Think of your courageous aggressiveness as a coat of armor. There are times you want to wear this armor. There are times when you are at war. In war, you need your armor. You need to compartmentalize and have a laser focus. When you are fighting a battle, you are fighting for your survival. When you are in danger, armor up.
But you might not need that armor as much as you think. Perhaps your emotions aren't the monsters you make them out to be.
If you always walked around in your armor, that would not make sense. If you wore your armor to your local coffee shop or while going grocery shopping, you'd get weird looks. You wear armor only when you are going to fight.
This doesn't mean you don't act with calmness. Going into fight or flight mode during a battle could lead to your death. Staying calm amidst your enemy is a key to success in warfare. 'Slow is smooth, smooth is fast' is a common saying among soldiers because slowing down and being thoughtful means you don't rush your actions. You can fall back to your training.
Do not fear your feelings. They are not weaknesses.
Feelings are clues to your beliefs and your existence.
Connecting to and interacting with your feelings is essential for maturity.
There are times to listen to your pain. It's a sign something more profound is happening.
There are times to quiet your fear and choose fortitude. It's time for action.
There are times to honor your fear and avoid danger. You aren't invincible.
There are times to sit in sadness. You can't outrun grief by ignoring it.
There are times to revel in your feelings of joy. Give yourself permission to celebrate!
There are times to explore with curiosity the trepidation of your dreams. You belong, and your vision requires courage.
Train yourself to pay attention to your feelings.
Train yourself to feel deeply and to take action on what matters most.
Train yourself to think carefully and not let your feelings define your reality.
Train yourself to talk about how you feel.
Train yourself to listen with compassion for others' feelings.
The meaning you give your feelings is what matters.
"I cannot make good choices unless I develop a mature and prudent conscience that gives me an accurate account of my motives, my intentions, and my moral acts. The word to be stressed here is mature. An infant, not having a conscience, is guided in its 'decisions' by the attitude of somebody else. The immature conscience is one that bases its judgments partly, or even entirely, on the way other people seem to be disposed toward its decisions...Even when the immature conscience is not entirely dominated by people outside itself, it nevertheless acts only as a representative of some other conscience. The immature conscience is not its own master."
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
"Change from the inside out involves a gradual shift away from self-protective relating to strongly loving involvement. And in order to make that change, we must feel our disappointment as a longing person and face the sin in our heart that results in a commitment to self-protection."
Larry Crabb, Inside Out
In what situations do I hide from my thoughts and feelings?
What experience am I avoiding because of some sort of fear? What am I doing about the fear? How can I step out with courage?
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