On the spiritual path I walk, this is the time of year that emphasizes introspection. I know I may have written something similar in previous years, but 2020 has been a year like no other, in recent history. We have been faced with circumstances that many of us have never had to face before. One of those circumstances is extended quarantine. That causes us to experience other situations we may have never faced before such as the limitation of our comings and goings. We have literally been forced off our usual hamster wheel life and thrown into isolation from our “normal” circumstances.
For Some this means time away from co-workers, friends, and family members that we don’t live with. That also means lots of time with immediate family members, or, for some, roommates that we normally don’t get to spend a lot of time with. This can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing, depending on your personality. While I realize that there are those who have “essential” jobs that have caused little difference in their lives – other than adjusting to life with Covid-19 p there are still those who are either working from home or not working at all. There are also those who are use to getting out and enjoying Life, who now find that many of the things they enjoyed doing are closed down. Even I, who am retired and don’t go out often even pre-virus, find that the few things I did enjoy doing – going out to eat, going to flea markets and garage sales – have either completely disappeared or are severely limited. That can leave a person with a lot of time on their hands and find them in circumstances different that they’re used to being in. It leaves a lot of time for thought.
Reflection may be a better word to use when describing what these new and different circumstances have brought to us. That’s truly what introspection is about. Reflecting on how ones outer life and inner life compare. Reflecting on the mask most of us wear when out in public compared to the person who resides within us that few people are trustworthy enough to see. For the majority of us, the person inside and the person we allow the outside world to see are two different people. Why is that?
Shall I dare say it, just one more time? Programming. Somewhere in the history of humankind, children began to be taught to repress who they truly were/are and become who and what would be approved of by the external world. How sad.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in good manner, respect, and courtesy. The thing is, I also believe in the individuality, uniqueness, talents and abilities of each person. I don’t believe any of that should be repressed for the sake of the approval of another. I also don’t believe we should remain silent or fear to act and express ourselves our of dread that someone might disapprove of us. If your true intent is not to harm anyone, they you should be you, whether anyone else approves or not.
This year, more than any other year in quite a while, we are being presented with the opportunity to view the lives we’ve been living, the masks we’ve been wearing, and ask ourselves if this is the life that truly is who we are and does it make us happy? Some may find that their new circumstances make them happier than they’ve been in a while. Others will find that they really want and need their “old” lives back to be happy. Still others may discover that neither holds the key to their happiness and who they really are. That’s what introspection is about – finding out who we truly are and what makes us smile internally.
From my perspective, this virus, as deadly as it is, is something that was supposed to happen as part of the reawakening of humankind. We are going through a change that will soon offer us new perspective of life on Planet Earth from both a mundane and spiritual standpoint. The choice will always be ours whether we choose to go with the new or stay with the old. The first step begins with each of us discovering who we really are underneath all the programming.
Introspection helps us to look under some psychological and emotional “rocks”, open some closed doors, and find the courage to go into some darkened, abandoned rooms in our minds to find what we may have forgotten existed there, long before fear of disapproval caused us to cover up, buy, or abandon them. It can be very enlightening.
A new perspective to take is, that whatever is going on in your life right now, is it happening to offer you a chance for change? Change can be scary. It means leaving the comfort of what is well known to us (even if we’re not happy there) and do something different…something unknown that may feel uncomfortable and scary at first. Ultimately, will change lead to happiness? Only you can say and that may take some introspection and being honest with yourself about who you really are and what really makes you happy.
Know that this time, created by not only the dark of the year, but the quarantine because of a virus, is the perfect time to take the time to do some introspection. It might lead to revelation. It might lead to change. Either way. It may allow you to understand who you really, truly are and, in this season of giving that we’re entering, that’s a gift that everyone should look forward to receiving from themselves.
Wishing you a most revealing time of introspection!