Dear little one, I began to write. As I proceeded gliding the pen through the paper, my emotions took over. With tears in my eyes, I wrote a letter to my younger self. The process was raw and vulnerable. I think that was the most honest I had been with myself in a long time. I addressed things that had been too painful to allow to arise in me. Expressed my gratitude for her resilience and reminded her we were going to be okay.
Taking control of one’s life is not just about changing your routine and habits. That type of change is only surface level. If we want a fulfilling life, we must go beyond moving forward, adding habits, goals, working hard, and productivity hacks. We must turn our time and attention not outward but inward! The goal is for our lives to feel great, not just look great, because they are two very different things.
Which is why I would like to introduce you to a process that can help you go inward; dive deep to get to know yourself. Introspection.
What is introspection?
Introspection is the observation of our thoughts and emotions. It is a deep dive inward where we get the opportunity to see an objective view of how we process things.
We can do this by asking ourselves a series of questions that require us to dig deep. Remember, we are no longer doing things at a superficial level.
What’s in it for me?
Beyond understanding the why of your thoughts and actions, introspection can be the beginning of action toward the life you want. The following are six ways introspection can help you create a life you desire.
If you can’t conquer yourself, you can’t conquer anything else. If you stick with me, you will realize that to create a deep impact in the world when you have a strong foundation. Understanding how and why you do things will give you the insight to heal, to shift mindsets, and to do the work to discover the best version of yourself. In you exist so much potential. The problem is that many times subconsciously due to the traumas, or past pain you may begin to block that potential. You may begin to live in fear, scarcity, and limit yourselves when it comes to what you can achieve.
When you do allow things to come up and face them, you can then heal. You see, many would rather live with limitation than allow past pain to arise. Mainly because that feeling of reliving the pain is far too scary of an idea. When you don’t heal or even acknowledge there is something to heal you are subconsciously reliving it by the choices you make daily. Introspection is that opportunity to look at yourself and assess what needs healing.
Breaking unhealthy cycles and patters
Once you begin healing, you get to rewrite stories, break toxic cycles, and shift behavior patterns. You are able to look at things from a new perspective. This can only happen when you take the time to acknowledge, understand, adjust, and heal.
With stories re-written, patterns, and behaviors addressed, we can walk into healthy relationships. We can give our best, and the discernment to stay away from relationships that won’t serve us will be stronger.
Law of attraction
The law of attraction has gotten so much attention lately. This idea that we can attract anything to our lives by simply raising our vibration, by speaking, and thinking positively. What a lot of people don’t realize is that while all of that is great, it is only half of the equation. People focus on what they want that they forget to ask what they are ready to receive.
You can want a loving relationship till the end of time. You can say all the affirmations in the world, and think it too. However, if subconsciously you are holding on to the idea that you are unloveable guess what, you won’t. The opportunities may present themselves, but you will reject them.
Introspection allows you to get back to your true nature which is love. When you look at yourself raw and vulnerable, work on healing something beautiful begins to happen. You will begin to look at yourself as a whole and accept yourself. You see yourself not just as the parts you hate about yourself. Or the filtered version where you can’t do wrong. Instead, you see yourself as authentic, human, and complex as you are.
Things to consider when introspecting
Introspection is such a deep and personal process. It is something that must be performed with the knowledge that it is meant to peel back layers and get to know yourself. Not to criticize yourself. For that reason I want you to keep in mind the following five things when introspecting.
Not a walk at the park
Looking within and going deep will not be a walk in the park. It will take time and energy. If done well it will require you to face things and discover many more. You must remember to take your time with it. It is a process, not an activity.
You don’t have to walk alone
While deep work like shadow work or introspection is a personal process, it doesn’t have to be lonely. Some professionals can help you through it. Spiritual leaders and therapists are great to help you navigate such a deep process.
I created a blog about what to look for in a therapist if you are interested. This can help you find the right therapist for you. https://betteryouspace.com/2019/06/20/15-things-i-learned-from-bad-therapy-experiences/
This is not an exercise to self hate
Again, introspection is not meant to look at how many ways you suck. Or how many things you’ve been doing wrong. The objective is to observe, learn, and adjust. So you should take it as such! I know it’s hard when you bring up heavy things and go into a mentality of pain. Allow the pain to come up but remind yourself that this is to learn and adjust. That’s the purpose of it all.
Embrace the good
While many things may come up that are less than likable, you may also realize great things about yourself. Embrace those things you may have overlooked in the past. Any moment through this process that you feel overwhelmed, I want you to go back to the questions that you enjoyed answering. Remind yourself that while there may be heavy realities in this exercise, you have made the best of it. Forgive yourself for the things you didn’t know then.
This brings me to my next point, be compassionate with yourself. This process is not easy at times. Some things will be harder than others. Understanding that will help you be compassionate with yourself. Affirmation through all this may help serve as a reminder that you are doing your best. It will remind you to be loving and patient with yourself.
Here are right affirmations you can download to help you through this process.
While introspection is important, I don’t want you to forget to rest.This process will require so much mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical energy. Just like when you workout, rest days allow your muscles to recover. Rest through this process allows your soul to recover.
Rest allows you to stay optimistic about the process to dive. It will allow your mind, body, and soul to rest. It will give you the space to process things fully. It allows you to be and feel light. Take the time and recharge. The process will be here when you get back.
I have created 100 questions that you can download to help you through this process. These are questions I asked myself, and I believe they can help you.
Remember, this is not an activity but a process. Take your time, be kind to yourself and explore with the mentality of getting to know yourself on a deeper level.