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Let’s be honest. There are moments you don’t feel very spiritual. Moments you don’t feel very Jesus-like or loving toward your neighbor. This “neighbor” may be the person who cut you off on the highway, or maybe it’s the person who dropped something in the grocery store aisle but failed to pick it up and put it back on the shelf. Maybe it’s the person calling your cell phone, trying to sell you something and you wonder just how, exactly, they found your number. Maybe it’s the family member or friend who hurt your feelings. Maybe it’s your spouse or child who is getting on your last nerve.
All of us have something or someone that annoys and frustrates us to no end.
In these moments, our body tenses up as our mind races with biting judgments toward the guilty party. Maybe we flash a dirty look their way or, like James and John, the “Sons of Thunder,” we feel ready to call down fire and judgment from the heavens on the transgressor. (1)
These may be moments we feel disconnected from God as though God is far away, somewhere in outer space busy with other important matters. In the midst of our funk, we feel all alone in our pain and problems. To make matters worse, we may remember verses in the Bible that say how we should think, feel and behave, yet we don’t feel very loving, thankful, thoughtful or kind. We may be glad other people can’t read our minds because our thoughts would not be very pleasant.  
These are moments our brain’s relational circuits are offline.
If we take the appropriate steps to turn them back on, we will feel anchored and clearer. Sometimes we forget to take this step or we simply don’t feel like it. Regardless, putting on the relational oxygen mask when turbulence strikes will restore our peace and prepare us for relational interaction once again. It is no accident that every exercise during THRIVE Training has an “RC step” before we even begin the first step. (2) During THRIVE Training, we refer to the brain’s relational circuits as “Skill Zero” because this is the Master Switch that must be on in order to effectively learn and practice the 19 skills. Once our relational brain is awake and alert, we can then focus on another important skill that helps us stay our best self.
Skill 12 – Acting Like Yourself, is one of the essential brain skills that will help us both identify the kind of person we want to be, and be that person in good times and bad. With Skill 12 our brain is able to stay the same person no matter what is going on in and around us. We can bless those who curse, love those who hate us, and remain our relational self whether we are feeling afraid, angry, disgusted, sad, hopeless and ashamed. It is here we discover the kind of person God created us to be. With Skill 12, we don’t try to be a Christian, we simply reflect Christ because it feels natural to do so, much like blinking our eyes, or inhaling and exhaling. Skill 12 equips us to be living reflections of the Master here on earth.
Are you pleased with how well you stay your relational self throughout your day, and in negative emotions? Learn more about Skill 12 with my book, Transforming Fellowship, or join us this July to practice the 19 skills at THRIVE Training.
  1.  Mark 3:17, Luke 9
  2.  I credit Dr. Karl Lehman and Dr. Jim Wilder for this valuable addition.
Posted in Skill Thoughts

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