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Reflecting as we go...

Sometimes it can be painful to look back, but often doing so will help us gain insights. In my recent book, When I Was 40, one of the things I wrote was: “Be encouraged to reflect on your life with all the insights you gained about your strengths and challenges.” I have learned to be reflective to make my todays and tomorrows better. Earlier in the month, I asked you to join me in the #whoareyou challenge. (Check out the blog and join me and others who are taking the challenge). In the process we are looking into the mirror of the Bible, God’s Word, to sharpen our views and perspectives. Then we are embracing the necessary changes to be the best version of ourselves each day. Just think about your life up until this point. What strengths do you recognize and what are your challenges? In Celebrate Recovery, we have learned of the importance of doing a personal monthly inventory, then quarterly, yearly and most importantly a daily inventory. Although work like this may seem daunting, it does help us. If you journal, you may do this practice already. If before I go to bed each night, I ask myself some important questions, and if I am honest with myself, I will discover where I fell short and what I did well. From Celebrate Recovery, I also learned that God does not desire for us to waste any of our pain. I just thought of two songs ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ and ‘I’m stronger, I’m wiser, I’m better, much better.’ Those song writers have realized that we can learn from having gone through difficult times. We can use the strengths we gained from a previous trial to help us with something that we may face in the future. In social work practice, we call this the strengths perspective. In contrast to a problems-based approach, the strengths perspective considers our strengths, assets, and environments. We can be so critical of ourselves that it takes a friend to lovingly point out some qualities we have overlooked or minimized. That’s why it’s great to surround ourselves with people who can build us up and help us with our blind spots. Sometimes it feels better just to ignore them. Unfortunately, if we always ignore those weak areas, we cannot grow. The same way we need people in our lives to help us identify our positive qualities, we need to also welcome constructive criticism, especially when it’s coming from someone who cares. Hindsight is 2020, which is why reflecting as we go on our way is important. Last year helped us to slow down, stop and smell the roses. Most of us are more mindful and we’ve gained and learned from our past. We can keep creating a better picture for our future. Join me for FB Live on Saturday, February 27 from 8-8:30. We’re going to talk more about it.

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