I want to drag us down one of the rabbit holes my mind offers me. Sometimes these vortexes cause unnecessary anxiety and I tense up with the implosion. Yet, most of them are healthy for me. It’s almost like a consciousness exercise where I allow myself to fold and unfold into expansive thoughts, like the universe itself is doing.
Since I could remember, I questioned almost everything. Teachers were always annoyed by my hand popping up. People still get annoyed by me sharing my thoughts (and it still confuses me when the ones annoyed are the same ones suffocating you with false narratives of what they’d like from you and the world- ie “share your honest feelings with me”) The lack of self reflection here is, at the minimum, depressing. I’m lucky in the sense that I get to spend my days at home (*coughing* even though I’m usually forced to be there). This situation offers more time to reflect inside of myself. Maybe it’s my virgo tendencies, but I’m very nitpicky towards who I am. I want to be the best for those around me and when I can tell I’m not, I dig into it. Because of practicing this skill, I’ve been able to pick up on other people not knowing how to self reflect, even when they say they do.
It’s not just listening to one voice. Oftentimes people run into one of two voices when they enter into the void of tangible things. Sometimes there’s a voice saying “you’re the one who’s right here and let me tell you all the reasons why the other side is not” and other times there’s a speaker absolutely destroying you verbally. Those are often coming from the same source, ya ego. This is my perspective on this.
We are constantly surrounded by “norms” that think for us. We don’t even need to spend energy thinking about certain subjects because it’s already laid out for us. Partially good, like, don’t murder people. No brainer. I didn’t even need to think thoughts, I just knew murder = bad. We’ve made rules on too many things, though. Gay marriage, religion, gender, the list never stops. Thinking itself kind of stopped in a sense. When thoughts leave our capacity for immediate understanding or loses connection with our relationships and affections from it, the thinking has stopped more often than not. So, how on earth can we all be so good at self reflecting when most of our thinking stops past us? How could we reflect on a situation with any other perspective than the one we originally brought, if we aren’t used to thinking from outside ourselves? When the voice inside of your head is ready to lead the conversation and have you follow along, what is it you’re reflecting upon exactly?
I keep seeing people confusing self reflection for an egoic monologue. You could be one of the sweetest humans who has everyone in awe only because you sit down and listen to your portable verbal abuse that’s always playing everywhere you go. Is that not your ego beating you into submission to be a pleasant person all the time- because it doesn’t want anything less than fellow humans content with you? Or the devil’s advocate constantly shouting out reasons to make you “come out on top” of a conversation with others. A power hungry ego versus one obsessed with acceptance.
Alice In Wonderland is still my top favorite Disney movie. I felt like Alice as a kid. Constantly in my head wondering “what if this?” All of that thinking our cultural society has tried to stop. Either by things being “impossible” or simply “that’s not how it works ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” The movie let’s Alice fall into her mind freely. She confronts some of her own thoughts that don’t seem to make sense and, in a way, she gets to know herself better. Instead of becoming a one-sided recital, a dialogue opens up. When you are trying to self reflect, which is it? Are you communicating or purely listening to broken records?
It seems to me that a lot of us are terrified to allow that conversation to happen. Could it be because we’ve spent so much time listening to our ego and other humans who only listen to theirs as well? Meditation offers a lot of support here. When you can start observing these voices for what they are, they don’t hold as much weight. It’s like the puppeteer is exposed and you’re like “Okay, I can listen to this puppet or I can focus on the fact that satan is literally trying to insult me through this cutesy mode of communication and it’s fucking weird. Was I literally listening to him the entire time?” You start realizing that you don’t always just agree with the first voice that speaks up! If you don’t even agree with it, how can it be coming from you? If those voices weren’t even coming from you, how could you call that practice self reflection? Maybe we just can’t.
Alice fell down the rabbit hole and watched the imagination, she believed held a better world, come to life. She confronted the fact that it really isn’t better and she quite liked the life she was experiencing more than she even realized. A lot of our unknowns come to life when we open our mind up to see the world in ways we haven’t previously allowed it to be seen.
I think what I’m inching towards here is a moment of pause and confrontation. I’m not always aware of the voice’s origin inside of my mind, but I don’t allow anyone to just speak in there. It’s taken me years and therapy to get to a developed understanding of who’s actually talking. I can recognize my presence when I question the voice speaking. No matter which “side” it may seem to be on, I’m questioning it. So, if you’re one of those, like I was, thinking “I’m actually too hard on myself when I self reflect” understand that that isn’t what’s happening. No more performances. An actual conversation with perspectives and conscious awareness.
This won’t be perfected overnight. Meditation is a real tool too many of us skip over and ignore. It’s an active skill that needs to be practiced. The benefits are endless: spiritual, medical, emotional, mental, physical. Running through life without getting to know yourself is a demoralizing way to live our lives. Let’s quiet our minds, turn the light on to see who’s talking, question the speaker, and see how that affects our actions and words when we go to interact with the world again the next time.
And remember: this can lead you down a lonely road, but one worth taking. When you start to find yourself and the truths you hold inside, effortlessly you’ll be demanding that of your environment. Some people won’t be able to or want to keep up with you. We can find that understanding for others, while continuing to better ourselves and the world around us. We all have conscious choices to make. You may start to become an inspiration and positive influence for the humans affected by your presence here.
Take care of the planet and share love with the universe.
Peace and progress,