Word Roots: On Becoming
The word root ‘be’ comes from the Old English prefix be “on all sides” as beset, or bedazzled, and it goes back to the Proto-Indo-European PIE root ‘bheue’ to be, to exist, to grow. The old English idea of ‘cumin’ is “to move with the purpose of reaching” and extends be- prefix to growing with intention.
Quotes: On Becoming
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will come out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping, we are becoming.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real… It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time.
~Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit
If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand, and make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.
We evolve in the midst of narratives meant only for some
and ways of being made narrow by fear and power.
We must, then, have the courage to listen to the truth of our own lives,
to the wisdom that comes from within…
This lifelong labor cannot be carried out alone. It requires help
from friends, and lovers, family, and creaturely companions
who bear witness to what makes us come alive.
And say to us, “Listen. Look. Feel. Pay attention to that.”
This is loving and being loved.
~enfleshed, Facebook community
Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces…
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
If we are going to find our way out of shame and back to each other, vulnerability is the path and courage is the light. To set down those lists of *what we’re supposed to be* is brave. To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2021 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘BECOMING’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)