The other day I ran into an old friend; He knows that I'm a christian and often refers to me as a "good girl". During our conversation he asked "Are you still a good girl?" To which I replied "Yes, I am". You see, I've made it a point to not argue with the "good girl" label, even though I'm pretty sure it's not meant to be a compliment. He then asked "Are you the same good girl or better?". This question got me thinking.....I thought long and hard, all of 10 seconds, and with surety I answered "I'm better". I'm braver, I don't allow fear to hold me back (sometimes), I'm more compassionate, I'm more patient, I believe in myself now, I am healthier, I am more loving, I am kinder, I don't intentionally hurt people with my words anymore, I am quicker to forgive, and the list goes on.
In spite of new year resolutions, many of us carry the same bad attitudes, negative mindsets and wounds/offenses around for years and years. I've experienced hurt, betrayal, disappointment, set backs and held the deepest of offenses in my heart, but I'm better. Am I perfect? Heck no. But here's how I became a "better good girl".
1) I became intentional in changing my life. I stopped asking the question "why me?", I quit playing the victim and took complete responsibility for my attitudes.
2) I stopped running away from what I didn't want to become and started running towards who I wanted to be. The more we focus on who we do not want to become, the more we attract it to ourselves.... these are the laws of nature. Focus more on the positive attitudes and mindsets that you want to develop and you're more likely to grow in those areas.
3) I studied the word of God and spent time in prayer and fellowship with God. This has transformed my life completely. The more time I've spent with God, the more He shines His light on my heart; I get a close-up of the good, the bad and the ugly. Through His word and His voice, He has lead me and helped me in areas that needed to mature in my life.
4) I quit beating myself up when I failed. I would recognize that I relapsed a bit and made an effort to walk forward. The moral of this point is this -If you fall down seven times, get back up eight.
5) I had people in my life who would keep me accountable. These were the people I shared my struggles and weaknesses with. I told them what I needed to work on in my life and they 'checked' me whenever I fell out of line. I know it sounds a bit like a coach screaming at you from a megaphone, but it's not. These people would let me know in love when I was retreating back to my old ways, we even laughed about it sometimes and I made necessary adjustments.
Life is all about growing, changing and developing. The only things that I know of that aren't growing, changing and/or developing are the things that are dead. I know that changing your mindsets and attitudes is a lot of work. We like dysfunction don't we? There are many days when I wanted to *and sometimes did* embrace my dysfunction and ignore all and every motivation and cliche' encouragement. If you ever feel like doing that, refer to #4.
How about you? What are some things that has helped you to change? What are some of the struggles you've faced when trying to change?
"The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself."