Life is quite a ride. The longer we live, the more we learn and discover about ourselves.
We experience, we acknowledge, we respond, we rebound. We recognize patterns.
We fully understand that by the choices we make, we get to decide who we want to be each and every day.
In order to not be a slave to past choices and behaviours that haven't served us well, we learn to exercise greater awareness and become more mindful as we move forward. This is what personal growth is all about.
But sometimes, just sometimes, old thought habits and behaviours return and try to take over. This is because these thoughts are still being fuelled by unresolved emotions.
Getting to the root of those emotions can be difficult, but it can be done. It requires a certain ‘uncharged’ objectivity. In order to defuse the emotion, you must come at it from a defused emotional state.
Let me explain a little with an example.
Let’s say you have a tendency to get defensive whenever someone calls you out on something. Getting your back up is your automatic go to. You’d like to change that, but don’t really understand how to do so.
For today’s #WritingPrompt, you'll use writing to explore one method.
Go back to the earliest incident you can recall when someone called you out on something, and you felt you had to defend yourself.
Write as much detail about that one event as you can recall. It was probably a long time ago, but try your best. I’m sure you’ll be able to recall how you felt. Describe your feelings in detail.
Once you have it all written out, I’d like for you to read it outloud. Rather than let your emotions get stirred up again, view that past experience from a neutral emotional state.
Can you see how you became offended? Can you see why you responded defensively? Can you see where you couldn’t admit fault or failure? Can you see where you couldn’t accept responsibility? Can you identify a deeply buried false belief that may be fuelling your reaction?
I want you to picture that younger version of yourself as someone who was doing the best they could do at the time, even if you were at fault. I want you to exercise some self-compassion. Now I want you to forgive the younger version of yourself for behaving the way that you did. You know better now, so you will never behave in this manner again.
Can you challenge yourself to see that younger version of yourself whenever they appear in present day, and reassure them that you now know a different way to respond?
What is that different way to respond?
Sometimes it's not responding at all. Sometimes it will be a delayed response. But never again will it be a rash emotionally-charged response that takes place in the heat of the moment.
With practice you will learn how to listen, become more objective and less defensive. It takes time, so go easy on yourself. You’re learning more and more with each day and each experience.
Continue to write about present day experiences in this way - from an emotionally detached perspective. Practicing this perspective through writing, will flow over to real life in real time situations. You won’t have to pretend to not be offended. You simply won’t be offended anymore.
#WritingPromptWednesday is a self-paced, self-directed writing challenge by #AmmoArtworks that encourages you to examine self-awareness topics affecting mindset and perspective. There is no reporting, posting or submitting anything to anyone. It is your own private process and you’re accountable only to yourself. For previous “WritingPrompts” see blog posts: www.ammoartworks.com/blog