This month marks my eighth year of personal transformation with The Crucible Project community of Christian men. Change is hard, but I can’t imagine how I could be where I am in my personal development without a community of authentic men around me.
Transformation Process Confusion
In my personal journey, results have sometimes seemed confusing. Why am I still working on me? Why have I not arrived? Have I not been on the journey long enough?
- I see the need for change in my life. I notice where I am stuck and where I am not Christ-like. Someone in my life tells me something about myself of which I have been totally unaware.
- I engage deeply in my personal work. I face my shadows and darkness. I find a needy boy and accept him where he is. I become his advocate to help him get what he needs.
- My heart feels good. I feel strength and power. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have what it takes. I know I am lovable and valuable.
- I don’t see immediate results in my life. Others still treat me the way they have always treated me. I feel discouraged and wonder if this stuff really works.
- I persist in being the man God made me to be. I see the change in me. Over time, others begin responding to the man I have become instead of the man I once was. It feels as if I have arrived. I feel good.
- I notice something else that I have never noticed before in me that I want to change. I repeat the whole process again.
I am a better man than I was when I attended my initial Crucible Project weekend in 2009. My wife, adult children, parents, employees, friends and colleagues will tell you that, too. And the journey continues.
Shifting From Others To Myself
I believe most of my personal life change goals early on were focused on other people. I was not trying to change other people. I was trying desperately to change how I was interacting with other people. My focus was on making changes within me — with God’s help — so that I would be better in my marriage, family, workplace, church and community.
Over the last couple of years, I believe my focus has shifted toward personal change goals that are focused on me. That might sound selfish to some. But as I become the man God built me to be and engage the world in my life’s mission and purpose, the transformation is also improving the lives of others around me.
Being In Integrity With Others and Myself
One of my greatest learnings in this work comes from our Founder, Greg Huston, in his definition of impeccable integrity. As I began doing work around my integrity gaps, I faced the fire and found gold. I started living out of the new man I had become. However, the people in my life still responded as if nothing had changed. Over time, they came to experience enough of me keeping commitments that they changed how they interacted with me.
Over the past couple of years, I have learned that keeping my commitments to myself, as well as others, is just as important. In fact, as I make and keep commitments to myself, I grow more closely into the man God created me to be. When I make a commitment to myself, like “I will run three times per week for 30 minutes,” I was less likely to keep that commitment as it seemed to affect no one. But as I have continued to do my work, I have discovered breaks with integrity with myself affect everyone. I cannot be the man God called me to be and not value myself enough to keep my personal commitments to myself.
Some Questions To Ponder:
- Do you sometimes find yourself doubting the effectiveness of your personal transformation and later, with patience and continuing to pursue change, experience the benefits of the change you were seeking?
- Are you in integrity in your commitments to yourself and others? Where are you not fully keeping your commitments to others in your life? How are you doing in keeping your personal commitments to yourself?
- If you worked on the issues keeping you from being in personal integrity with yourself, do you believe it would make you more like the man God has called you to be? Is there some personal work around this issue of integrity that would be good for you to pursue?
By Roy Wooten
Roy completed his initial Crucible weekend in 2009 and has been the longtime leader of The Crucible Project community in Houston. Roy and his wife Devra have led over 135 of their Life Together Forever Couples Weekends and are the authors of The Secret to Lifetime Love: Speaking and Hearing Truth. He also authored Full Throttle Into Fatherhood and is the Executive Director of Shield Bearer Counseling Centers in Houston, Texas. Follow Roy at LifeTogetherForever.com.
Photo Credit: Chris Evans via Creative Commons.