A Survey of Self
Lent began on March 1st. Lent is the 40 days and 40 nights leading up to Easter. During Lent sacrifices are made or special intents are set to show our appreciation for the sacrifices Jesus made for us.
Lent is also a time of self-reflection and hope. Our efforts in this time are intended to bring us closer to God. For some it is a time to improve on their relationship with themselves, family, friends, or coworkers as well.
For the month on March, I challenge you to do a Survey of Self.
This survey requires you to look at three aspects of your life and dedicate energy and intent to improving or strengthening the areas that need rejuvenation.
- How do you feel when you get up in the morning?
- How do you feel when you go to bed at night?
- Do the foods you eat make you feel nourished or are they consumed for comfort?
- Do you drink enough water?
- Do you get enough sunshine?
- Do you get enough fresh air?
- Do you practice good hygiene? Wash hands regularly? Brush teeth often?
These are all simple questions that can have simple solutions. Carry a water bottle to ensure hydration. Setting a bed time and sticking to it will help with better quality rest. Walking to the mail box to get the mail, instead of reaching out the car window to retrieve your letters, will give you exercise, fresh air, and maybe even some sunshine. Pick up a new type of shampoo or soap; this will make bath time something you look forward to and will make you feel happy when you smell the scent of your new purchase. Eating a salad or fresh fruit instead of a prepackaged lunch or donut will keep away those late day sugar crashes.
- Do you walk away from someone in your life feeling exhausted?
- Do you question why someone in your life even spends time with you or vice versa?
- Do you have someone in your life who leaves you feeling uncomfortable or afraid?
- Do you feel like you are constantly letting a particular person in your life down?
- Do you question your dedication to a group or cause to whom you belong?
- Do you wish there was more time to spend with certain people in your life?
- Is there someone you know could use more of your time and attention?
- Is there someone you wish you knew more about?
- Do you feel alone often? Does your loneliness come after being with or without someone?
Ask yourself these questions. Once you have had time to reflect on the questions that bother you the most, you are ready to take steps to strengthen your relationship skills.
For loneliness or shyness, make goals to greet or meet people or adopt new, healthy hobbies or practices that will provide chances to meet others.
For fearful or anxiety producing relationships, the healthiest thing to do is to either address your concerns with the other person or (for safety reasons) move on. Life is too short and too precious to live in fear.
If you are not feeling a strong connection to something that has been a part of your life for a long time (such as church family, circle of friends, or your actual family), try to find a fresh approach or a new circle within that organization to associate yourself. Sometimes approaching it from a different angle opens up new doors and better relationships.
If a relationship feels tired, go for some a tough question talk, like “What came first the chicken or the egg?” or “Why do you think the sky is blue?” or “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Crazy, I know! But maybe your line of age-old questions will open up a fresh conversation and give your relationship a much needed boost. Another great trick is to go on a trip down memory lane. Bringing up positive and pleasant memories encourages the making of new ones.
- Do you believe in something beyond yourself?
- Do you believe there is good in everyone?
- Do you believe in the power of hope?
- Do you believe in the power of love?
- Do you believe in yourself?
Ask yourself what you believe. Ask others what they believe. Define what it is that makes you have those beliefs and discover what has led to the beliefs of those you care about. To create greater faith in yourself and those you love, you must have understanding. Do historical, psychological, or theological research. Find answers to your faith questions. Sometimes those answers lead to more questions, but that’s okay. The more we know; the more we grow.
Confidence in your faith and knowledge can lead to the best faith of all: faith in yourself.
Melanie A. Peters
P.S. On the note of learning and growing, I am working to improve Intentergy. It has been over a year since I began publishing my blog and I am so proud of how it has developed. Please take time to complete this 5 question survey about http://www.intentergy.com. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated and will provide a learning opportunity for me.
Thank you for being my teacher!
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