Formation is both the act or process of being formed and an arrangement or structure in a community of support. But what are most people experiencing if they’re not practicing intentional, consistent disciplines to be formed? As I’ve said before, there’s formation and then the opposite, deformation, and we’re in constant movement in either direction. As soon as we’re not being formed, we’re subject to being deformed and begin moving in that direction. But there’s also a different movement of deconstruction and reconstruction called reformation.
Formation is a positive, creating, generative process where we become more and more of who we were created to be, individually and collectively.
Deformation is an abdication of our identity to the identity and forces of others, culture, and creation. These forces are strong, and they’re not us. They’re at best entropy and at worst evil. Why open ourselves up to this?
And then there’s Reformation. It’s different. It acknowledges that something was force-formed or false-formed in misalignment with identity and truth, like a cancer cell. As a result, reformation first requires intentional deformation of that cancer cell, that trauma, before healthy formation can happen. It’s an intentional process in the opposite direction of formation so that formation can actually take place, so that a harmful piece of ourselves can be reformed into health. Reformation is a healthy and necessary response to trauma.
If you want to be a leader, you must be interrogate your trauma induced forced/false formation and intentionally break it down so you can reform those neural pathways into health.