Unit 5 – Incredible!
What are your lines in the sand?
An incredible life is a focused life. Incredible people know who they are and what they want. They recognize, at least in part, their life calling. Most of them understand the mission they are here to fulfill. They know their why. An incredible life is a life of definition and focus. Most focused people have defined figurative and perhaps even literal lines in the sand. They have established lines that they simply will not cross. They have particular parameters, morals, and internal rules that guide them daily.
Creating definition and focus requires defining the most important things for our individual lives. It’s essential to tap into your Spirit-led Self or Centered Self and learn what your unique internal rules are. Those internal rules can anchor your soul, keeping you from being driven to and for with every wind and change in the world.
Do you have lines in the sand? Are there specific guiding principles to which you adhere? What does it mean to draw a line in the sand or have an anchor to your soul?
What is your anchor?
Your anchor, or line you will not cross, may be different from your neighbor, but most anchors are composed of unchanging moral truth. As you ponder on the lines or anchors you have created this far in your life, look for the truths you ascribe to. Look for universal moral values, family traditions that are important to you, or things that“feel right. Write them down in your journal along with short examples of times you have seen them benefit you and those you love.
Your Spirit-led Self and Inner Center
This month we are studying Boundaries for Your Soul by Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller. In their book, they explain it this way.
Your thoughts and feelings belong to distinct parts of your personality. Each of these well-meaning parts has its agenda- its ideas about how to think, feel and act in any given moment. Each one contends for your attention and believes its strategy to be the best. Your Spirit-led self is you when God is leading you. (or your Creator) She is a wise grown-up inside, full of wisdom and compassion.
Your Spirit-led self is also called your centered self. Your centered self is calm, confident, clear, curious, compassionate, courageous, creative, and connected. She has it together.
Take a moment with your journal and write about a time when you felt your Inner Centered Self or your Spirit-led Self. Where were you? What were you doing? What did it feel like? What was the result of spending time in that situation?
Rekindling Your Inner Knowing
Last month we talked about inner knowing and what that feeling is like for you in your heart, mind, and body. (If you haven’t read it yet, go back to week 1 of unit 4, April) Spend a quiet moment and rekindle that feeling. Write what it feels like and how you feel towards your future as you feel it. Does your Centered Self think like that too? Does she have a voice? Where do you hear her in your body, and what does she sound like?
The Three Parts of You
This image from Dr. Cook’s book beautifully illustrates the three parts of the soul and how the Centered Self has contact and compassion for each.
You can invite your Spirit-led self to be with any of your parts, and if you feel so inclined, ask your Creator to be with them. In this way, you can begin the work of building healthy boundaries, connecting with hurting parts, befriending them, and leading them from your Centered Self.
Protectors work to keep you from pain. They are consistent, persistent, and used to being in charge. Most of your days, they are front and center. Protectors fall into one of two categories, Managers and Firefighters.
Managers strive to keep you safe emotionally. They work to keep life smooth and help you feel in control. They drive you to perform, protect, produce and please.
Firefighters work hard to minimize your suffering. Their job is to extinguish pain after it occurs. You might recognize firefighters in your life by the behaviors they produce: mindlessly watching TV, overheating, shopping, oversleeping, spending or exercising, abusing alcohol or drugs. They work to help you not feel the pain.
Exiles are parts that have been banished or are in hiding. They are the wounded parts that your managers and firefighters are trying to protect. They have great need and are often operating out of victim status. Rarely do Exiles feel like a Creator. Feelings that an exile may need attention could become fear, insecurity, hurt, feeling worthless, sad, or lonely.
ALL PARTS ARE WELCOME. They are all divinely loved and accepted. They are beautiful creations. They all love you and are simply trying to help.
When a part makes itself uncomfortably known, perhaps through anger or fear, consider approaching it like this suggestion from the book-
“I want to thank you, anger, for being there for helping me to be strong. Without you, I’d be falling apart now. You are a valuable part of me. Or perhaps, I can sense your presence with me, sadness. I know it’s painful to feel that way. I’m with you, and I love how you make me tenderhearted.”
Befriend these beautiful parts of you. To establish boundaries within your soul, a You-Turn can be very helpful. We will practice this more as the month continues. For now, when a part makes itself uncomfortably known, use the steps we gave in unit one, BFF- Be Your Own Best Friend; breathe, feel your body, find your feet. Once centered and calm, follow the Five Steps of Taking a You Turn.
The Five Steps of Taking a You-Turn
Step 1: Focus on an overwhelming part of yourself- the one that is making itself felt and known.
Step 2: Befriend this part you don’t like.
Step 3: Invite your Creator to draw near.
Step 4: Unburden the weary part.
Step 5: Integrate it into your internal team.