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What do we mean by introspection?
We live in a world that constantly pulls our attention outwardly. We are burdened with our problems. We long for an ideal. We run away from our fears. Our mind is always populated with ideologies regarding how things should be. Basically, we are always blaming someone or something for our lives. Even if we attain the culmination of what most people consider to be the ideal of life on Earth — money, healthy relationships, possessions, free time, zero stress — something still bothers us.
Out of the habit of looking for answers/solutions to our unease through the outer world, we forget what it means to live. And what does it mean to do so? Not just to experience life, but also to learn from it. As much as we can.
This learning happens through introspection.
Now, how do we introspect?
There is no need for how-to’s here actually. It would be like giving you a tutorial about how to walk. Your body knows how to walk. The same can be said about introspection — you know how to do it. Cut the noise from your life, and it happens naturally.
Generally, all you want to do is to reflect on your experiences. Process your feelings. Integrate what you go through.
Become aware of your thoughts and emotions. Becoming aware means being curious about them. Looking at them. Exploring their origins. Asking yourself if your way of thinking is the only way of thinking.
When you begin with this, you will come across many interesting aspects of yourself. You will see how you are a product of your experiences; how those experiences have created frictions in yourself in the form of thought and emotions. And how these thoughts and emotions govern your current life.
That’s where most people give up however. Why? Because coming across all these energies in the form of memories is often unpleasant. These unresolved issues are the reason why we are so restless and compulsive at the surface. They’re why we don’t want to look within in the first place.
Blaming others or events for our problems is way easier than owning our lives.
And because letting it all out brings discomfort, we become emotional in our introspection — which is the main obstacle to proper introspection.
To “look” with clarity, we must be as unbiased as possible. To see what is, we must be as neutral as possible.
The moment we engage emotionally with what we see in ourselves, we are caught in a trap.
I have kept the answer to the point. If you have additional questions, please ask them in the comments.
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