Mental Space Monday: How to trust in your own potential
Hello and welcome to
Mental Space Monday!
Where we dive down the rabbit hole of collective consciousness and see what mischief we can get ourselves into...
This week we are going to turn our nerdy tendencies to a little etymology lesson. Etymology is the history of a word, including how the meaning has changed or progressed through time. Examining etymology can give us insight into what we are really saying when we choose certain words to express ourselves. Our vocab word of the week:
Entelechy: [en] within + [telos] end, perfection + [ekhein] in a state
In a nutshell, (if you keep reading, that is a pun - you can groan once you get there) this refers to a perfect ending that lies within. It is potential that is waiting to come into being.
An acorn is a perfect example of this. (ahhh, there's the pun...) Each acorn has within it the potential to be the most perfect tree that it can possibly be. That doesn't mean that that every day will be filled with sunshine. It doesn't mean that oak tree will be free of droughts or lighting storms or from overly enthusiastic lovers who carve scars that will never fully heal. (Aren't we all marred by a few love scars?) What it does mean is that the impossibly large eventuality of tree lays within that acorn in a state of entelechy. That big result is already complete even within that tiny acorn.
Why does entelechy matter? If we trust in entelechy, it means each of us already has the ability not to become, but to actually, simply be the amazing people we are. This means that when we feel we are fighting an uphill battle in life to become that breathtaking something we know we can be, that the next step is intuitive if we trust and let go exactly because of our personal entelechy. (Yes, this is an extension of last week, welcome back return readers!)
This feels like a big leap - but think about it, that acorn doesn't know what its specific oak tree looks like. To be fair, the acorn has no idea what a tree is at all. We have an advantage. We can see people that inspire us at every turn (Need a few ideas? See the links below for a few of my faves.) We have the advantage of deciding, in conjunction with our entelechy, that we want to have certain traits, engender certain qualities. The Möbius strip part of this concept (there's that math stuff again), or if you prefer, the chicken-and-the-egg part, is that if that is what you want, it is already within you - that's why you want it.
I like to think of this as the Sorting Hat Phenomenon. Some of you may groan at another Harry Potter reference, but Rowling's children's book speaks to a number of life truths. In this case, the sorting hat instinctually reads the inherent potential within each new student. The hat tells Harry that he could have a certain type of life, Harry says he wants something different and so the hat chooses a different path for him. What is so enlightening about this is that Harry determines how his own entelechy unfolds simply by the power of the free choice that exists within himself that is every bit as strong as the entelechy.
Children just reek of entelechy - maybe that explains the intoxicating baby smell. You know the one. And you know you like it. The moment you hold a little baby in your arms you can almost feel the innate potential, the entelechy, radiating off of them; it's almost tangible and there's magic in it. You may think that you are lacking in this magic, that your entelechy is lacking, that you are a muggle without the magic gene. (Yes, again. Reference here if you have been living under a rock since 1997.) But trust me, you too have this same entelechy that is innate only to the you that you are supposed to become. It is all there inside of you ready to burst open and actualize all that wonderful that you have waiting deep within.
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Have a wonderful week, lovelies. Believe in your unique entelechy and actualize your wonderful.