Heart Over The Fence

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(Lose the Net by Rasmus Faber Courtesy of Epidemic Music)

Isn’t it amazing how good questions lead us naturally to good answers, and how beautiful questions lead to even better answers! When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we’ve opened the doors to discovery and wonder and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that matter every day.

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Have you consciously considered what your commitments are, and where those commitments will take you when you choose to be “all in?”

Join me this week as we consider what it means to be fully committed. Stay with me.

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Her name was Beulah Mae, but standing four foot eleven on what she called “a tall day,” her family called her “Shorty.”

She was an eternal optimist whose green eyes sparkled out from under flaming red hair as she gazed lovingly at just about everyone she met, which was rather surprising given the harshness she’d known as a child.

The day she fell in love with Benjamin Franklin O’Donowho, was the day he came riding across her family’s pasture looking for ranch work and blacksmithing. She wrote in her diary that he was the most handsome man she had ever seen, that he wore white gloves on gentle hands, that he wore a big Stetson hat, and that his horse was so well-groomed, it shimmered in the light of the sun. Benjamin, she wrote, was the knight in shining armor who had come to save her from the life she’d known.


photo: David Tanke


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When they met, Shorty was fifteen and Ben was nineteen. She said it only took one look at him for her to throw her heart over the fence. As she wrote later in her life, “When you throw your heart over the fence, the rest of you is pretty sure to follow.”

No one knew the truth of that kind of commitment better than Shorty.

She and Ben raised seven children with love and kindness—a sharp contrast to the cruelty Shorty’s step-mother had shown her. But as she wrote, she escaped all that and never looked back when she married Ben. In fact, her love for him was so deep that after suffering a stroke late in her life while working in her garden, the only words that she could speak until the day she died at age eighty-one were, “I love you.”

It was abundantly clear that once she threw her heart over the fence, she never looked back.

That’s total commitment.

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It’s no secret that we live in an age where personal commitments are frequently stunted or softened. Consider how often you hear the word “like” or how often you hear the phrases “sort of” and “kind of” when someone is speaking. The reasons are insidious, but simple.

It’s about fear.

People fear bring judged if they have a position and state it out loud and matter-of-factly. They fear being wrong. They fear not pleasing others. And they fear being rejected in some way, which would lead to being outcast and alone, an idea many people find absolutely intolerable.

So, rather than being direct—rather than throwing their heart over the fence about the things they would freely commit to if they were more confident and self-aware—they soften their position and their words and their thinking. And because of that, they soften their behavior.

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Consider what would happen today if you allowed yourself to speak and act on what you know to be true for you. Consider what would happen if you held fast to your commitments and didn’t look back.

There’s a way to find out.

If you’re willing you can play a game and see how often you catch yourself softening what you think or say in order to please someone else.

As you do, ask yourself what you really want, what you really believe or really know, and what you’re willing to stand up for, no matter what.

The truth is, you have the right to be exactly who you are today, and you have the right to commit to being yourself. To that end, here are a few healthy steps to get it done.

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We create the changes we want, step-by-step, moment-by-moment. Whether it’s quitting smoking, starting a new healthy habit, standing against injustice, or being more peaceful, here are seven steps to make commitment easier, not harder.

Step One) Exhale long and slow, allowing yourself to settle as you ask yourself what’s right for you and what you’re willing to commit to.

Step Two) Listen to what your “inner self” is telling you about that. Really listen. It’s not that hard.

Step Three) Envision yourself or feel yourself having reached your commitment goal.

Step Four) Choose one step you’ll take in that direction. Just one.

Step Five) Commit to that one step—whatever it is.

Step Six) Take that step and own the fact that you did it. Really own it and stand by it.

And Step Seven) For the sake of accountability and your continued success, be bold enough to tell one other person about it. One person you know you can trust.

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This week’s Beautiful Questions are designed to help you throw your heart over the fence and live your commitments in the real world.

Question One: When you allow yourself to become still and silent inside, what is it that’s been nudging you to commit to it?

Question Two: What’s been keeping you from making that commitment and standing by it?

Question Three: What simple steps are you willing to take, one day at a time, to think and speak and act in ways that demonstrate your commitments and the remarkable person you are?

When you’ve sat with these considerations, write and tell me what shows up for you. Since I’m committed to the best for each of us, I’d love to hear about.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light

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I’m happy we can engage this way as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at thebeautifulquestion.com, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world. It’s a great way of spreading peace.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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