In light of some recent situations I have found myself in, reflecting back on how I handled these situations I have some personal letdowns. I quickly (although not quickly enough) realize that my words and actions didn’t come from a place of love. I feel that I wasn’t being the woman God intended me to be, and I definitely wasn’t being the best version of myself. I understand that sometimes when we are sad or hurt or angry that many of us let our emotions get the best of us, but at the same time, it is our actions and reactions that determine so much of the way our life unfolds. We can’t control what happens to us, we can only control how we respond. Truthfully I would want myself to respond with dignity and integrity. I would want to act in a manner that when I reflected back I could thing, “wow you really handled that well”. And more importantly, in a manner that other people would view respectable. In this situation, I must admit, I was flawed in my approach, or at least part of it. At first thought I want to sit here and tear a part my process, recognizing each flaw, and feeling personally let down by myself. At second thought, I want to focus on the better ways I acted then in my past. See, after thinking about it, I could sit here and ramble on to myself about where I failed, or where I was flawed then leading into feelings ofguilt or remorse, I could beat myself up over and over again, and punish myself emotionally, OR I could reflect on ways I handled everything better then in my past, ways I improved, how I have grown, and then determine what ways I can shift my actions to continue to grow, and move forward. What will get me further along? What will get me to the next step?
I can definitely admit to myself, that this experience and time for reflection has provided immense growth. Through the process I eventually came to a place where I was able to shift my perspective. This was tremendous for me... it provided a very large mental shift. It wasn’t; however, enough, so I kept moving forward and also keep reflecting... Through a shift in perspective I was finally able to get to a place of gratitude; however, it was only a one sided gratitude. This isn’t bad, it was good - it helped me to release phase one of any negative energy I was carrying, but it wasn’t enough, because it wasn’t fair ... One side is rarely fair. I needed to have gratitude in all directions. Then through a service at church and continued reflection I was finally able to come to another shift in mindset. This is where the gratitude in different directions flowed into me.
What started with resentment and anger, eventually led to a shift in perspective and gratitude, which eventually led to a shift in mindset, focusing on the positive, or the gains, which then led to more gratitude. Oddly enough though, this was still... not enough. Why? Because despite being able to intellectually understand things more clearly, it didn’t mean that my day to day actions along the way would completely align with this way of thinking, which was recently brought to light. This might seem strange - but truly it’s not - we do it ALL the time.. every one of us...
A great example... we intellectually know what is best for our health like regular exercise and healthy eating, yet we continue to grab what is convenient or most tasty, and/or rationalize taking an extra day off of the gym all the time, over and over until our health more vastly deteriorates. (But that is a whole new topic for another day) We know what good feels like, but we keep doing more of the things that keep us feeling bad, and then we feel bad about it. It is a sad cycle.
I wish I had the million dollar answer for how to break out of the cycle every time, or never fall into it, but I don’t. It is all still one giant learning process for me as well. One thing I do know is to not feed into the cycle, by not beating self up or allowing self to feel guilt. The best scenario is to reflect, learn, and apply it through life moving forward... but truly learn from it and truly be ready to apply it - not just think about it and revert back to old habits. So that is what I am going to do. I am going to remind myself of the woman I want to be remembered as, the woman God would want me to be, and be her. I can not allow myself to feel any level of guilt. We can look back to reflect, to realize opportunity for growth, and to move forward with our discoveries, but we can not change the past, so there is no point in dwelling on it. The only thing we can change is what we do, how we act, or how we respond in our present moment and future. Did we truly learn from our experiences, our pasts, or mistakes, or will we fall prey to a viscous cycle of repeat?
This made me think of a quote....
"Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die" ~Psalm 103:15~