Friday, February 27, 2009

Life Transactions Vs. Life Transformations

Jobs, tasks, lists, roles, bills, procedures, terms of conditions, contracts, memorandums of understanding, agreements. These are examples of the transactional life none of us can avoid. We’re all placed in the world of commerce, whether it’s the business of business or the business of life i.e. managing our personal lives.

Yet, there are so many transactions in everyday life and we can get to feel like a ‘processing unit,’ certainly less than human. Some days this is all we feel we are: a vehicle for doing one transaction after another. No wonder we get exhausted.

The other end of the scale is the transformational life; this is spiritual. It’s completely other-than-the-world. It’s about meaning, value, and the eternal. It’s thoroughly soul-quenching in the positive.

There’s an unwritten rule of life that we need to get a balance between the transactional life and the transformational life. Let me explain.

The effect of too much transaction and not enough transformation--at the extreme--is eventual burn out. Add to the transactional life, (without sufficient transformational aspects), the burdens of guilt or shame from failed or dysfunctional relationships, and we have a recipe for mental, emotional and spiritual breakdown.

Indeed, what bogs the transactional side of life down even further is the sense of trying to please everyone. If one or more of our relationships is in disarray our transactional life will tear away further at the transformational. Peace might be very difficult (though not impossible) to achieve in these circumstances.

As the pendulum swings one way then the other, we need to bear in mind we’re people first and workers (or ‘processors’) second. We can be fooled into thinking the opposite if we have life roles slanted heavily in the transactional direction.

The transformational buoys up the transactional, meaning we can remain effective and efficient ‘processing units,’ keeping our responsibilities in check, not disappointing people or ourselves. But, this involves us making time to develop mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

We have to be intentional about our transformational life development; it often requires daily adherence to devotional practices to get the balance right, especially if we’re the types who have a tendency to ‘run rough.’

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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