My Life/Teen Life Getting to Know… YOU by Sierra Abel How many times has someone asked you, “how are you?” and how many times have you automatically responded with, “good” or ‘fine”? Personally, I do this all the time, sometimes it just seems more appropriate, other times, it’s just easier. One time, in particular, someone asked me how I was, and, naturally, I replied with, “I’m good.” As I walked away I started to think and began pondering the question more. At that moment, not only did I realized I wasn’t really sure how I was, I also didn’t know myself, it was something I never deliberately thought about before. I’m a busy person, I always seem to find a way to overbook my schedule. My days are packed with meetings, classes, ministries, work, and volunteering. I spend my time thinking about projects, how I can help my friends, my family, and I realized I never spent my time looking into myself. It was in this discovery that I began taking steps to become more self-aware, but I didn’t truly understand what that meant, or what I needed to do to “obtain it.” When I first started to grow in self-awareness, I quickly realized it was more challenging than I initially anticipated. I found myself reflecting upon, facing, and even questioning my actions, motivations, attitudes, and fears. I was looking into myself in a vulnerable and raw way; a way I never consciously sought out before, and it felt very uncomfortable at first. Looking back, two things helped bring me peace and brought me motivation in continuing my journey of self-awareness. The first was realizing that I wasn’t alone in my initial feelings of discomfort and allowing myself to feel this way, while also challenging it. The second thing was knowing God was with me and is constantly present during this journey. This helped me also seek God throughout my day and helped me see God working and being present in my day to day life. I realized that by diving deeper into my own self-awareness I was also growing closer to Christ. Since we were created in His image, by Him, by knowing ourselves, we begin to know Him in a more intimate way. By getting to know Christ better we become more authentic and we start to grow and be formed into the people God made us to be. Below is a list of some questions that have been helpful to me, in becoming more aware of who I am and who God is calling to me. Try meditating upon and maybe journaling about some of these questions each day. Maybe new questions, thoughts, or discoveries about yourself will pop up in your head as you begin to reflect. Before you begin reflecting, I encourage you to try and find a quiet space, remove any distractions that may be around you, take a few deep breaths, try to be as present as you can be in this moment, and try saying a short prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you in this time. Start by asking yourself these questions that can help you process whatever you’ve confronted throughout your day… What was the highlight and low of your day, why? What brings you joy, laughter, peace? Who inspires you, what about them is appealing? Is there anything currently worrying or stressing you? Is there anyone in your life you want to forgive, thank, or just talk to? How are you at establishing healthy boundaries with the people in your life? What are some accomplishable goals you have, (short term & long term)? Are you feeling energized, drained? What are ways you can recharge (self-care)? What are you passionate about, what motivates, inspires, or drives you throughout your day? Here are some questions that can help you process the way God is encountering you throughout your day… In what ways have you seen God in your day, (nature, mass, encounters)? On a scale from 1-10, how do you feel spiritually? If its a low number, what can you do to raise it, if it’s high, what can you do to keep it that way? Examination of conscious, (this is a great way to reflect on your ‘spiritual health’). How would you describe your relationship with God? How can you grow closer to God? How do you communicate with God? It can be easy to fall out of self-awareness and to fall into ignorance, becoming oblivious to yourself, others, and God. So, in an effort to better glorify Him and live the life you’re called to, I’ll challenge you to actually take time to get to know yourself. As you begin or continue this journey of self-awareness, pray to God, asking Him to grant or strengthen this grace within you and to continue to open your eyes and heart to Him. Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash.