There are quite a few character traits that people strive for in our modern world. People want to be bold, courageous, successful and intelligent. Nothing wrong with these aspirations.
Recently, I have had a desire to grow in my ability to show mercy to others. I want to be more merciful. I have got to believe that the breadth and depth of my relationships could only grow if I would show more mercy in my daily interactions. And thanks to the growing passion to observe myself think (we refer to the act of observing yourself think as "metacognition"), I have begun to get a little insight into the places where showing mercy would be helpful.
Specifically, I've noticed that there are times when I refuse to listen to someone else because the voice in my head, specifically my voice, is simply too loud. I already know what I think about what's being said and what I want to say about it in response. But when I interrupt and offer my opinion, particularly when someone has a different one than my own, I have begun to see this as a rather merciless act. This has not been a pleasant discovery.
But that's part of the process! You see, we don’t just Rewire our minds because we are bored and need something to do; we do it because it will lead to a more fruitful, peaceful, loving life. Is watching my own thinking always a pleasant experience? No! But I'm learning to go through that because of what's on the other side of the process. Let's take "being more merciful" as an example. What I'm finding as I grow in this is that:
- I save myself from unnecessarily damaging or hampering my relationships.
- I carve out the mental space necessary to hear a new idea.
- I create an environment for more effective teamwork.
If those are things you are pursuing, then join me in the quest for growing in the character of mercy. Not particularly popular amongst us thriving, striving Americans, but whoever ever said the popular road was the one to be on anyway. May your Rewiring bless you and your work.