Monday, October 10, 2005

Knowing Yourself

Knowing what you love to do is important. Knowing those little things that push your buttons is also important. It's not that you can avoid everything that annoys you, but if you know what pushes your buttons, you can be aware and mindful of the fact that a situation is likely to set you off and mentally prepare yourself for it. I don't mean that you mentally get ready to be angry. Rather you look at the situation as a challenge for you. Realize that it will be uncomfortable and that chances are you will feel annoyed. Stay with the feelings as much as possible in the situation and just see where they take you.

The more awareness we have of what we like and don't like and the sorts of situations that set us off, the more aware we can be when we are likely to be less than our best. Knowing this allows us to create our own paths of escape so that we don't snap or create situations that are hurtful.

There are those of us stuck in situations where we seem to hate everything. That's a difficult place to be and one on one assistance can be invaluable in those situations. Our own mindfulness can be helpful but it's a difficult task at the best of times and not having a starting place to begin with or a place where we can rest without stress makes such a practice even more difficult. Acknowledging what we are beginning is a good place to begin being gentle with ourselves.

Acknowledging that we don't like certain situations is also a way to be gentle with ourselves. Even if life requires that we continue to be in those situations, acknowledging that and being kind to ourselves as we are mindful of how we are feeling can make changes in how we percieve the situation.

Next time you are in a situation that challenges you, remember to acknowledge those feelings and be gentle. Gentleness starts with ourselves and moves out to embrace other people. With gentleness, peace can follow.


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