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Some seeds fell on footpath and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. Other seeds fell among thorns that chocked them.

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Sometimes it hurts to hear the truth. The one we so desperately need but can’t quite come to face ourselves. The truth that lets us know that we are not perfect and reminds us of how much work we still need to do on ourselves. Well, how you react to the truth determines your growth as a person. It is very easy to dismiss other’s opinions of you and I think that it’s quite natural to have a defence up around ourselves, guarding and protecting our vulnerabilities. I think it is essential to block out negative energies and know yourself enough to not require validation from anyone. However, today I want to tap into the power of POSITIVE critiscm. Part of knowing oneself, reflecting and honestly analysing your own behaviour is that you realise the traits you possess – negative and positive. The problem is that we tend to forget in our reflections, how our behaviour affects those around us.

I for one, have a loooong ahem lengthy list of things I need to work on. Most of the things on that list are there because of how they made me feel. How it makes me feel to look back on them as part of my character. They are things I do not want to be embedded in my character, ways I do not want to be described by those that know me. And essentially everything on that list is there because I do not want to be that person. Tonight I had an alternate perspective, I realised that I never think about how my behaviour might have affected someone other than me. How did my decision affect those I had a relationship with? Did I/ have I acknowledged my actions? How do I regain the person’s trust?
Unfortunately for me, these are not not thoughts that occurred to me at the time. Despite my extensive reflections, my constant self-analysis and criticisms, I had forgotten to practice the golden rule and consider others.

When someone quite close to me pointed out that my past actions had hurt them, I was quick to dismiss it. My natural instinct was to deny, deny, deny. It took me a while to actually consider the person’s point and understand it enough to realise that they were right, I had behaved in a hurtful way towards them and had not extended my remorse to them. See the thing about self-reflection is, it’s a wonderful thing for growth and self knowledge, but sometimes it has the danger of putting you in a bubble, where only perhaps you and your sins exist, their might too strong to allow you to focus on anything or anyone else. But one thing I had got from it [reflection] was that they were some traits I had that I did not like and wanted to change.

Hearing someone talk out loud about something you did and how it affected them negatively is quite saddening. I think it’s always hurtful to be labelled in a negative way and that’s why so many of us instinctively react to it by immediately defending ourselves. Because I spend so much time in reflection, I was not surprised to hear that my behaviour had been picked up by my beloved. What caught me is how it made them feel that I had never acknowledged that behaviour and thus how disrespectful I came across to the other person’s feelings. I should have known that my behaviour was hurtful to others and at least acknowledged it. And therein lies my fault. I had not considered her in my change. I had plans to change and had told myself to consider certain decisions beforehand, but I had never once discussed these self realisations with them.

So the lesson here? We should never be afraid to honestly face ourselves in the mirror, and to also consider other’s critiscm of our behaviour. We do not have to accept what other people think but when faced with an unwelcome opinion, we shouldn’t be afraid to consider it as a point of development. It is a good thing to be told where we are lacking sometimes because it gives us the opportunity to grow and develop in that area. And there is always room for growth.

So to anyone who has been in this situation before, always remember that although you can’t change the environment around you, the past or the reaction of others, you can always control your own response. And no matter how bad you might have thought you were, there is always a chance to be better.

Here is to continued growth x MC

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