When I was a kid, I spent most of my time alone. This was mainly due to my parents being strict about me spending time outside of the house (because God forbid something horrible happens to me). I learned at an early age that although too much isolation isn't great, I also found comfort in spending time to myself. I spent it writing in journals, reading, talking on the phone with my friends, listening and recording music from the radio onto a cassette tape (I think I may have dated myself by saying that lol) and most of time, just thinking.
I thought about my day-to-day interactions with people and if I presented my best self. Looking back on those moments, I realize I over thought EVERYTHINGGG when I was a kid. I questioned whether I spoke well enough at school, if I even spoke at all, and if I did speak, did I sound stupid? Did my hair look okay in the moment? Did I make someone think less of me or judge based on what I was saying? And of course all of these questions were rooted from lack of self-confidence & love (read more about that here), but my moments of reflection have made me more self-aware of my actions and verbal communications growing up. Granted, I can also recount many moments in my life where I failed to really think of my actions and statements before I did/said them, but who hasn't?
Now as an adult, I've learned to better control my self-doubt and over-thinking, but still have moments where I find my mind racing to many questions at once, bringing me back to my teenage mind set. However, my moments of self reflection are more focused on making sure that I not only grow in bettering my interactions with people, but also grow more in bringing peace and balance in my mind heart & soul.
Lately, I've challenged myself to examine the depths of my emotions. This is something that I personally have been working on because I find that I have the potential to be flighty. Any ounce of anger, annoyance or envy I feel about anything or anyone is automatically questioned:
- Why do I feel this way? (What is the root of the emotion?)
- Is it really worth feeling this way?
- How can I transform my emotion of this particular situation into something positive?
I want to note that feeling angry, annoyed, envious, frustrated or any emotion under the sun that is similar to the ones listed is NOT bad; It's more about how you handle the emotion that really testifies to your character. I find that when I feel any of those emotions, I shut down. I don't want to deal with it, and to be honest, I don't always handle my emotions the way I should. I let them sit within myself and they start to grow and fester until they turn into resentment. And voila! I've created a part of myself that passionately feels some type of way when I could have just checked them at the door before they entered my heart, mind & soul.
Asking these questions to myself is a big part of my transformation journey to get right with the Lord. Everyday, I pray for God to use the day for him and his glory, but do I always execute things the way he would? Do I live more in the spirit than I do with my feelings. I need to constantly remind myself that I have more control over my emotions than I realize.
This exercise has started to help with my communication skills where I don't feel timid about myself. It's helped me let go of a lot of resentment & hurt that I'd been holding on to and wiping away many slates of rusted emotions that have festered within me. I'll admit, it's not easy to do this day by day. But in order for me to grow more as a person, I need to start practicing on being the person I want to be in order to transform into the person I should be.
What are you working on transforming in yourself that you need to practice?