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. . . Through Self-Reflection and Action
When developing a tagline for this blog, I thought about what I believe brings peace to myself and to others. I’m good at doing half of this tagline and not so good at the other.  I hope to improve.
I learned how to reflect on myself through my formal education and through counseling.  In college, I had to learn about myself in order to choose what to study.  Then through studying literature, I learned to connect my experiences with those of the characters. towards the end of my educational career, I’d write every paper about myself.  When I got an assignment to study a novel, I’d connect it to an issue I was struggling with at the time.  When I had to write a paper about teaching, I’d figure out how I learned and why I did what I did.  My program taught me to reflect on myself and my learning.
Reflecting in college, helped me be self-aware in my intellectual life, but, boy, did I have a far way to go personally.
After completing my undergraduate degree, my significant other of 5 years broke up with me.  As he was the object of my codependence–the person I based my identity on–I was devastated . . . and confused. How could this happen? I thought we were going to make our relationship stronger. He had said he was going to make up for his lack of focus on me during the school year that summer.
Also, the relationship was pretty much as it had been for a long time.  We had our routines, our inside jokes, our understanding of one another. How was I to know it’d all change? Plus, he couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t tell me why. Why were we breaking up? What did I do wrong? What did he want to change? He couldn’t tell me.  He was just a tad more self-aware than I was–he knew he wanted to break up but he couldn’t articulate why.
I was blindsided.
It took me a while, but I found a counselor, and when that counselor moved away, I found another.  I did group counseling. I dropped out for a while and then went back to attending. Throughout the years, I have made sense of the breakup and I’ve learned to be reflective about my emotions.
 
I also believe peace is only possible with action.  Only praying, only wishing others well, only finding inner-peace is only a start. As humans, we need to help others as we can with whatever gifts we have.  The action may be serving at a food kitchen or it could be making a phone call.  The action could be building houses for the homeless or it could be writing a blog.  The key is that the help, support, love moves outward.
I’m not as good at this as I am with self-reflection.  I typically like to think and think and think, and it’s hard to get motivated to act.  With this blog, Peace Out and In, I hope to motivate myself to act to bring peace to those around me.
Peace Out (and in),
Jaye