Self-awareness is a wonderful thing when it is operating in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Yet if we don’t understand what is going on in our inner world we can easily get caught out by our own emotions or the emotions of those around us.
When we are feeling grumpy or “losing it” over seemingly insignificant things there are usually underlying, unresolved issues festering beneath the surface, and the longer we leave these things “festering” the yuckier they get. Plus we can be really annoying to be around.
God doesn’t want that type of life for us, but wants us to have peace, joy and a rest in our spirits and souls. Which is why He will bring to light those things “festering” below the surface so we can be healed, grow in who we are and move past these issues.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
To help us become more self aware and less prone to grumpiness and irrational emotional outbursts I’ve discovered these helpful keys:
Daily Quiet times with Jesus – Spending time with Jesus and allowing His word to wash through our hearts and minds helps us to keep our lives in balance. The Holy Spirit reveals our hearts to us and shines a spot light on anything we might have missed or pushed aside. When we listen He will reveal so that we can deal with these things, be healed and made whole.
Take a good look at yourself –One of the best things we can do is to regularly stop and take a good look at ourselves. To take the time to ask, “Why am I reacting, how am I actually feeling today, has something happened recently that I need to process and work through?”
Morning pages – It’s the habit of writing down first thing in the morning three pages of whatever is on your mind. You’ll be surprised what “morning pages” will reveal is going on in your heart and mind, and how often God has been speaking everyday. When we have to articulate what we are feeling and thinking things become clearer and we can literally “see” God speaking.
Is there anything you want to say God? – When we are feeling misunderstood about something, when somebody misjudges us, when we are not sure what to do. When we feel unhappy or anxious, when we have gotten ourselves and our inner world into an angry, stressed, anxious muddle then one of the questions to ask ourselves is, “Is there anything that God needs to speak to me about?“Is my heart convicted about something or someone?” Is my conscience bothering me about anything?”
If God is speaking about something in particular or our hearts and conscience are bothering us our first step is to acknowledge it, admit if we have done something we shouldn’t have and then confess it and give it over to God, asking for His forgiveness. Undealt with sin or stepping out of God’s best for us is eventually going to cause us to feel grumpy, to lose our peace and to feel out of sorts. Our spirits just feel yuck, which eventually flows over into every other part of our being.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:19)
“And now you must repent and turn back to God so that your sins will be removed, and so that times of refreshing will stream from the Lord’s presence.” (Acts 3:19-20 TPT)
5. Do something fun, relax and prosper your soul – Do something to prosper your soul and enjoy your day. When we are relaxed we think and process things better, can sense God’s presence easier and gain much needed perspective.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 1:2)
6. Sit down and talk –There is something about sitting down and having a good “heart to heart” with people who love and care about us that is vital for healthy relationships and understanding.
When we don’t do that or others don’t take the time to do that with us a whole world of trouble can erupt. Which is why it’s worth building “heart to heart connections” with those in our world. If we or someone else is reacting or “acting out”, then where we have taken the time to build strong heart connections we can usually work through things a lot quicker and receive the love and support we need.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV)
“Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfil the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].” (Galatians 6:2)
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
Jesus knows that our lives are going to involve circumstances that may pressure and even annoy us. But He has a way to do life that enables us to live beyond the realms of how the world operates. (Galatians 5:16) The key is to listen to Him and have the wisdom to stop and check how we are going regularly.
Make a decision today to be both aware of what God is saying to you and to be self and others aware too. If you are reacting take some time to assess why? If others are “acting out” around you don’t respond by reacting negatively. Perhaps find some time to have a “heart to heart” and find out what is really going on.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”(John 10:10)
Prayer: Lord please help me to be more aware of my inner world and to hear when you are telling me things so that I can live the full and abundant life you desire me to have. I don’t want to go through life reacting and “losing it”. Forgive me where I have been doing that and help me to live a more peaceful and joyful life. In Jesus Name Amen.