The Art Of Introspection
I was once asked in an interview about what enabled me to be so transparent and in my vulnerability. I was forced to stop and think and I found myself answering very carefully, because I'm fully aware that it's not something a lot of people are prepared to be, or more importantly are aware of how to be.
I personally love being transparent. I would much rather be an up front and honest person both with myself and others, than be hiding behind a mask which defies my true sensibilities.
However I wasn't always this way. For many years I hid behind a defensive attacking young girl who was hurt and wounded. I fought, I argued and I was seen as unwaveringly tough. When people met me they saw a tough, determined, often angry woman. I was simply too afraid to let them see the little girl who needed to be felt at a much deeper level.
From there to here was a long and sometimes tough journey and it required me becoming very skilled at being introspective. I had always questioned myself as a child because I was always trying to find love and acceptance, even in my own family. I always wondered what I was doing wrong, or what I could do better to see if it would make a difference. As tough as that was for a child it served me well because years later I was already familiar with the journey that made me question everything about myself.
Here are 5 things that will help you master the art of introspection.
Acceptance is such a gift because it's the very first thing we need to address in almost every situation. I'm here in this place, right now. This is where I am at and this is what I have got. It's not about what's in the future but you probably got HERE from what is in the past. Sometimes that's been a painful and ugly journey but the only way out is to accept it for what it is. Your life, now.
We can't be introspective until we can master reflection. Reflection to me means being able to hold up a mirror and say “yes”, this is me. It can be hugely confronting because what it means is acceptance of where you are at in the right here and right now, and a willingness to really own it. It's something we need before we ask ourselves where we want to go.
We often don't go far enough or deep enough into our thoughts or emotions because sometimes it hurts and we just don't want to go that far. What I've found myself saying is don't stop where it hurts, you have to go to where it bleeds because where it bleeds is the root of your pain.
Many people loose the capacity to feel a deep level of emotion. It can be frightening, confronting and painful so it's understandable on a superficial level. However, ironically this is also what prevents us from healing.
Letting Go of Judgment
Judgment is the core of many problems that manifest in our lives. We fear being judged constantly and it holds us back, even from our own thoughts and our own ability to go to that deep introspective level. Judgment tells us a story that we aren't worthy of greatness and it grabs hold of us in a way that tells us not to go ‘there' in case we fail.
Compassion is a vital part of my life, and really must be for anyone who wants to achieve extraordinary things. When we have compassion for others, we really can't be holding onto judgment. These two things can not logically live alongside each other. Compassion is a part of forgiveness. It's gives us acceptance that our path, or even someone else's path may not have been ideal. Compassion tells us that it's OK that things happened that we thought were unfair or unkind. Don't worry if you don't understand compassion yet. It's a process to get to this point, but a highly learnable and entirely liberating one.
And what's the benefit of all this introspection?
We are all born whole, giving and loving. We are born knowing nothing other than pure love. When you are able to look deep into yourself, what you will see is a loving heart and a kind spirit.
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