Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day One Hundred Sixty-eight

Day 168 - Opportunities for Self Reflection
There are moments in my life when I suddenly put the puzzle pieces together, and understand why I do the things I do.  Sometimes.
Self reflection isn’t always easy.  I often find myself - like most people, I think - too far into the trees to see the forest.  I am not always able to understand in the moment the motivations behind my reactions, or to recognize the triggers for what they are before I react.  So when I realize I’m behaving in a way I would like to avoid, I have to mentally stop, take a big step back, and see what has led me to the spot where I stand.
Sometimes I witness the same (or similar) behavior in others and can more easily see the triggers and surmise the motivations.  It is so much easier when it’s someone else I’m observing.  
I am reminded of the story my mom tells about how my twin brother and I learned to walk as toddlers: Keith would pull himself up and fall down, over and over again, and I would watch him; when he got the hang of it, I stood up and walked.
I am grateful for those moments when someone else’s behavior instructs me on my own - I recognize it, and can practice in my head how I can behave in the future.  I strive for self-improvement, and since I’m far from exemplary, I am glad these moments come quietly.  Most of the time.

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