The Way Within

Is all experience necessary and good? Even if it’s bad?

In the wake of so many terrible events in our lifetimes, both local and abroad, small and large, I ponder this. In my own experience I have learned things from my tribulations and come out stronger for it. Is this what awaits us? Coming out on the other side of these tragedies stronger and wiser?

Somehow I don’t think so, but I’m not sure why – I am usually not such a defeatist.

Is it possible that we are losing the ability to self-reflect on the impact and condition that these events create, and instead we just react? Impulsively react, over and over again, even if the situation is the same and we should have learned a lesson from it the first time?

I have found personally in my life that if I am not seeing a lesson, or finding the right conclusion or understanding, I will keep encountering this same obstacle until I have conquered it. I have a feeling, an intuition, that we will be struggling to conquer these societal tragic events for a long, long time unless we can find the necessary space and time to soul search and reflect on why these events happen. With our pervasive and increasing desire for instant gratification and sound bite information, I anticipate this to be difficult for us as a culture.

All great faiths, religions and spiritual aspirations that have ever existed emphasized some form or type of self-reflection as being integral to being closer to God or the spiritual forces of this world. Prayer, meditation, chants, ritual, tai-chi, yoga, song, daily study – all of these things are essentially the same: time to reflect, ponder and grow closer with the voices and aspirational flow within so that we may drown out the dictations and mindless distractions from without. Are we lost if we cannot see within? If we cannot make time to connect, pray, meditate?

Is this the way to the heart intelligence* we are so starved for and yearn for? The true place and path of healing and divine love? The only way out of this mess?

This topic of meditation has been popping up for me so often lately. I get the hint universe! I guess it’s time to put my thoughts into action and connect more deeply with the source force within.

*For more on my take of ‘Heart Intelligence’, go here.

6 thoughts on “The Way Within

  1. I really love how your site contributes some much needed comfort to the world:) I’m always searching for new ways to meditate. Recently, I discovered the nostalgic childhood activity of coloring very useful. Adult coloring books have become a revolutionary tool for trauma patients, in group therapy, and for people needing to work on their fine motor coordination. It seems like a silly notion but I’ve seen it really empower others to persevere in their lives through creativity by reconnecting with the kid inside, and it has inspired tranquility in me personally. I’d be honored to hear your feedback on some of my coloring book illustrations on my blog page if you’ve got the time to check it out:) If you think it would help bring some comfort to the world, please share my campaign on your site! No worries if you can’t:) I’m just always looking for ways to DE-stress the world:) I figure it makes it a better place for all of us to live in! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/681998790/c-real-killer-designs-a-supreme-coloring-experienc
    Press release link: https://mischafellez.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/470/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coloring – that is genius! Indeed, I have been finding it very calming and rewarding to color with my daughter. I will definitely check out your page and coloring book illustration 🙂 reconnecting with the inner pure nature of our kid inside is a great way to increase that connection and self-reflect / meditate – and without really even realizing it!
      Thank you for your kind words – much love and light to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’ve hit on one of the great struggles that has divided people throughout time. From what I’ve felt, observed, and read over the years, here are some thoughts.

    The people who seem to have the biggest spiritual breakthroughs are usually those who have faced great difficulties in life. They tend to see things from more angles afterwards, they’re more appreciative, and their life decisions are more informed. They all self-reflect. I used to optimistically imagine this to be a rule of thumb, but there are also many many people who get into great difficulties in their lives, and don’t learn from it. And we wonder why they don’t do this or that to solve the issue, or why they keep putting themselves in situations where it happens again and again.

    There are also people who haven’t been through really hard times. Some are empathetic, and generous, and also make informed life choices — they also self-reflect, but they do often still lack a general confidence, dedication, or timeliness in their flight path.

    Some possible findings:
    * It isn’t that difficulties teach you to self-reflect. There are people who self-reflect, and people who don’t — and when you put a self-reflector in a difficult situation, they have that much more to reflect on and grow even faster spiritually.
    * I wouldn’t say difficulties are a necessary evil in life, just that people who are able to will compensate and evolve from them. It’s human nature — when that nature has not been compromised.
    * People who can’t overcome or learn from difficulties in their lives aren’t necessarily non-self-reflectors. There are so many factors that can trap or stagnate the spirit, that can make it scary or uncomfortable to reflect, or create behavior patterns that are hard to break.
    * Unfortunately, we live in a culture here that does not really train self-reflection, and is jam-packed with the spirit-compromising factors mentioned above. And this causes a lot of tension and divide among us as neighbors, and among us as a nation. Those who reflect and have a more thorough understanding of the value and consequences of things can easily see the actions (and votes) of non-reflectors as short-sighted and self-serving. Those who don’t reflect usually won’t see a problem with an opinion they’re used to holding, and won’t reflect on the advice of the people around them. Etc., in perpetuity.
    * Non-reflectors cannot be forced to reflect. Positive or negative punishment and reinforcement may alter behavior for stints of time, but without reflection, the behavior won’t stick when the punishment/reinforcement stops. So, they must learn these skills on their own with a predisposition that isn’t conducive to it.
    * Religion can be a good tool for moderating non-reflectors – because for them it can act as a constant punishment/reinforcement to keep their behaviors in line (sadly, this works with destructive behaviors too!).
    * Religion can be a much more effective tool for reflectors, because it can change their spirit, not just their behaviors.
    * The type of spirituality, religion (or denomination) that becomes popular in a religiously “free” society can often be traced to who is in that society — reflectors or non-reflectors. Likewise, arguments among people of the same faith or divisions in the church often follow from the inherent differences between reflectors and non-reflectors, exactly as it does in politics.

    When it comes to heart intelligence, as you have written about before, I think all people have what they discovered or were given in their youth. But I think as adults, you’re not likely to improve on that (or uncover contradictions in what you have) without self-reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many great points jdp, I don’t know where to start! Thank you for your thoughts!

      In essence, I do think religion was created in a sense to encourage us to all be reflectors and to respect and heed the inner voice, although it may not be able to compete with the outer world; that the inner world is much more important. Religion also provides a form of community and safety that we are all subconsciously looking for, and somewhat takes the work out of the self-reflection (kind of defeating the purpose, in my opinion). Christianity encourages your own personal relationship with Jesus/God, but also tells you what that relationship should look like and feel like – not the most authentic or effective self-reflection tool, but can be effective for many. I often think about what would be the best way to encourage someone who is continually reacting, reacting, reacting to take some time to slow down and think without bringing religion into it / telling them to meditate… but that usually ends up with another distraction – in a sense, Netflix.

      Your statement that you cannot FORCE a non-reflector to reflect is the truth in the best sense. You cannot force anyone to do anything if you really want them to understand and to ‘get’ what is the point. They can generally get the concept that they should love everything, as many spiritual paths teach, but to force yourself to love everything through willpower just because something you read said so serves you nothing. It is paramount that you not will it, but discover it – feel it – in your own experience. Maybe you come across some kind of insight or teaching while going through the motions and pretending, but I wouldn’t anticipate this to be common or to be as effective as discovering it on your own.

      I find it interesting that you refer to reflectors vs. non-reflectors. Do you mean that we are born either one way or the other? Or am I misconstruing? I believe that both reside in all of us as dual natures, dueling banjos. If we let the non-reflector inside rule with the self, then we shut out the inner voice, and any chance of truth in this human experience, or a relationship with God/the spirit. I feel that we are all great reflectors – we must realize this, but I’m not sure of how. Our culture is indeed lousy at encouraging it/training it, and religion is full of untruths that you have to generally accept in order to enter that path.

      Journaling and creative writing / self-reflective writing is how I got to the spiritual point I am currently at, but only when I realized that I needed to write open-ended questions to myself about broader questions did I ever start feeling the strong urge to self-reflect.

      Like

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