Lately self-reflection has made me realize many things about myself. Not all of which I can even put into words, but one thing in particular I realized is my tendency to self-police--not just my behavior, but even my thoughts. There is this Bible verse that I seriously internalized as a teenager: "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Taking captive every thought? Determining if it is good or bad? Check. You see, in spite of what one might think upon my crazy punky exterior, I'm highly conservative in my behavior. I was always The Good Girl. There were lines, and I stayed inside them, boundaries, and I stayed far within. What I believed for a long while was religious zeal was in actuality a serious self-discipline that I internalized early. Any "bad" thought, I captured and buried.
Which I've realized lately has stunted my freedom and expansion of thought. I couldn't be free and consider all possibilities, even for a moment! Safety first, toe the line, behave!!! It's been such a practiced internal response to "dangerous" thoughts that I still find it difficult to break, even though I'm aware of it now. But I know that not doing so leads to repression and bottling up everything inside me until it erupts. And that, in the end, leads to unkindness--both to myself and to others.