I watched an interesting video tonight by Catholic speaker Sarah Swafford on the idea of emotional virtue. It's a simple term she coined that means to control and harness our emotions in a way that lets us grow in virtue.
I'm not going to leave that video here tonight, though. Instead, I thought it would be good to do a little freewriting. So much is going on with me right now (hence my long absence – mea culpa!), and a lot of it is too jumbled for my usual posts here. Tonight, I just feel like writing, even if I don't have any "wisdom" to share.
Swafford said that the first step to being virtuous with our emotions is to have a goal in mind. "Ask yourself: who do I want to be? What qualities do I want to develop? Who is the woman of my dreams?"
Her premise was that in order to find the man of your dreams (moral, kind, strong, etc.), you have to become the woman of your dreams. If you have low standards for yourself, you'll attract guys with low standards and vice versa.
I already have the best man I could have hoped for (yuck, excuse the mush! ;)), but that's no reason to stop striving to grow. If anything, I find myself wanting to work harder.
So, here goes:
Who do I want to be?
I want to be brave.
I want to be emotionally strong.
I want to be joyful.
I want to be classy and elegant.
I want to be gentle and nurturing.
I want to be self-assured.
I want to be modest -- inside and out.
I want to be secure in my identity as a woman.
I want to feel comfortable in my own skin again.
I want to accept with grace who I am.
I want to concern myself only with what God thinks of me.
I want to put others first.
I want to be selfless.
I want to be firm and courageous in the face of opposition.
I want to persevere.
I want to work at my goals with a peaceful and confident attitude.
I want to trust God fully for all my concerns and needs.
I want to embrace what God has given me, and be accepting of what He hasn't.
I want to live in the present moment with hope for the future.
I want to be a shelter for my future husband.
I want to be a reflection of God's love to the world.
I want to make a difference.
I want to love like Jesus.
That's the ideal version of myself. That's the woman of my dreams. Isn't she beautiful?
You'll notice I purposely avoided negatives ("don't, less, instead of") when making this list. It was tough to speak positively without criticizing my flaws, but if I hope to make progress in this, I need to talk about (and to!) myself the same way I want to treat others – with compassion and respect.
I guess it's important to see the progress I've already made, too. I've come a very long way, that's for sure, especially in the last year. Little by little, I'm becoming the woman of my dreams. I just need to keep at it and be patient.
What would your list look like? Feel free to leave a comment or write a post of your own. :) Have a great week, folks.