We need to know ourselves very well in order to improve our character. Each day we should work on improving our current selves. In order to improve, you should track your progress. Measure and celebrate your progress. And acknowledge your failures.
Some days are better than others. Some days you KNOW you have failed. You have failed yourself, those you love, even strangers. You have failed. You made a bad decision and the consequences affect others. Those days are killer. Your stomach hurts, you feel a constant “let’s start over,” but you know you can’t. You can only hope that in the failure a positive will arise. You can only put your complete faith in Him and know that it is His will.
But remember, “Failure plays an important role in our development and a critical role in our attempts to become more perfectly ourselves.” Without failure, how can we truly know ourselves so we can improve what needs to be improved.
Because, as this year’s theme truly states–it’s about progress, not perfection. So, even on those days when your failure is so great you feel like you simply can’t start over, remember this: Never end a period of examination without identifying some progress that you have made. Because even in those great failures, progress has been made. Even if you can’t see it at that moment.
Day 5: JOY and GRATITUDE
The start and end of every day, I begin with prayer. Prayer fills me with JOY and GRATITUDE because I am able to take the time to examine the world around me. I have been using The Prayer Process for over a year and it truly fulfills me. In addition to prayer, I meditate. Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and simply NOT think. Just be.
Here is the Prayer Process I use if you would like to do it yourself. I got this from Dynamic Catholic.
The Prayer Process
- Gratitude: Begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful for today.
- Awareness: Revisit the times in the past 24 hours when you were and were not the-best-version-of-yourself. Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them.
- Significant Moments: Identify something you experienced in the last 24 hours, and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event (or person).
- Peace: Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person, or him) and to fill you with a deep and abiding peace.
- Freedom: Speak with God about how he is inviting you to change your life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the-best-version-of-yourself.
- Others: Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.
- Pray the Our Father.