Sunday, September 1, 2013

Finding Your X

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." --Matthew 6:21

One of my earliest memories was that of digging around in the backyard for buried treasure. I often played games of pretend in the backyard, and this particular occasion was shortly after a neighborhood best friend had moved and I was sad. As I squatted in the backyard imagining that I would find any number of hidden pieces of history or gems, at seven years of age I made a confession out loud that would resonate with me through the lonely times of High School and College: "Friends are the real treasure in life."

Since then, I have built upon that concept of relationships and values. You need only examine a few days of your life to determine where your treasure lies. Observe your activities as you move throughout your daily plan and ask yourself these questions:

1. Where am I spending my money?

2. Where am I spending my free time?

3. Where am I spending my thought life?

Answering these three questions will place an X on where you've buried your treasure. You may be very pleased with the results--you may not. Revealing your treasure can be a taxing process of digging and discovery none of us want to begin. But to establish goals and continue growth we must acknowledge where our spending--whether monetary or otherwise--is guiding us. If you think that being fit is what you value, you may find that your time at the Drive-Thru window and your lack of frequency at the gym tells you otherwise.

I have invested in friendships for decades, forgoing work or school to spend time and money on building community. Friendships are valuable and friendships are an investment. To become greater, I have turned my focus inward to develop the strengths and skills needed to grow my investments in myself. I've started school, I've organized a cleaning schedule, and I've changed my hours at work to make family a focus (including my dog). Life will progress. Reinvent yourself and as you continually seek your own values, give yourself permission to let your focus change. If you don't like where your money, time, and thoughts are headed, change them--and don't allow anyone to force guilt, shame, or obligation to other things. We may shift and change and shift back but letting go is often necessary for us to grow and become more than what we've been.

Is there a relationship or connection that has become stagnate? Are you involved in habits or thought patterns that are unhealthy and are robbing you of your treasure? Is one colleague at work or a child's obstinate teacher constantly taking up space in your mind? Are you investing your earnings in possessions that are not a reinforcement for a permanent future? Are you in a relationship that is draining you emotionally or spiritually?

This month find your focus in digging a little bit deeper. And remember that in the process of discovery it is often that "ex" marks the spot.