving ourselves however, lies on getting a grip on our spirituality, not allowing it vary spontaneously but rather working it out so that the core from which our behaviours and attitude flow are in line with our deepest values . It also means to begin each day with those values in mind, so that as challenges come, one can make decisions based on those values thus exuding integrity.

Those values become your constitution, the solid expressions of your vision and goals. It gives you a sense of mission about what you are trying to do and you are excited about it. As you do, other people sense that you are not been driven by everything that happens to you. You have a stable personality. It identifies where you want to be and help you determine where you are. It unifies your effort and energy. It gives meaning and purpose to all you can do and it can finally translate itself into daily activities so that you are proactive, you are in charge, you are making happen each day, the things that will enable you fulfill your personal goals. Your priorities in life are drawn from it so that while people are spent prioritizing their busy schedules; you are rather scheduling your priorities daily.

“but I’ve been trying!” I can hear your screams getting faint deep down your heart.  Easy dear, I never said it was going to be a nursery rhyme. To achieve that, you have to adjust to some measure of discipline. Come to think of it, what really is discipline? In his book titled “seven habits of highly effective people” Steven  Covey opined that discipline is derived from the word “disciple”- disciple to a philosophy, a set of principles, values, overriding purpose, subordinate goal or a person that represents that goal.

If you have a problem living out the life you really wish to live, taking the form of that clear cut personality you have always dreamed about without, always being tossed around by the wind of others judgement, selfish urge, changing conditions, the majority, criticisms and all of that, then you have to abandon the familiar with its comfort for an excellent you. You’ve got to be a disciple to an established purpose, revealed by the one who created you to fill a need- God Almighty. This can only be discovered in the place of communication with that God, your relationship with him, your spirituality, and your ultimate centre.

Wait a minute! Don’t grumble yet. Someone will think I’ve come to preach rigidity and slavery to some set of code. No! No! No! Rather, I’ve come to appeal to your sense of freedom. Freedom to be who you really want to be, freedom to know you can, freedom to make mistakes and discover you made mistakes. You can only discover there was a mistake if there was an overriding purpose which you know you have deviated from. If not so, you will keep wandering far to the depths of more mistakes in sheer ecstasy, heading to your own doom and loving it all the way till you either hit a rock or collapse in utter confusion. Freedom to draw strength from your centre and correct your mistakes, retracing your steps to the right direction and feeling cool about it.

I call you friends because I share your sentiments. It is not an easy task, but is that not why the “grace” is there? Why we easily feel frustrated, having varying personalities in different conditions is simply because we have still left our centre piece spontaneous. Take a grip on your spirituality to get a hold of your values and then draw strength from it to build your personality… for that is your centre, the centre that holds.

WRITTEN BY NWACHUKWU CROWN .C

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