Sorry/not sorry for the formal sound of this blog. I wrote this for school and am not going to take the time to re-engineer it, or I’ll never post it. Enjoy whatever insights you may get from it.
I basically binge-read The Congruent Life (Thompson, 2000) yesterday (I have a few pages left) and loved being immersed in it! I have so many thoughts about it that I don’t know where to start. So here go my ramblings on just a few of the many concepts that clicked with me by reading Thompson’s work.
My perspective changed by seeing the growth of spirituality through the adult human development model. By the end of the book, I was writing in the margins #goals. LOL. I love the description of a higher-level leader:
They have…‘not a crowing self importance or egoistic self-centeredness…But they do know their worth. They trust themselves without letting their ego or image get in the way.’ They have minimal defenses and can be open to even the most negative feedback from others, confident that they can separate the wheat of what is true and helpful from the chaff of others’ negative projections. (Thompson, 2000, p. 159)
I hope to have that sort of inner confidence someday.
Another quote by which I wrote #goals was the description of a person with vision, “The person who has [vision] has come to a place in her life where she can ‘en-vision’ a future way of being that is aligned with God’s purposes in the world (Thompson, 2000, p. 170). What a fantastic feeling - knowing that what one is doing is valuable and in-line with God’s purposes!
I’m definitely in a transitional stage of adult human development and am feeling the pull of the higher level without yet having all the capabilities of reaching it. This book connected with me with its theme of integrating work and your spiritual life and developing them simultaneously.
Thompson’s (2000) wording of another concept impacted me immensely:
Our nature as men and women keeps us from being able to pull ourselves up totally of our own force and volition. To attempt to do so is the ageless sin of hubris – the desire to be the god of one’s own little secure, tightly controlled world. (p. 86)
Guilty as described, but I never thought of it in the words, “the desire to be the god” of my world.
As Thompson expands on in the section about faith, (In whom does the 4th article of faith tell us to put our faith?) I am not the one that is qualified to be the god of my world (that my ego thinks it can control):
To be totally committed to yourself and your own powers (such as they are) is to get exactly that – nothing less but certainly nothing more. To be completely invested in a group or movement or organization is to get in the bargain all of the human frailties and screwed-upness that eventually surface in any human amalgam. But faith in God – real faith in God – gives you God. (Thompson, 2000, p. 156)
I love that! Not that at times we shouldn’t have faith in organizations or ourselves but we need to know the limitations that specific faith comes with. However, the ultimate source of faith – the vine to which we want to be the branch (John 15:4-5) – is God. As the vine becomes our source of strength, we will bear the same fruit as the vine. By doing the inner work to develop “real faith in God” (Thompson, 2000, p. 156), we will begin to bear the same spiritual fruits as God, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self –control” (Galatians 5:22)
I could go on with so many more ideas that made an impression on me. I truly enjoyed the way Thompson reframed many of the spiritual truths that I have been raised with so that I can see them in a new, fresh, and, motivating way.
If you want to delve into some deep thinking about your emotional and spiritual development as an adult, go read the whole book. It’s 269 pages, so it’s not huge. It’s quite readable and as I said, put a new spin on old truths for me.
Thompson, C. M. (2000). The congruent life: Following the inward path to fulfilling work and inspired leadership. Jossey-Bass.