Embrace Yourself: Character

Do you truly like yourself or do you just tolerate yourself? Character is defined as: "the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual." The synonyms listed along with that definition are: personality, nature, disposition, temperament, temper, mentality, and makeup. The synonyms by themselves seem weak to me, but lumping them all together better equates to character. I believe our true character comes across to others when our lives are most challenging. Helen Keller once said: "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." When we respond to pain, suffering, and loss with integrity and grace, our character is enhanced. When we respond with anger and resentment, our character starves and begins to feed on negativity, which then becomes a part of our character. It's a vicious cycle that begins to affect all parts of our lives and of those around us. 
The fact is that challenges, both small and large, are going to arise every day. What challenges your character most? Parenting? Career? Money? Marriage? Faith? Weight loss? Addiction? Health? For many, it's often the cumbersome combination of many of these things. Having a strong character doesn't just happen, it takes years of learning to respond in better ways. Personality does help to shape our character, as demonstrated by those (few) people who always seem to rise above the hardships with a sparkling cheerfulness and renewed determination to move on. Honestly, I'm not one of those types but I like to think I have enough character to work on how I respond. Here are some daily affirmations that help me develop my character in positive ways:
  1. I have the power to change myself.
  2. I am in charge of my behavior and my reactions.
  3. I have the courage to do what is right.
  4. I have the integrity and strength to overcome temptations to negativity.
  5. I have the grace to forgive myself when I fall short of the character I wish to have.
  6. I only have to make it through today. Tomorrow is new day.
Dress: Carolyn by Karina Dresses
Read the other posts in the Embrace Yourself series HERE.

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