I in turn would scream back, “I DON’T KNOW!!” and then I would turn my back and walk away, returning to the negative behaviors.
What I see upon reflection is that I became separate from myself. I lost my identity. I was no longer whole.
At times of trial, we must be able to make sure we pull ourselves together by pulling ourselves together. We must be able to know who we are and what we stand for. We must be able to melt our strengths into one being; to be able to gain the momentum that only a collection of positive forces can create. We must select and focus on the best in ourselves and not focus on our shortcomings.
What I now ask myself is am I trying to take “progressive action” or “restorative action”.
I do feel that both observations are necessary to occasionally “tune-up” our lives from time-to-time. However, I feel it is best to first gain strength and momentum so that the gravity of past deeds do not depress our accelerator. I like to take “progressive action” first to get going before going back to plug the leaks.
One of the best ways I have found in moving forward which also assists in our restoration is to remember who we are. If we can visualize us standing tall and stand as the perfect models of what we wish to portray to ourselves and those we serve, we can have a better grasp on where we are going. We implant our values back into our field of vision. If we identify and prioritize our values and what we stand for, we will rejoin with who we are as well as who we want to be, inversely leaving our old behaviors in the dust.
Recently I was talking with a friend who had some “closet cleaning” to do. He lamented that he was embarrassed by some actions he had partaken in and the perceived damage it caused to those he loved. He said he was ashamed to make amends as his behavior was not significant and in the nature of a “Smith.” (Names changed to protect the innocent.)
I mentioned that if he were to stand tall (literally) and visualize what a “Smith” stood for, would it be being a man and taking responsibility? He replied yes. Courage? He replied again yes. Integrity? Yes. Valuing others feelings? Yes. Making Amends to those we owe them to? Yes. Overcoming fear? Yes. (All these questions leading to the obvious solution.)
He remembered who he was and wanted to be. He had a plan. He could move forward. This step also allowed him to do some “restorative” work as well.
Once we connect with our true selves and our true value systems, we not only hold the key, but can shove it in the lock of our self-made emotional prisons freeing ourselves to do the work we need to do to move forward.