My disciplines changed as I journeyed into my “hereafter” season. It is now divided, and it is working.
Discipline is defined as a sense of “mortification by scourging oneself” from Middle English. Or via Latin “action based on instruction or knowledge”.
For most of us, we desire to have a level of discipline in various areas of life such as stopping bad habits like smoking or drinking or implementing good habits like walking or eating more vegetables daily.
We do not have to be organized by nature to desire discipline, because discipline is a practice or behavior versus organized being a character trait. And like many behaviors or practices we develop in life, they will change as your life changes seasons.
Change always comes, we can not stop it, but we can benefit from it if we embrace the change with our heart and mind.
Discipline is defined as a sense of “mortification by scourging oneself” from Middle English.
For most of my life, I walked in the first part of the above definition of discipline. Whatever area I was attempting to apply discipline, be it with my eating, setting time to read the Bible, or even keeping my home clean; I made a schedule and fixed my face like flint to keep that schedule. I was pressing into discipline myself to keep that schedule.
But as life will be, something, someone or my own issues would prevent me from carrying out the discipline of following the perfectly planned schedule. Enter in the personal mortification by scourging myself.
No, I did not physically beat myself, but I sure did mentally. It took me many years to realize that making my to-do list into a discipline was not going to produce any good thing in my life.
Freedom at Forty
As I turned 40, I was a wife, mother of a two-year-old and committed to a fast-moving career as a Director of Marketing Services with a distribution company. Life was full and in a time of reflection of turning 40, I came into the understanding of the need for me to change my desire for discipline into the second part of the definition.
Discipline is defined as action based on instruction or knowledge.
This new-found freedom at forty taught me these lessons learned on how to tame the haunting mental game of disciplined or incapable behavior.
Instruction based discipline
Instruction is the fruit of the mix of research and wise counsel. Invest the time to research what options are available to help you achieve your desired lifestyle and then discuss those options with your spouse or trusted friend to sort out what you want to be disciplined in and what you need to be disciplined in. Need always trumps what as we created a well-crafted life and legacy.
The gift from me for my 40th year of life was to deeply examine the areas of the successful and failed discipline. Through that examination it was clear that discipline was not my problem, it was my “warped expectations” of my self. It was not possible to execute the plans I had made, with or without discipline.
After weeks of research and discussion with my husband, mother and spiritually wise counsel, my approach changed planning for discipline to discipline with purpose. This change in disciplined behavior enabled me to accomplish many of my goals and without a previous level of condemnation.
Knowledge is the platform discipline is built on.
Knowledge is when instruction becomes part of who we are not just what we do. Knowledge is the platform from which we can develop a rich discipline that enhances your strengths and upholds the areas of weakness. This platform of knowledge causes you to most naturally say no to some things so you can say yes to others; without regret.
As my view and application of discipline changed it revealed strengths and weakness that I could now own as who I am. I found that it was much more fruitful to utilize discipline to maximize my strengths while accepting my weaknesses. In doing this I could gradually look at ways to address my weaknesses with an honest approach.
I lived with this understanding of discipline for years without many alterations because it was working for me until my journey welcomed my life in the “hereafter”, or retirement.
The same discipline felt very clumsy and awkward because the demands and expectations are totally different and some are even totally gone. This new season has been long-awaited, and I have done a lot of preparation for this change, but honestly, I gave no thought to my discipline secret I found years ago would have to be re-evaluated.
It has been about 3 months and I know I do not have it all figured out, but this I know for sure, my discipline needs to be different now, and it will be divided. Divided into what still is applicable now and is still a fruitful behavior without regrets, and the disciplines that need to be taken back to the learning stage of instruction and knowledge of my freedom at forty.
Disciplines that are still working in hereafter are:
- Morning Devotions – this is my daily discipline to spend time with the Lord.
- Journaling – writing as a daily discipline is a key to my wellness emotionally and mentally.
- Connecting – being discipline to regularly talk or email my favorite family or friends.
- Selfcare – this discipline does not look the same every week, but every week I find a way to care for me in some special way
These disciplines are in review as I work out my lastest found freedom of retirement:
- Cooking – this was not a discipline, but a weakness because I did not enjoy it when I worked. But now I have time to learn to work on this weakness and bring it along through instruction and knowledge to where it will be part of me.
- Routines – my days had a disciplined routine to accomplish what was needed. I need to evaluate my needs versus wants to be able to create a healthy routine that will become a discipline again of what is needed.
- Outcomes – for me outcomes where a discipline when I worked. Outcomes or accomplishments where every day, week and month and I was disciplined to execute to obtain planned outcomes. Now my outcomes are different, and the disciplines will be different. I will be more creative, I will try new things, I will travel more and all these changes will bring them the need for disciplines.
So I am journeying with divided disciplines, ones that are good, comfortable and fruitful; others that are new, uncomfortable and may even be a little costly, time will tell.
It is different for each of us, but we all need disciplines for each season of life. This prayer is one that I found in one of my morning time devotionals. This prayer will help us as we welcome new disciplines and practice existing disciplines in our life daily:
Father, please give me Your grace to live a life of discipline -one that is guided by Your Holy Spirit instead of my own desires.
Until next time, remember, we craft our legacy daily, do it as it becometh you!
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