Tips For Improving Your Character

Growth of Character

“Do we notice the character of another? Do we recognize the traits and qualities of another, grown, over time, on the wall of one’s being?

Do we notice our own character, evolved, over time, on our own beautiful wall? Do we groom the moss and mold, encouraging new growth to flourish?”

growth of characterToday, because of my journey in sobriety, I am able, even excited, to discover things about others. For me, that brings us closer as we recognize ourselves in each other. And still, each has one’s own unique character and that’s where the fun of discovery come in.

To look at one’s character traits is to look at wisdom, I have found. Once past my fear of others and my self-doubt, I became able to open my heart and consider the other with respect and compassion, cultivating the differences between us. What a joyful experience this has been!

It is interesting that when I wrote the above prose, only the first stanza existed. Then, one of the book’s advance readers asked, “What about our own character, improving it?” She was right. The second stanza was born. I have learned to take responsibility for grooming my own mold and moss, if you will, to strengthen and grow my character. Again, I learned how to do this because of my healing journey and my  journey through sobriety.

It took me willingness to do things differently, to listen to others, to ask for help. It took soul-searching and looking honestly at how I treated myself and others. It took forgiveness of others first, and then of myself. It has been a process over time… years, in my case. And the pruning has been worth it.

How did you learn to groom and grow your own beautiful wall?


Ways to Persevere

Rolls of Perseverance

Perseverance“I struggle to not become discouraged, or to think I am a failure because I have not achieved, in my first few attempts, the vision of myself as I wish to be.

Instead, I try to hold tightly to that vision, awaiting my efforts to catch up with the way I am seen by my heart.

Through practice and perseverance, I am learning and growing.”

Perhaps you have experienced being discouraged and feeling as though you failed, because repeated attempts to improve yourself or become a happier person, were unsuccessful. Sometimes, it gets harder and harder to keep trying.

I was one of those people who would beat themselves senseless for perceived failings. I say perceived, because I have learned that nothing in life is a failure. Looked at with a sense of gratitude, failings are actually lessons, opportunities for growth.

It took me a while to get to this point, and many floggings. It seems that when I learned to do a self-appraisal, over time I began to look honestly at what I was doing, what I was believing about myself. I mean looking deeply. What I believed about myself was not true. It was other people’s words and judgments that I was believing.

Once I saw this, really saw and felt this deeply, things began to change for me. I had to search my soul and learn who I really was, not what I had become in response to others. A humbling and difficult experience…

Another thing that has allowed me to persevere with joy is the development of gratitude. With much practice, showing I am grateful for any situation as it happens eases the sting of disappointment or feelings of failure. For me, everything is seen as something for which to be grateful. There can be no failure when there is gratitude.

How do you persevere in the face of discouragement?