I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable than realizing you are guilty of unsavory behaviors. You are going along and then BAM! You come face to face with a behavior that doesn’t match your outlook on life. For instance, recently I have figured out I can be very defensive. Someone gives me life advice and I immediately go to defending myself. I do not like this of myself. I want to be accepting of advice, even if it is hard to choke down. I want to grow and learn. I am trying to be mindful of my defensiveness and change. Work in progress. I find it interesting though that we can go through life not noticing behaviors we would not approve of, if we knew we were doing them. We must ask if it is mere chance or is there a Divine intervention at an appropriate time? A time we are the most ready to become aware of these behaviors and are in a mindset to work on them. Maybe we get to a place in our lives where we become mindful of these things.
I can be too prideful and I dislike that. I can be chatty and awkward. I turn into a monster once in a while and even growl! I can be needy and moody. I push my family too hard sometimes and for the wrong reasons. I could list more, but for now you get the jest of it. We all have our unsavory behaviors. Here is what I say, ACCEPT IT. Don’t fight who you are. You are allowed to act and feel anyway you wish. Does God want us to work on more Christ-like behaviors? Of course. But I believe we must first come to terms with them and why they are there. Genes, pain, repetitive reactions, modeled behavior, etc… Only then can we weed out the most harmful ones.
Becoming a better, more Christ-like person is a lifetime effort. Take things slow so they will really stick. Be mindful of your reactions, actions, and thoughts. Talk to yourself politely and with respect. Love yourself and all your unsavory behaviors as God does. This is when we can prune the dead branches and help our life tree -with all its turns and intersections- thrive and blossom.