Week 3, Day 2 – Livin’ by Forgivin’
The internal struggle to forgive ourselves doesn’t end at acknowledging our secrets. Oh no, that’s only the beginning. It’s hard to forgive ourself; much harder to forgive ourself than someone else. It’s easier to offer compassion and empathy to someone when they admit they’ve screwed up and want to apologize. We understand not only how hard it is to offer such humility in front of someone else to ask for forgiveness, but we know our own mistakes and the turmoil we make for ourself within our own mind and soul.
When we look in the mirror, we don’t always see the beautiful person God created us to be. Instead, we see the mistakes we made, the hateful words we said, the selfish acts we committed, the secrets we hold, etc. When we look in the mirror, we see ‘blame’ written all over our face. We perceive the guilt in our eyes as justification to punish ourself for our wrongdoings. And, we refuse to forgive ourself until we feel comfortable that the punishment suffices the crime. We allow our (negative) emotions to control our destiny.
Emotions are simply a reaction to a situation. They are limited to the perception and knowledge held within our mind. And, both our emotions and our mind are extremely unreliable. While our situation may constantly change, it is extremely hard to change our perception and our mind once it’s been made up. Our limited viewpoint and inability to see the bigger picture can actually do us more harm than good. So, really, we need to remember that our emotions have one (slanted) side of the story to make their case of how we should react.
Emotions can be great. They help us identify love, joy and peace. They give us the experience of grief, sadness and fear. They have enormous amounts of influence on our behavior and call us to action. Our emotions are also really great at assisting us in our desire for self-preservation.
“A constant reminder of our ardent nature, emotions surge through us at every second of the day. But we often take wrong actions when wrong feelings filter through our mind without restraint. To avoid the burn of acting out during an emotional upsurge, take a few simple steps to calm your heightened spirit and quiet your uneasy mind. When the moment has passed (in hindsight), you’ll be grateful you were able to be the master of your emotions.” 6 Steps to Controlling Your Emotions
*Mindful Moments – How often do you check your emotions as soon as someone has wronged you? Do you simply accept what you feel, or do you try to see the bigger picture? Are you able to calm yourself down and think rationally before acting? Are you able to offer compassion and empathy to forgive yourself when you react in an unpleasant way? Take some time today to forgive yourself for allowing your emotions to take control of your actions. Make a plan for the next time someone offends you, so you can learn to be the master of your emotions. *If you have a few extra minutes, I’d like to highly recommend using 15 of them to watch this video on emotional hygiene; the speaker uses some great everyday examples of how we let our emotions take control of our mind and our reactions – http://www.ted.com/…/guy_winch_the_case_for_emotional_hygie….
*Grateful Graces – What are you thankful for today?
to be continued…Week 3, Day 3: The Dangerous Lie we Tell Ourselves
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