Our theme this month is enthusiasm, or zeal. Charles Fillmore wrote at age 94,
“I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and I spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that need to be done by me.”
These are very inspiring words for someone at 94 years of age. Charles Fillmore was a very inspiring man. However for a long time I misread them by completely missing out on the last part – that which needs to be done by me. My upbringing, with two parents who worked extremely hard without complaint, bringing up their three daughters in a good, safe and comfortable environment, had impacted my world view. My early interpretation after hearing this quote was – I have to do everything with enthusiasm, and do it well. Not bad of course, but I now recognise that I have a history of taking things on, thinking everything is mine to do! This has been a slow process of undoing – but at least I recognise it now, learning to delegate or say no, as much as feels right to do.
Enthusiasm is best applied with wisdom, understanding and right judgement. Knowing what is mine to do is as important as knowing what is not mine to do. Having written this, enthusiasm is such a joyful, uplifting energy. It impacts us and those around us.
Recently I have been observing my mum really step up with enthusiasm at age 80. Mum has experienced deafness since her twenties, with it gradually worsening until she no longer wanted to socialise or go out with groups of people as it was so emotionally difficult, not to hear what people were saying. Mum felt more and more cut off, and I watched her retreat inwards, unhappy and unfulfilled. These last years for mum have not been easy.
Thus the family have been suggesting to mum for a while to have a cochlear implant operation. This involves cutting into the skull, inserting a wire directly into the cochlear, putting a metal plate inside the skull and using a device which sits on the outside of her head so she can hear again, albeit in a very different way. For a long time mum said no, but she finally decided this year, with much courage and strength, to have the operation.
Thus began a very intensive training programme in how to hear in a new way. Mum has been given lots of listening exercises to help her recognise what she is hearing as distinct sounds and words. At 80 she has found it tiring as it takes a lot of energy to concentrate in this way. But she has tackled all of this with enthusiasm and perseverance. Gradually, with lots of practice, mum is learning to hear again.
The very first time mum heard clearly what was said I cried. It has been so hard watching a sad and unhappy mum – her nature is not this way at all. To witness now her enthusiasm to practice, practice, practice, and learn to hear again is so joyful. It is contagious! I am so proud of my mum.
This denies the old adage – ‘you cannot teach an old dog new tricks’! (Not that we are calling my mum old!) We can take on whatever we want to take on, if we are inspired to do so and want it enough. It does take time, energy and practice, but connecting with our innate enthusiasm will support us through the process.
What is it you are inspired to do? Where is your enthusiasm? Do you experience it in your work, your family, your creativity, your relationship with God? Wherever you feel this enthusiasm you will be uplifted and supported.
Is there something new you would like to do and have not started yet? Grab hold of you innate power of enthusiasm – everything in the universe is here to support and enable you. Feel the inspiration of God working through you to lead you to success.