February 6

Today's quotation:

Most true happiness comes from one's inner life, from the disposition of the mind and soul.  Admittedly, a good inner life is difficult to achieve, especially in these trying times.  It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.

William L. Shirer

Today's Meditation:

Reflection is a concept that seems to frighten a lot of people.  I don't know why--are we afraid of what we might find if we seriously consider our lives and the ways we live?  Or are we afraid of missing out on something that other people are doing while we're spending time alone, reflecting?  What we don't realize is what we're missing out on when we don't take the time to be alone and reflect, the growth and maturing that result from going inside and examining who we are, what we do, how we do it, and how we relate to the world and other people.

If we want to truly be at peace, and if we want to truly feel a sense of balance in our lives, then reflection is absolutely necessary.  It allows us to sort through things that have happened to us and the feelings that have resulted from those things, and it allows us to accept and celebrate good things in our lives while rejecting the things that aren't so pleasant.  When I spend time in reflection (running helps me a lot with this), I'm able to come to grips with some elements of my life that otherwise would still be gnawing at me to deal with them, and I'd have a constant feeling of having unfinished business that I need to deal with.

Sometimes we spend so much time on our outer lives that we don't allow ourselves to have time for the inner lives that are so important.  When we do make time to reflect, we're giving ourselves an opportunity to learn and to grow and to decide upon actions we can take that will truly be effective, and we also give ourselves the chance to consider the possible outcomes of those actions so that we're not surprised by things that occur later.

Don't neglect your inner life, no matter how intimidating the thought of reflection may be to you.  Take or make the time necessary to ponder what's going on in your life and in your mind, without having a phone nearby that can interrupt you.  As Maya says below, you can call it a healing time.  And that's truly what it is, as you'll find out for yourself.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the obstacles that keep us from reflecting regularly?  How might you overcome those obstacles?

Why do so few people seem to make the time necessary for reflection?

Can we reflect on our lives if we're constantly bombarded with images and sounds from television, computers, etc.?

For further thought:

What we really have to do is take a day and sit down and think.  The world is not going to end or fall apart.  Jobs won't be lost.  Kids will not run crazy in one day.  Lovers won't stop speaking to you.  Husbands and wives are not going to disappear.  Just take that one day and think.  Don't read.  Don't write.  No television, no radio, no distractions.  Sit down and think. . . . Go sit in a church, or in the park, or take a long walk and think.  Call it a healing day.

Maya Angelou

more thoughts and ideas on reflection



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