What is Your Shape?


Hey loyal blog readers, thanks for stopping by. In continuing the theme of self-introspection, let us take some time to consider our S.H.A.P.E. Nope, I am not talking about the shape of our bodies. This SHAPE pertains to our character, our passions, our drive. In essence, what fuels us.

The S.H.A.P.E concept is derived from Pastor Rick Warren's series on finding one’s purpose in life. In it, he defines SHAPE as “Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. According to Pastor Rick, these five key components determine the way, we think, act, and feel.

The proceeding paragraphs delve into this matter. We should make it a habit of taking the time to consider our S.H.A.P.E. The reason being, it will help us in determining our career, life partner, and overall life choices. It is necessary at times, to take a step back and get to know the reasons behind our likes and dislikes. Too often we become comfortable with the notion, “That’s just who I am!”. But, have you ever given any thought to why you are the way you are? Generally, we know that genes, the environment, and even culture, helps to SHAPE our personalities. However, we tend not to acknowledge the effects of trauma in our lives, and how it also helps to S.H.A.P.E us.

Again, we all have some level of dysfunctionality – it is called being human. However, how we face our “demons” is a major deciding factor in our SHAPE.

Some of us (myself included) become the “way we are” because we are fearful. This fear tends to cripple our growth. Lady Gaga’s song, Born This Way, comes to mind, “I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way”; it is the musical version of how some of us cope with our inner turmoil.

Let us consider the four responses to trauma:

When faced with conflict, pain, or sadness, how do you react? I can confess, my knee-jerk trauma response used to be FIGHT. I would attack the person, show anger, and use sarcasm to insult. It took years of therapy for me to unlearn this response. The goal is to continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves. Do not take the easy way out, and continue the cycle of hurt by condoning bad behavior. In the end, we are all a work in progress.

In closing, let’s consider some protective factors:

a) Mindfulness – praying, meditating, calming activities. Silence is golden- turn off the T.V!

b) Journaling – a good way to hear your thoughts is by writing (it does not have to be every day).

c) Exercise- yes, I know, we all want to be couch potatoes! But no, movement helps your body to produce those happy hormones.

d) Limit media and social media intake – yes, turn off the phone and the T.V for an hour or so.

e) Spend quality time with family/loved ones- but please, not the toxic family members! Remember, our furry buddies are family too.

f) Being in nature – find a trail, park, and take in the greenery.

g) Stay socially connected – do not isolate yourself when feeling alone.

If you recognize a need to make adjustments in this area, employing the above strategies can help you to (Re)SH.A.P.E your present self.


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