Despite my musings on the way time is accounted differently within the Church, it is natural for us as human beings to become a bit more reflective at the turnover of a new year on the secular calendar. Toward that end, I want to invite you to embrace this New Year introspection, but perhaps not in the way you ordinarily would. Rather than urge us to make "New Years Resolutions" that we will likely only keep a week or so anyway, allow me to remind you of what those of us in the COH community talked about throughout the Fall as we read, taught and discussed the Emotionally Healthy Church materials.
In the Emotionally Healthy Church, Peter Scazzero used the analogy of an iceberg to describe our emotional lives. He talks about how most of us spend our lives only acknowledging the top 10% of our emotional selves, while below the surface lurk the bulk of the patterns and experiences that actually drive our behavior. If we do not embrace the gospel of Grace and God's unconditional love and look courageously at those sub-surface driving forces, we are likely to shipwreck eventually.
So, as a New Year discipline, I want to invite you once again to consider:
What are the patterns of unhealthy relating (or thinking) that still manifest themselves from time to time? Often around the holidays as we spend more time relating to our families (especially our families of origin) it gives opportunity for some of these patterns to be uncovered. Think about your recent holiday experience, does anything come to light?
The next time you have a hard interaction, slow down even if its "after the fact," and ask yourself, "what am I really thinking and feeling right now? Why did I react that way?"