“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Happy Easter, everyone!
I realize I have a lot of catching up to do as due to various technical glitches and a broken ankle, I was not able to put up posts all this week. As far as my understanding, however, all the glitches have been rectified so hopefully, there should no more issues.
I had started talking about introspection in my last post.
Firstly, what is introspection? The textbook definition is to examine one’s own mental and emotional process. In other words, to see what makes us tick.
To me personally, that’s a part of it. But if my mind were to dig deeper, it’s not just examining our inner selves. It’s also about dividing up every emotion into multiple fragments till we know the roots of every action or endeavor that makes us feel good or bad.
For example, if a loved one dies, we naturally feel bad. We cry and we grieve. If someone were to ask us why we’re grieving, the stock answer would be that we loved the person who’s gone very much and miss their presence in our lives.
But how often do we talk about what specifically we miss about them? When my father passed away many years ago, it wasn’t just the fact that I miss him because he’s my father. Specifically, I missed his humor. I missed his unselfish personality to give on to others with eyes closed.
Being aware of all that, I can focus one thing at a time to help me feel better. I miss my dad’s humor so I’ll watch old home movies of his. I miss his giving nature so I’ll remember all the things he gifted me over the years. The more specific I get, the more control I have over controlling the emotion. What I miss can now be pleasant memories to fondly reminisce than to cry over.
Let’s take a similar approach with something relevant today: Easter. Yes, we celebrate the holiday to acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus. But on every Easter you’ve observed, have you ever thought about what specifically and emotionally connects you to the holiday apart from religious reasons? Have you ever thought to yourself that Jesus was resurrected on this day so maybe it’s time I take that as a sign to resurrect optimistic feelings in my mind. Maybe I should take the auspiciousness of this day and apply it to my own life?
That, in very broad terms, is introspection to me.
And it works the same way with negativity. I’ve tried to apply the same process to things that have been bothering me for a few months now. Mentally and emotionally, I’ve been a wreck despite partaking in several positive endeavors.
I’ve been crying and having depression seizures for at least a month and a half now. I’ve also been suffering with nightmares and have been waking up sweating in the middle of the night. And worse yet, I couldn’t figure out why. And after talking to a friend online and reading some material they sent me, I started to introspect.
Before, I would plead with God and the universe to at least help me find a path to answers if not the answers themselves. And that path came through introspection. One by one, I started chipping away at everything that’s been bothering me. I won’t get into specifics because some of it is highly personal to me.
But this would be my basic process: I pick one thing that’s bothering me. One of those was rejection emails from publishers regarding my writing. I would re-read my piece and their submission guidelines over and over again till I could see where I went wrong that my piece was rejected. Most of the time, it would be the general direction of my piece clashing with the publication’s direction.
But upon reviewing that, I would dig deeper and see where exactly did I miss the theme of the publication? Was it my overall writing? Was it one stanza of a poem or one single paragraph? Or maybe more?
When I found out the minute reason for the rejection (instead of imbibing the standard response of “We love your writing but it’s not a good fit for us), I not only felt better but that reason inspired to me correct those mistakes for the next round of submissions.
Shortly after I studied this process for four consecutive rejections, I got my first acceptance email of the year.
As human beings, we know what’s bothering us and/or cheer us up in broad terms. But breaking down every emotion and it’s cause minutely increases awareness. Awareness, in turn, leads to mindfulness which helps us gain overall control.
Perhaps I’m oversimplifying the process when writing about it. This kind of introspection is certainly not easy to do especially if you’re not use to it. It took me the better part of over a month to fully understand how to go about it. And I’ll be the first one to admit that writing about it is certainly easier than actually doing it.
Still, it’s not impossible. Like anything else, it’s all about baby steps. In the case of introspection, it just involves a more distinct and minute observation of each step along the way.
How minutely do you tend to examine your emotions? Do you know what makes you tick in specific terms? Have you ever thought about delving deep into introspection? Why or why not? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.