The Introspective Habit

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Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” C.G. Jung

“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.” Elizabeth Gilbert

“The most introspective of souls are often those that have been hurt the most.” Shannon L. Alder

How important it is to be more introspective before we say and do those simple things that wound others so deeply. I can’t count the number of times I feel like some of the things I am doing are so trivial and unimportant. I actually  think I am wasting my time by stopping to chat with another person for a few minutes. Now it is clearer to me that most if not all of those inconsequential happenings are some major life events.

I suppose this sounds trite and sort of ridiculous I guess.  I am trying to be introspective  because I realize the importance  of those trivial days filled with conversations and encounters. I do not have the time to think more about them with my busy schedule yet they hold more meaning and consequence than I can believe. I remember how awesome I feel when I speak to some of my neighbors who fill me with cheer with just their smiles.

It is easy to hurt another person with our simple exchange of talks or actions. Clearly it explains how relevant those words and actions actually are. I hear from numerous people about the rudeness of others whether it is the clerk at a store, a co-worker, friend or relative. The hurt is genuine. I am too stunned at first to offer a reply and by the time I think of something the opportunity escapes me. Of course the wound is carried with me for a long time and the frustration of not having  retaliated and defended myself lasts a long time.

Worrying about the many jobs and plans I have for each day leaves me little time to be introspective. I have to accomplish so much and I don’t have time to breathe never mind rethink what I am going to say or do. I can’t take the time to think before I speak. Who does that? It is more honest to speak your mind and state the facts I tell myself. If someone can’t take the honesty then isn’t it their  issue not my issue? Am I responsible for the world’s  feelings? Is it my fault if some people  are thin skinned? Shouldn’t they toughen up?

Actually the world has toughened up and allows the mental processes and physical processes to overtake any emotional concerns. I review my own encounters and wonder if we are going down the wrong path. Although it is important to get our work completed and make money to provide for the family, I believe it is more important to remember to take care of the emotional needs of children and adults.  By neglecting to do this we place more and more people into emotional states of emergency.

Now it seems like I am overreacting or sympathizing with the weaker members of society who must toughen up. I need more introspection on this for sure. If our choice is to wipe away empathy sympathy and compassion for others we  suffer the consequences. If one falls on the universal treadmill they will be stepped on walked over or tripped over. Many people step along without any offers of help. We can justify our actions because we have too many things to do.  should they have known better right? We do not take off the outer shell that surrounds us.

God help the kids who don’t fit in or conform to the norms of the society. They are ignored or tossed away. Honestly  we put little stock in the daily happenings of our world. Child abuse spousal abuse and drug abuse is on the rise. More people commit crimes of physical abuse.  There are so many disputes between people that  it gives rise to or egos. Every exchange we have with another person becomes an issue of winning or losing so we fight.

Our egos outmatch our hearts in every manner. As the ego gets bigger, the heart grows smaller.  If we are a bit introspective we discover that crushing another in a physical or verbal manner does not always make us the winner. We are full of anger and hate. It overflows and at any moment we attack  and it is not always justified.

There is perhaps more time spent on winning battles about who is right or wrong than spent on getting along and finding peace. If our child comes home from school and complains about a bullying issue we send them back to school in fight mode. Do we attempt to explain the right and wrong of the problem which takes more time? Introspection is required here unless we want the shorter route of time and then encourage our kids to fight back.

Now I am seeing why those simple little meaningless acts of care and concern are not so simple. They are holding the world in their hands. Whether or not the world is dropped depends on the words and exploits we exhibit. Doesn’t it appear to be important to use some introspection once in awhile or every day? If people reach the end of their rope when dealing with minor issues then why is it not plausible to see the world doing the same thing?

Becoming  more introspective enhances our intuitive knowledge by teaching us how to be more compassionate, empathetic and mindful of all people. The simple thoughtful conversations and manners that generate from that attitude bring more enlightenment to the world than all the plans of the greatest of people. Introspection, kindness and love take care of more problems without the need of experiencing guilt or the need to forgive. Introspection also leads to a slowing down of our expectations and an enhancement  of our patience.

“The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.” Marcel Proust

“If the whole universe can be found in our own body and mind, this is where we need to make our inquires. We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have not got in touch with them yet. The potential of finding the truth within requires faith in ourselves.” Ayya Khema

“Judgmental heart has lack of introspection.” Toba Beta

“God whispered, “You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn’t you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.” Shannon L. ALder

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