It's here at last the final post of the year. It's been close at times but there was a post out every week. I wish they were all top notch, but when you write on a schedule inspiration is sometimes lacking. The upside is you write often enough that it keeps your mental gears greased so when ideas do strike they are easier to present. It also gets you to look at your life differently.
I had a blog for several years prior to my weekly posting ritual. I was lucky if I posted more than once a season. At that time it was mostly an update to let people know what I was doing in relation to the retreat center I was a part of with a friend of mine. After we parted ways under less than cordial circumstances I was adrift for a while. I renamed the blog and I made the commitment to write a post a week. Looking back it was probably the healthiest thing I could do. I got a lot of my emotions worked out in writing. I continue to do so. It helps me order my thoughts and get clear in my mind where I've been and where I'm heading. The structure that the blog provided was perfect and continues to serve me as a mirror for me to see my own inner workings. Of course, sometimes it is a rant fest, and that's alright too.
Reflection these days seems like a dying art. Selfies do not count. Reflection takes quiet time alone with few distractions or amusements. With our phones, computers, and televisions everywhere it can be hard to unplug. I've caught myself texting people when I have a spare moment. Filling the void of time with conversation that really could have waited. It's almost like we're afraid of having time completely to ourselves. We have become a society of sound bites and memes. I remember the time before cell phones and broadband. I remember great stretches of time alone. I did a lot more meditating in those days. To be fair I didn't have much else to do. I might have only had one or two friends and they lived beyond my means to get together with more than a few times a year. I was bored and sad, but I used the time to hone my metaphysical skills. These days I am never bored, but I have to make myself cut out time to just be alone. I find airplane mode on my phone helps.
So why is reflection so important? Without it we are blind to what drives us, why something gets on our last nerve. We find out not only what is going on in our heads, but often we can even put a good estimate together about what is going on in the skull cavities of others. We start to see the same driving factors in the people around us. We are not so different. We all wish to be safe, belong, and have a deeper meaning to our lives. What separates us often is the misunderstanding of those motivating factors. We incorrectly assume that people's behaviors are about us, when really they are all about them and the scars they carry. Reflection allows us to see them more clearly just as we see ourselves.
Back to you guys though. Do you take the time to sit quietly when there is little going on or do you grab your phone? Do you sit back and listen to the winds and rain, or do you scroll your day away on social media? Do you take the time to find the mirror of your mind and heart, or do you lose yourself in the glitz and glamour of entertainment? I'm not saying there isn't room for entertainment and frivolities, but there should be just as much room for reflection. How would your life change if you saw yourself more clearly? Would you find the mirror to be comforting or more like a funhouse mirror? What happens if you see beyond that reflection to the truth behind the masks of self we wear? Try it out and let me know about it in the new year.
Peace and Blessings,