There are times in life when we just have to ‘fess up’. This is one of those times for me. For no other reason than I’ve been struggling with something for months – maybe years. So perhaps confessing it to all of you who read this will not only be helpful to me – but to you as well!
I struggle with anger and disgust when folks – men or women, don’t use the full intellect PAPA gives us! I confess that not using the magnificent mechanism called “a brain” to it’s fullest capacity grates on my soul. In fact, I tend to turn my back on those who do not with an air of superiority that I detest in myself.
This a.m. in my quiet time, I told my Lord that I don’t want to elevate intellect above Him. In other words, I don’t want to put my brain – or anyone else’s for that matter, on the throne that belongs to Him. It’s a real battle for me at times, and this is one of those times when the battle is great.
I marvel at how we are marvelously and wonderfully made. That includes every aspect of our being – body, mind, soul and spirit. I’m equally in awe of how PAPA puts into us everything we need to fulfill the purpose for which we were born. No one is an “accident” or “coincidence”. He places within our DNA all that we need to grow into the woman He has designed us to be. That includes the full use of our intellectual capacity. It also includes getting off our duff and fulfilling our life mission.
What prompted this foray into transparent vulnerability? Numerous events over the past several months in which I’ve been in the presence of folks who have done little with their lives. Mainly women who are bright and intelligent who have not scratched the surface of what they were destined to be – and do. But yesterday was somewhat the cap-a-roo for me.
Friend has dementia and we were waiting to see his geriatric psychiatrist for a check up. Dr. Khan is a quiet man of Indian birth – kind, considerate and so soft spoken even I have to ask him to repeat what has been said. Suddenly the door to his office opened and he wheeled a rather vintage woman in a wheelchair into the hallway.
“Doc, do you think I’m crazy,” she said. Dr Khan quietly assured her he did not. As the nurse wheeled her to the lobby, the woman continually repeated the question she’d asked.
My heart sunk with a sense of despair for a life so unfulfilled that a woman not nearly my age would end it in a wheelchair asking a question about her mental status. Questions swirled in my own mind about what had happened in her life that held her back; kept her from becoming a fully functioning woman fulfilling all that had been given her.
Then despair turned to anger. Anger that PAPA’s gifts had not only been under utilized, but most likely never opened!
Years ago, a psychology professor told us that only about 1% of the total population at any time reaches what Maslow calls “self-actualization”. The full use of his or her total human capacity.
That means that the other 99% are living a life less than what they are designed for and destined to achieve. Since PAPA has a plan for us all so that every aspect of His overall plan will be fulfilled (sort of like a giant jigsaw puzzle in which each of us has a place waiting for us to fill); to fail to do so means one of two things:
1. The place remains vacant, or 2. we are passed over for someone who will fill the place.
Number 2 is very sad to me as it means someone missed out on the opportunities of a lifetime for reasons only God knows.
Right or wrong, I believe to live up to less than 100% of our full capacity is such a waste. I confess considerable anger when in the company of a woman (or man) who has chosen to spit in the face of PAPA because it’s the easy path in life. To be sure, striving to reach our full potential is tough work. And it includes pain and sorrow as well as joy and contentment.
Perhaps that’s why so few choose the path of fullness! However, I believe there are numerous reasons which are the subject of another post on the matter! What I will confess for the moment is that intelligent folks who for whatever reason choose not to use their God-given intellect to full capacity anger me to no end! Call it hubris if you want; but it’s honestly how I feel. . .
In closing let me say this. There are beautiful folks who lack the full intellectual capacity most of us enjoy. I specifically think of folks born with Downs Syndrome. I recall a young man in our community who I admired from afar. I recall his great love of others, how he laughed and delighted everyone who came into his life. He was the kindest fellow you’d want to meet.
He had Downs Syndrome. I can tell you without a doubt he lived up to his FULL capacity and lived it everyday! He was far more “intelligent” than those who found excuse after excuse for not living up to theirs! Or those of us who strive to live up to ours and snarl at those who don’t (again a bit of a confession).
So why go on about this? Why confess to a level of intellectual pride that is not pretty, and a bit petty? For no other reason than I felt compelled to do so. But deep down, I know that part of the “call” on my life is to nudge women – especially women of faith – to live up to all that they are humanly capable of fulfilling. And what they are not blessed with humanly? PAPA in His goodness will fill in the gaps!
So today, I hope you’ll think of me kindly as I ‘fess up’. More than that, I hope you’ll take stock of who you are; what capabilities you have that you are using and especially those you are not. Then pick up the gauntlet, determined to grow into the fullness of who you are intended to be as a woman. In other words – JUST DO IT!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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