Being (Self) Aware and Mindful

At the start of the year, I decided to pay attention; to be aware; to be mindful of the emotions that come my way; particularly the emotions that seemingly linger for a bit.
Especially to the ones that rub me the wrong way.
I heard a comedian talk about being part of a roast and he was saying if a joke hurts your feelings, it might be worth it to take note and analyze why that particular joke hurt your feelings.

So yea, I’ve been hyper sensitive to all the things the feelings that flow in and out of my head throughout the day. It’s been exhausting on some days; insightful on others; and sometimes I just simply just forget and truck on through my day.

Once in a while, while driving, the song Highway 20 Ride by Zac Brown Band will play from my playlist whilst on shuffle.
Each and every time I listen to that song, there’s a line that gets to me. Sometimes it’s just a sniff. 
Other times, I’m aware of how dusty my car is.
It’s the line: and a part of you might hate me/but Son please don’t mistake me/ For a man that didn’t care at all.

I mean, I still don’t know why that particular line gets me. I guess it has to do with this deep fear of “How badly am I going to mess up my kid’s life?” I mean, we all know we’re going to do some damage to our kids with our superb parenting skills — but we pray and hope that they’ll still turn out okay. And who knows what my kid will be like when he becomes a teenager. (I know for a fact he won’t be as cute as he was when he was 7 because at 7 he’s not as cute as he was when he was 3…). I just hope that he’ll never forget just how much I love him and how much I’ll always love him, teenage BO, attitude, and all.

I’ve been reading Barking to the Choir by Greg Boyle and almost every single chapter has tugged at my heart. I mean, every time I read this, no matter where I am, the room I’m in gets really dusty.
And maybe part of it is I see this powerful connection between humans; I see this glimpse of what community can and ought to be: messiness beautifully intertwined with togetherness; I feel the connection that Father Greg has and makes with his community.
I have a feeling that if I read this book in a different season of my life it wouldn’t have brought out these kind of emotions from me. 
Which made me wonder, why am I reacting like this to the stories that Father Greg shares?
And I think it boils down to the angst, anxiety, and frustrations that I have when it comes to church. Part of it lies within the pondering of why we are no where close to the kind of radical kinship displayed in the book within the church. All the while lamenting at the little I have done to create that kind of radical kinship within the church and with the greater community.

Well, at the least, I know where I want to go and the work begins on figuring out how to get there.
It’s not going to be easy, but no one said that following Jesus was ever going to be easy.

At the end of the day, working on being more self aware is just going to help me on the path of being a human being modeled by Jesus Christ.

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