Friday, April 15, 2016

Self-Reflection: The Key to Change

 Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous. ~~ Confusious

Today, I am putting some real-life stuff out here for you as a point of encouragement for your own writing, your journaling, your inner reflection, and as something for you to think about.  I want you to know you are not alone on your quest for inner contentment, happiness and peace.

Over the course of the last several weeks, I have been reading a lot of articles of self-reflection, and the power this can have in our lives.  As most of you know, this year my personal focus (and I hope yours too) is facing some of my own self-truths and working toward a goal of true happiness within my life, and finally and at last, putting to bed some demons that have haunted me for many decades.

The key to changing anything in our lives is a positive attitude, and identification of those things we want to change.  Achieving the identification comes most powerfully and effectively through thoughtful self-reflection.

By writing in my journal every single day, I spend a lot of time on this subject. While I do not always write on some of these painful subjects, identifying areas where I feel I fall short, whether personally, professionally or just as a simple human being brings these things to the forefront of my thoughts, thus kind of forcing me to think some of these things through and find some level of peace with my past.  Many of these troubling spots I find in my own life are trigger oriented from things that occurred in my past, or conditioned responses that I know I need and want to change how I respond when one of these triggers occurs. And how do I know this?  Self-reflection.  Digging deep, sometimes way, way down there where all the boogies from my past are buried. Sometimes I cry rivers of tears when writing, and it is cathartic for me.  These issues didn't go away on their own, despite my best efforts to bury them, nor did they disappear by ignoring them or pretending they weren't there. They're there. Not going away, and certainly not improving because I haven't honestly and truly admitted their existence, and that they are a problem for me.  No more.  I am facing my own self-truths. The good, the bad and the ugly.

One article I read wanted to know what do we really see in ourselves when we look in the mirror?  Sometimes I see a grey headed, wrinkling, maturing woman and wonder where the hell did she come from and when did she get here! Other times, I see some other version of me.  One who hides her truths from herself, and others. Other times, I see my fun self, the inquisitive one who wants to experience and explore everything. But mostly I see a woman who feels sadness deep within; a woman who wants to be truly happy.  And I am working hard to find her. The real her.  I want that happy woman in my life 100% of the time, and I want to never encounter the demons of my past again.  So that means I have to address the demons.  Ignoring them isn't making them go away and I think they drag me down subconsciously, because I have not consciously let them go.  So I am working through the demons, and I feel the change. I am now a believer. A convert of sorts to the power of recognition.

Identification is the key.  I'm making and editing my list everyday (and it's a big one), and I'm tackling these things one at a time, on my own, by my grown-up self. Admitting. Facing the truths. And not ignoring.  At least maybe I can put the totality of my demons to rest once and for all.  And a lot of what I personally face involves forgiveness. A difficult thing for me sometimes is to wholly, truthfully, honestly and completely forgive and let it go.  These things all happened in the past. I cannot do a swinging thing about them now, so full forgiveness and acceptance is the key for me.  Divine guidance and the power of prayerful study of The Word has been most helpful for me personally, and knowing that without true forgiveness I will never heal from this pain.  I'm putting myself out here for you guys so you know you are not alone. We are on a special journey together, seeking our own self-truths, and finding our own inner happiness and peace.  Bonding in this special kind of way.  Being sisters in pain bonds us. Being free sisters of happiness makes us all stronger.

So dear friends, what truths do you need to face?  What do you truly see in your mirror? Just because a painful thing happened, admitting it will never make it disappear, but addressing it in the present certainly will help make our lives much more peaceful, content and happy.  I have learned (and am still learning to practice) that what happened in the past should never be allowed to control my present.  The past is over. Water under the bridge. Gone.  Why keep hanging onto it???
Friends, think seriously about something in your past that you let control your present.  Identify it in your journal. Think about it. Tell this "thing" you are NOT going to allow it to control you anymore, that you are moving on, toward the light of happiness and that you will not allow it to creep back in. Make this positive statement your mantra. Repeat it. Write it. Over and over if you have to.  And let's practice forgiveness when we need to, and let it go. Moving on to happiness.  I'm standing right beside you, cheering you on and holding your hand.

As always, I'm keeping it artful, and facing my own self-truths with you.


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  1. This has truly been what I've journaled most about. forgiving the persons that wronged me and forgiving myself for allowing it over and over and over.....i'm slowly truly forgiving myself and the offense and I do find it lifts a mack truck kind of weight off each time. the first time I truly let it go and forgive and move on and not rehash it over and over was so hard, like I wondered "is this really gonna help me heal?" but I figured I had nothing to lose so finally wrote a letter to the person and wrote a letter to my younger self just letting all those emotions out and then sealed the envelope and glued it into my journal and painted happy colors over them! I was utterly amazed at the weight that came off me. I did it again to another person, again the yes, it tremendously helps. I encourage anyone reading to just give it a just might be as amazed as I was. Just as Betty mentioned getting in the word helping her it too has truly helped and healed me. in fact I've even started Bible journaling :-)

    1. A very inspiring testimonial, Lisa. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  2. Great post Betty! You are so right forgiveness is the key to being able to move ahead. The battlefield is in the mind and when we forgive we do not have to keep replaying the past over and over again. One of the Bible verses that helps me is "...the joy of the Lord is my strength."

    1. I agree wholheartedly, and that verse is special to me ... almost like a mantra. I used to think about "getting even" and then put it past me, but two wrongs don't make right as my grandmother used to say. Acceptance of the past, acknowledgement of the occurrence both consciously and emotionally, then true forgiveness has been my best Avenue of true healing.

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