Why won’t you die?”
“Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.
You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.
You don’t like my plan? That’s good. Give me another plan, but don’t tell me we’re backing out!
Which way does a tree fall?
The Once-ler: ‘Uh, down?’
A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.
Cultivating our hearts is something of an art. The practice of any art, according to philosopher Erich Fromm, requires discipline, concentration, patience and supreme concern.
1. Discipline. Within the art of cultivating your heart, the practice of discipline is as simple as focusing your thoughts on what is right, true, honest and good (you are your thoughts, never forget this – Philippians 4:8).
2. Concentration. Concentration implies living fully in the present, engaged in what is noble and right, rejecting false ideas implanted by the media (lust, sexuality as the basis of intimacy, individualism and false standards of womanhood) and also rejecting today’s greedy corporate culture that preaches entitlement above all else. When you feel you’re entitled to something, it’s easy to get caught up in emotional wrong-doings. For instance, if you’re lonely and feel you’re entitled to romance, then your heart will make up excuses if you find it in the wrong place.
3. Patience. If we fall, we get up, forgive ourselves and try again, knowing that God, our biggest fan, roots us onwards.
4. Supreme concern. The condition of practicing any art is supreme concern with its mastery. This means we must be diligent, considering the art of cultivating our hearts to be of supreme importance.
You have heard it said, “you are what you eat.” A very wise nutritionist said once that this is not actually the truth. In actuality, you are what you metabolize. If your body does not absorb what you eat, it passes through and has no impact on the building blocks of your physiology.
The same can be said of the words, actions, and various other messages that bombard you daily. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “…as we believe in our heart, so are we…” We are bathed daily in a world of people and their various responses to and interactions with us. Somewhere in those interactions we become what we allow into our hearts. This in mind, we should learn what it means to “guard our hearts above all else”(Proverbs 4:23).
Boundaries are those invisible dividing lines whereby I maintain myself as separate and distinct from anyone else. My emotions are my own. My desires and goals are my own. My values are my own. My body belongs to me and I am responsible to maintain everything that belongs to me.