The other day I began to think about the thoughts that drive my life. In my mind, there is a constant internal conflict going on. It is mostly in three areas of my life. The first is when I think that something will be fun and yet I know it will set me back. The second is when I make a decision and then spend some time trying to talk myself out of it. The third is when I feel my old angry self begin to make a comeback.
Sunday I was listening to a sermon in church which was thought provoking. Pastor Arol was addressing how Christians should interact with people they disagree with. It brought up my past feelings. My world was always black and white, cut and dry. I would judge incidents based on the facts that I was aware of and then make a decision. I would also very quickly let hate for the opposing party cloud any further thinking on the matter.
When I was writing screenplays we would give our hero internal conflicts and he would work them out over the course of the script. Life is not as simple. There is no limit to the conflicts we have going on at any one time. I wonder how many others have these constant battles going inside themselves on a daily basis?
I am currently involved in another group at church that meets once a week. We read a workbook and study the Bible weekly as we answer questions about ourselves and our thoughts. One of the main tenets of the book so far is that we are all sinners, we are not perfect and yet God still loves us. A very good point it drives home is that I cannot change another person, nor should I try. The only person Kenji can change is himself.
I have found on my journey of self-improvement this last decade, that working on myself is hard and yet it is not impossible.
I am able to control my own thoughts and situations. I no longer let what I feel is fun or pleasurable distract me. In a few days, after whatever it was has passed, I have learned I have missed nothing.
I have decided that I will no longer let anger rule me. I am working at taking a mental step back, putting myself in others’ shoes, and trying to feel what they may be feeling or thinking. It is tough to love your enemies, but I will continue to try. I am a work in progress.
The battle inside will go on, but the fact that I am aware of it and I am spending time re-educating myself helps me make better choices. I will never be perfect and yet I know I can be better.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,