As I angrily sped around a slow moving car today, I caught a glimpse of someone I barely recognized. Someone insensitive, cranky, impatient, edgy. What a sore sight!
She was me. Not the real me or the whole me, but definitely a part of me. She’s the me so clearly on display during rush hour traffic.
I can barely describe to you the epiphany I had at that moment. The Universe in action—providing tools, materials, and a perfect foundation for every human being, including yours truly.
I thought back to the lessons I’ve learned on the importance of being congruent. Yet there I was more incongruent than ever, a far cry from the person I so proudly present to the world.
Get to Know Yourself Better
Of all the things we’re thankful for; among the greatest should be the annoying, difficult and scary moments that reveal us to ourselves. Such moments expose the gap between the Higher Self and the person we’re living as at any given time. They open the doors of self improvement by showing us what we need to work on, the degree to which we’re living up to our potential, and what we’re not being honest with ourselves about.
These moments come to us over and over, challenging us to take a step up. They are our building blocks and tools for success, yet many of us remain in the infancy stage of personal, emotional and spiritual growth. It’s as if we’re asleep, snoring through some of life’s most teaching times of our lives.
Wake-up to Awareness
Far too many of us lack conscious awareness of the resources the Universe sends our way. Awareness, awakening, is the answer.
Here’s a little wake-up exercise to help you get to know yourself.
Write down some of the positive character traits that you embody. These are the traits you’d likely use to describe yourself to a new boss or potential mate. Here are a few of mine:
Now, visualize yourself in the most irritating situation you can imagine. Think back to a recent experience for examples of your attitude and behavior under similar circumstances. How do you think you’d handle it? Would you live up to the characteristics that you’re so proud of?
Repeat the visualization exercise with the most difficult, frightening and infuriating situations you can imagine. Do you see how you “step outside of yourself,” as some may call it? Actually, you’re not stepping so far at all. Stepping out of character? Maybe. Stepping outside of yourself? Not quite.
If you’re open and honest with yourself, the wake-up exercise is quite powerful. Follow it up by asking yourself a few questions to really get your mental wheels turning.
- Am I an honest and trustworthy person? What about in cases in which the truth will hurt me and I know I can get away with a lie?
- Am I a patient and thoughtful person? What about when the person in front of me at the grocery store spends 3 minutes counting pennies for the cashier?
- Am I compassionate and kind? Does that hold true when a driver pulls out in front of me on my way home from work?
- Who am I when I’m ignored, overlooked or misjudged? What about when someone lies to me, fails to return borrowed money or makes a mistake that causes me hardship?
All of the above scenarios are opportunities to take a long look at yourself—not the other person. You’re getting to know yourself better, but where do you go from there?
Welcome the Crap
Life gives us crap. Undesirable, unwanted, unwelcome crap. But we need it if we are to ever get unstuck and fulfill our purpose.
The typical, daily comings and goings don’t quite show us the totality of who we are inside; the crap does that. Clarity comes in the moments when we’re backed into a corner, forced to deal with something we can’t stand. Wayne Dyer said it best, “What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is inside of you.”
The veil comes off when the crap hits us. There is no better time to see parts of you that may otherwise be masked by whatever cover-up techniques you exploit. Whether you use alcohol, drugs, hard work or smiles to hide from what’s inside of you; it’s important to realize that hiding it doesn’t make it go away.
If you house a lot of anger, frustration or impatience; it will seep out and cause problems in various areas of your life. It affects your relationships, emotional maturity and mental health. In fact, it eats away at you on the inside as you attempt to conceal what you could very well overhaul.
Reach for Enlightenment
The not-so-pleasant elements of us unveil our vulnerability and imperfection, yet there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We won’t all become enlightened in this lifetime, but we can all inch closer to it by acknowledging and healing what holds us back.
If certain situations lead you to lash out in anger or frustration, to fearfully practice avoidance, or to doubt yourself when things get tough—consider it an eye-opening gift from the Universe. You’re repeatedly placed in the perfect starting place for self improvement, personal growth and enlightenment. That is absolutely 100% worth appreciating.
Making the Change
When it comes to personal growth, self development and change; everything is a matter of choice. You can hide from the truth, stunt your growth and repeat the same Lower Self behaviors everyday of your life. You can flip a fellow driver the bird for cutting you off, complain for hours about a doctor whose bedside manner is akin to a toad, get overcome by anxiety as you drive behind an elderly person doing 25 mph in a 45. Or you can take a step up.
The Higher Choice is to:
- Take note of the parts of yourself that you want to fine-tune
- Analyze the thoughts that drive behaviors you’re not proud of
- Choose a different thought and try to maintain it for as long as you can.
- Actions will always reflect the thoughts that you’re thinking, so simply take notice as your instincts and reactions soften.
When you’re thinking compassionate thoughts about the inhospitable doctor, you’ll find it so much easier to feel better and to handle the situation in a way that’s perfectly aligned with your vision of yourself. Maybe the doctor has a migraine or— worse yet—she could be deeply hurting inside. Maybe the elderly driver needs to food to eat, yet nobody will take the time to drive him to the grocery store.
Notice how compassionate, thoughtful thinking helps you tune in to your Higher Self. Anxiety, frustration, and anger melt away; leaving behind peace of mind and the beauty of a growth experience.
Work on living up to your potential when it really counts. That’s when it’s the toughest, but ease never led anyone to success. Give thanks to the Universe, God, All-That-Is for every opportunity to solidify positive character traits and become the best possible version of yourself.
Related Self Improvement Blog Posts
- Why You Can’t Go Far Without Congruence in Life
- 15 Ways to Get Unstuck and Change Your Life for the Better
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