When I first started working on this list (a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away) I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had read through many lists on the Happiness Project thread and found some very creative commandments. Some had a theme so I thought that would be fun. And I tried to do it with music lyrics because I love music so much. But then I realized that I was making this too hard. I was taking the wrong thing away from the idea of making personal commandments.
To me, personal commandments are something that I can look at quickly and they will nudge me back into the right direction when I start to veer off course. The goal was Ten Commandments but the first one is pretty big so I wanted to make sure it was there, so I added one more:
1. Be Heather. I think that it is incredibly hard to always be true to yourself. There are so many different things that pressure you to act, feel, look a certain way. This commandment is my first one because it is so important. I am working to be true to myself, my beliefs. I am 'being me.'
2. Dance with God. Let Him Lead. The first part is actually half of a quote I found somewhere that read "Dance with God, he will let the perfect man cut in." Which I loved. And I love the image of dancing with God. Life's a dance, and I love music. The gist of this one for me is that God is faithful, but am I? Do I trust him to lead me in the right direction. Despite what I may think the Holy Spirit does not need my help. So I choose to dance with God and let Him lead me.
3. Let Go of Perfect. What is perfection? Does it even exist? If I were to take a sheet of paper and put 'A' in one corner and 'B' in the opposite one and I had to connect them, I would draw as straight of a line as humanly possible. I need to remember that making squiggles and swirls on the way still gets me from A to B. I need to let go of trying to be perfect.
4. Dig a Little Deeper. Ok this one is a song lyric. "You gotta dig a little deeper, find out who you are. You gotta dig a little deeper, it really ain't that far. When you find out who you are, you'll find out what you need. Blue skies and sunshine guaranteed." Its from the new Disney movie The Princess and the Frog. And it goes well with some of my other commandments. For me this is a reminder not just to dig deeper to figure out who I am, but what do I need. Not what do I want, but what do I need.
5. No Deposit, No Return. If you don't put anything into a savings account you can't get anything out of it. If you don't put effort into what you do, there is no reward. So this commandment is all about putting in the work so I can reap rewards later.
6. Be in Awe. In a book called "Danger in the Shadows" the main character loves flowers and explains it to someone by saying this, "I need the reminder that God loves to make detailed and beautiful things, and that act of creation is itself a sufficient reason to make them. These flowers will live and die here, the majority of them never seen, even though a busy road is less than a mile away." I need to be in awe of the wonder of God and his creation. Of life around me.
7. Remember, don't dwell. Sometimes I lean to heavily on my memories. “Memories are nice little possessions. As long as you don’t ignore the present when you take them out to play," as was written in a book I read awhile ago. I can't forget 'now' while I remember 'then.'
8. Remember Moments Matter. Time passes so quickly. This commandment helps me remember to love life, and to live my life.
9. It Happens. Play On. Two great song titles. Stuff happens. Your car breaks down, you lose a game, you lose a friend. That's life. But I need to Play On. It's always worth it to keep going.
10. Make Footprints. When I leave this world how will I be remembered? I want to make a difference and leave something behind.
11. Care. I think I am a pretty caring person. But I don't show it very well, which is why this commandment is here. I need to show people I care. Tell them. Act like it.
So those are my Personal Commandments. These are the things I try to remember in my daily life. They will change as I change. Somedays I don't need to be reminded. Somedays I need a constant reminder.
** November 2010- I edited my commandments. I think that they are something that should constantly evolve. Here is my new list: 1) Be Heather. 2) Dance with God. Let Him Lead. 3) Let go of perfect. 4) No deposit, no return. 5) Be in awe! 6) Enjoy the ride. 7) Care. And show you do. 8) Dig a little deeper. 9) Remember, don't dwell. 10) What are you waiting for?**
If you were to give yourself a personal commandment, what would it be? Share below!