Personal growth and evolution really happens in only three areas of life: Money/career, Relationships and Health, and although each one of these offer significant challenges for different people, in my experience relationships all round typically present us with our steepest learning curves. The reason for this is simple: everyone wants to be right. No-one wants to be wrong. And this pattern can be perpetuated into the grave and beyond – unless we learn the art of introspection. Reality is that everyone has to get on with people in their lives – one way or the other. And unless you are a complete hermit and you live on an island, this training ground for the human being offers immense opportunities for personal growth.
So what is introspection? Let’s start by stating what it is not. It is not beating up on yourself. It is not self flagellation or moving deeper into the victim mode. It is not a search for justification. It is not blaming yourself or others, but rather an objective look at what had transpired between two (or more) people and then taking responsibility for your own reactions. A truly wonderful thing happens when we are able to be sober and factual. As you watch your mind it will gradually become calmer and calmer and as you do so, you will detect your own defects. No-one will have to point these out to you, but if they do – you will accept them and agree. You will be able to look at them and evaluate what precisely triggered your response. The very moment you remove the emotional component, the fog begins to clear. Whatever the resolution is that you come to after this, invariably will bring you peace. You can share your observations with others if you so choose, but it is not a requirement that your findings be accepted. They must do their own work. Socrates said the unexamined life is a life not worth living. That must be because without introspection, there can be no growth. Only a perpetuation of the same mistakes in an effort to be right.