Presence With Myself

One of the best ways we can grow in noticing internal attitudes about ourselves is to say very simply “isn’t that interesting…” whenever you are confronted by a spark of joy, or conversely a hint of growing frustration…

…It was my spiritual director who encouraged me to notice myself more deeply. He’s the one who hears my stories each month we’re together, and as he listens well, he reflects back to me what he’s noticing. One time he noticed my inability to see my own internal reality. I was frustrated, had what I thought was a legitimate “gripe” to voice, but after releasing my angst I was more interested in blaming another than to acknowledge my own contribution to the situation. And it wasn’t just one such incident, but a few others too, and that’s what seemed a bit glaring. However, when I am in a better frame of heart and mind, I’m more able to smile, give voice to the emotion, name my reality, and then lean into a new way of being present, this time with myself.

Are you at home with yourself, or would you prefer to run away and not have to deal with yourself? Let me suggest a few practical handles to consider when getting to know oneself: 1. Pay attention to when you sense a tear of compassion welling up inside and don’t hold it back – release the emotional response so that you can fully feel empathy toward yourself or another; 2. Notice when you are concerned about an injustice and your natural response is to raise a fist of rage against the perpetrator and as an advocate for the victim – most likely that has something to do with your passionate and compassionate heart; 3. Affirm the delight of your heart with a shout of joy and gladness so that all who hear can rejoice with you – praise and thanksgiving can set the heart free from negativity, discouragement, and a critical/cynical spirit.

Behold the presence of yourself – believe that you are a dearly beloved child of God – belong to the fellowship of faith who know with certainty the call upon their lives – become a friend to yourself, treating others as you lovingly and graciously treat yourself…all for the glory and praise of God.

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