Self-Inspection Checklist (4)
Much is written and promoted in the area of meditation -- especially in association with gratitude, abundance, and attracting wellness and wealth.
Those things are all well and good. There is nothing wrong with any of it. In fact, this Happy Heart Writer practices all forms -- and more.
However, if we fall short in the department of active self-examination, we wind up lacking abundance in the real sense of the word.
Below are four simple checkpoints we all can implement as a self-inspection of sorts to accompany prayer / meditation.
They are as follows:
1). Discernment is key.
Yes, Dear Hearts, filtering through what is true and what is false -- about yourself, partner, co-workers, the world at large, is the place to begin. Discernment requires critical thinking -- mind you, it does not equate with over thinking! However, in order to wade through the muck for the purpose of arriving at the truth of the matter, we must take time -- time to sit in a quiet space, even in our own noisy heads -- to calmly walk ourselves through chain of events, responses, conversations, thoughts, and people. We can rationalize pretty much anything -- especially while on the go, running ninety to nothing. Stop. Find a sacred place (I prefer nature). B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Let go. Wait. Allow the fog to settle and clear. Discover the truth of the matter.
2). Own your own shortcomings / pitfalls.
Once we have implemented Discernment, certain things come to light. If we have a conscience at all, Dear Hearts, we begin to see where we fall short -- whether it's within a specific situation, single occurrence, or particular relationship(s). Once seen . . .OWN it. Face it. Realize where it came from (copied? habit? upbringing?). Then forgive. If it's an area that needs work, seek help, do research, figure out how to change and move forward. Know better, do better.
3). Recognize Responses to the Choices / Behaviors of Others
Similar to numbers one and two, additionally, number three has to do with others. Once the issues are owned, make certain added emotional responsibility for bad behaviors and poor choices of others are not absorbed and internalized. We own our own stuff -- but that's it.
Finally . . .after implementation of numbers one through three, begin to recognize patterns in your life. Chances are, there is one (maybe more). If anxiety, being short-tempered, defensiveness, offensiveness -- or any other negative feeling or behavior on the regular -- either you are living in a completely toxic environment or you are toxic on some level. Please don't misunderstand, Dear Hearts. We all have our moments. What we're saying is take stock of behaviors and choices as a pattern.
Often times, well-meaning clergy and mental health experts instruct us to forgive others -- not a bad practice, of course -- and other platitudes. However, what we sometimes truly need is to simply do the shadow work necessary to move on. Not gonna lie. It's hard work sometimes. But unless we practice self-examination on the regular -- with or without a professional -- we remain stuck.
Do all of the above, Dear Hearts. Regularly -- in your spiritual practice as well as mental and emotional processes,
“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