When was the last time you took a look inside yourself?
We aren’t taught to look inside ourselves, not really. If we’re lucky, we learn to do it as adults. If we don’t, we may be missing out on opportunities for insight that could make our lives more joyful, more purposeful and more peaceful.
We are, however, taught to put up walls, gates, fences to protect ourselves. Sometimes we’re protecting ourselves from the very insights that could change our lives for the better.
Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living” at his trial for heresy. Pundits have interpreted it a few different ways, but for me it has always meant that all of the answers we might seek lie within ourselves. Behind those security fences we’ve put up.
I’m not suggesting that we go through life unprotected, not at all. There’s plenty that we need protection from and if you read this site very often you know I’m a fan of setting limits. That includes limiting how vulnerable we choose to be in any given situation.
But overall, we must be willing to take down those fences and remove those obstacles that keep us from understanding ourselves and making any shifts, changes, moves that might bring more joy and happiness.
I know plenty of people who are afraid to look at themselves. That’s the way I once was. Sometimes you can recognize them by their response to any questions about themselves that begin “Why do you think….” Their response is usually “I don’t know.”
Other times they’re people who are envious of the happiness of others. Envy is a safe place to hide. Maybe they suffer from periodic depression. That, too, can be comfortable in its familiarity.
I know plenty of others who think they know themselves but have only opened their gate a little bit. Maybe they stay in motion all the time so they don’t have to face their truths. Maybe they make a million excuses to cover up the truth even as they say they know it. It’s not that the truth is so awful, it’s just that they’re afraid.
Often, they know the truth at some level, but are afraid to make changes in their lives, changes they know might be positive and supportive, but still fear.
As for me, well, I say “FLING THAT GATE OPEN!” — at least for yourself, so that you can have a clear view of any obstacles in your path.
And then? Mow that obstacle down and get on with happiness.
Because we’re meant to be happy. Yes we are. I believe that with all my heart.