To be emotionally fit means to be unafraid of being yourself, warts and all, to experience any emotion without fearing it, suppressing it, chemically enhancing it or blaming someone else for it.
It’s the hardest work we ever do in our lifetime. To gain and sustain emotional fitness, we must commit to the habit of asking ourselves the hard questions, answering truthfully, then acting bravely instead of looking for someone else to fix us.
Self-respect is the by-product of emotional fitness and the ultimate currency in life. We can’t buy it, we must learn it.
At its elite level, emotional fitness means self-honesty in preference to vanity – in other words, humility, as our truth is rarely convenient nor packaged in a way that our ego is happy with.
So who am I to speak so emphatically about emotional fitness?
For the past 53 years, I’ve studied the subtle art of self-sabotage, addiction, post-traumatic stress, the emotional impact of sexual abuse, violence, suicide, divorce, self-harm, and emotional bankruptcy – not at any official university, but through first-hand life experience.
I have lived it.
I’m a recovering addict/alcoholic who’s been consistently clean and sober since October 12, 1995. I’ve been blessed with two amazing sons, now aged 25 and 27. My oldest is also in recovery, he’s been clean and sober for almost three years. Oh and yes, when it comes to marriages… third time, bloody wonderful after 10 years together, and still going strong!
I’m not formally educated, having left school at the age of 15. If I have any credentials to speak of, I can say that I’m a published author – I have written two books during my 18 years of recovery. My work in the field of emotional fitness has been recognised with an Australian of the Year Award, a Pride of Australia Medal, an Award of Distinction for Services to Humanity and the Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence.
So that’s me. Now how about you?
Only you have the answers to your own heart’s questions.
How brave and rigorously truthful are you prepared to be with yourself?
Why not kick off a new habit this year with a quick emotional fitness workout for your heart? If you feel ready, ask yourself these 10 questions and honour yourself with truthful answers.
- Are you still teachable, do you seek to learn?
- Do you spend and enjoy quality time alone?
- Do you feel a sense of cherished belonging in your relationships?
- Are you able to sit with your anger and sadness without blame or shame?
- Do you apologise when you need to?
- Are you happy with how you model adult life to younger generations?
- Are you happy about your current relationship with alcohol, drugs and cigarettes?
- Do you look with respect at your naked self in the mirror?
- Is the quality of sexual intimacy in your life fulfilling when you’re in a relationship?
- Are you grateful for your life’s blessings daily?
How many of these questions did you answer yes to?
Perhaps 50 per cent were no’s… maybe more, maybe less. I started my journey 18 years ago very emotionally unfit with ten “no” answers. Most days now I’m able to answer “yes” to all 10.
You, too, can improve your emotional fitness by repeating this questionnaire and making the necessary changes until you’re 100 per cent happy with your truth.
Throughout 2016 you may need some help with specific changes, so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, subscribe to my free daily word vitamins at http://www.cynthiamorton.com or find me on Facebook.