There are times in life when we are naturally drawn towards deep self reflection and self analysis. The ending of a career, the breakup of a marriage, the loss of a loved one – or our own impending death – are times when we may suddenly find ourselves thrust before a stark and painfully brutal mirror.
What happened to make this relationship crash? Why was I fired, really? What is my responsibility in this situation? How could I have behaved differently – and might there have been a different outcome if I had paid attention sooner?
What has my life meant, and have I spent my time on this earth well?
These are the scorching questions we rarely have the full courage to ask ourselves – not to mention answer truthfully, and with full ownership. But what if we didn’t wait for some outer drama to thrust us inward? What if we didn’t wait until our life was over to engage with our true inner self?
Real self analysis is the willingness to bear witness to ourselves in the fullness of who we are; the willingness to focus our awareness on our past and to be honest before God about the truth of what happened. No side-stepping, no skirting around those uncomfortable places that make us cringe and want to slide on by without really looking at the ten car pile-up that was our last mistake.
For what purpose, you might rightly ask. Why dredge up the discomforts of the past when life is happening right now, in the present moment?
To understand ourselves and others more fully, so that we can make better decisions and implement positive change going forward in our lives.
Self analysis may be painful, especially in the beginning, and especially if we haven’t done much of it in our lives. It may be like entering a house that hasn’t been cleaned in thirty or forty or fifty years. It’s a big job.
And yet the opportunity in this kind of self analysis is tremendous! When we witness where we went wrong, and we identify what we did/what we said/how we behaved to bring about the consequences we were dealt, we begin to grasp what we need to change in ourselves to forge a different and more successful outcome in our lives. We begin to understand ourselves better, and we begin to understand life better.
Self analysis reveals to us where our true strengths are, and also where our weaknesses reside. It reveals who in our environment is a true well-wisher and who might appear to be a friend, but is actually harmful. From this, we cease to struggle and fight with those around us because we know who we are dealing with and our expectations adjust accordingly. Life becomes smoother and more efficient when we can clearly differentiate and identify not only those in our outer world, but also the various aspects and character traits in our inner world. Which habits, beliefs, thinking, and behaving are helpful and which are harmful? Which are useful and which are not?
To begin this kind of inner investigation – especially if we are over fifty – takes courage. The willingness to admit to ourselves that maybe we have been making the same mistake for over thirty years (or more) takes some grounded strength and real courage. Further, we need the flexibility to let go of those mistakes. To let the entire architecture of old and rotten buildings fall so that new foundations can be laid. We need understanding and compassion for those times our inner world gets turned upside down, and we begin to discover that we are not who we thought we were. That in small and large ways, we are not at all who we imagined and deluded ourselves into believing.
And yet it is precisely this willingness to investigate, to turn the light on brighter and turn it inward, that can yield such profoundly positive results, especially when one is being supported by Life Force Energy.
Begin by lying quietly on your bed at night, in the silence and stillness and the dark. Bring your blankets close and close your eyes. Spend about thirty minutes, and start by going back in your mind to yourself at the age of twenty. Who were you back then? What choices did you make that led you to where you are today? Investigate each major turning point in your life. Who was there with you? Who were your teachers and guides? What impact did they have on your life? How did you get to where you are right now?
Each night before sleep, enter the past again. If you find yourself blaming others or reciting all the reasons that you needed to lie or manipulate… or all the excuses for why you failed… Stop there.
This is a golden opportunity to dive deeper. It is this slippery slope that we have been avoiding that has caused us so much trouble, so much strife. Do we have the courage to go deeper? To see what is really there? Can we let go of who we think we are, and see who we really are, even when the news is bad?
As mentioned earlier, this can be a painful thing, and you may not want to admit some things to yourself, but consider this: The Divine already knows. Our own spirit already knows. We cannot hide from Truth itself, regardless of what we would wish.
Many people put this kind of self analysis off, or don’t even attempt it because it can bring up sadness, grief, regret, and shame. Interestingly, it is doing this kind of deep self analysis which can actually lead us toward a future in which we don’t suffer regret. Think of it this way: when we refuse to see ourselves clearly in the mirror of life, we are asking for Life to teach us the same lessons over and over again, to bring the same painful circumstances back around for us to reconsider and try again. What does this bring but more regret? More shame? More grief and sadness heaping up over a lifetime… More pointed still, when we choose to look away from the truth about ourselves, not only are we choosing to live in delusion, we are literally weakening our connection to our Source, to nature, and to the very Life Force which sustains us.
Is it not better to know the truth sooner rather than later, so one can begin to implement change?
Over time, we will naturally begin to go through our experiences with a finer and finer-toothed comb. Seemingly simple interactions, the evaluation of a look or gesture, the unspoken words you assumed meant “this.” All of it becomes grist for the mill of our awareness, our focus, our inner witness.
There are very tangible and powerful results that come from knowing ourselves better. We become more confidant, because we know what our useful character traits are. Our perception begins to ease out of the gray zones of uncertainty into clearly delineated black and white. In a word, we become clear. More than that, we naturally begin to harness more Life Force Energy when we align with Truth. Even when it is uncomfortable Truth. Why? Because Life Force and Truth are synonymous.
It’s such a paradox, isn’t it… that what may appear on the surface to be something uncomfortable at the least, and dreaded at most, can bring us such rich benefits and so much positive transformation.
There is no need to wait for some dramatic outer turmoil to direct us inward. We can begin right now, today, to clean our inner house, to reflect and then implement change. The resulting purification may very well change the course of our life.