Self-Reflection and Its Uses

As I mentioned in a past post, I like to daydream and wonder about the universe and all the crazy stuff that’s in it. This often leads to thinking about something very important: Me! I really enjoy a good session of introspection and self-reflecting, especially at the end of the day when I am getting ready for bed. I talk to myself in the mirror, asking myself how my day went and what I could have done better. Usually this casual dialogue with my inner self becomes very serious and soul-searching. I think about my likes and dislikes, what kind of personality I have, and whether I am doing my best to improve myself as a person. I make plans to better myself, some of which I actually go through with. At the end of a session, I always feel better about myself, more satisfied with who I am and what it actually means to be me.

This might sound really goofy and weird, but I am a firm believer that a good bout of self-reflection can work wonders on the soul. I personally use self-reflection as a way to decompress, especially if I have been dissatisfied with life lately. It helps me to address the reasons for the issue and not just the issue itself. Does that make any sense? I guess another way to put it is that you need to get to the root of a problem, especially if you find that the problem stems from you! Sometimes self-reflection can lead you to places in your soul that you don’t really want to examine closely, but facing those dark thoughts and shadowy recesses can lead to a better sense of self-worth and allows us to address issues within ourselves that we might have never realized were there.

Now, why is self-reflection important from a Gospel perspective? Well, if we aren’t aware of ourselves and our own strengths and weaknesses, there is no way that we will be able to align our will to God’s and strive to follow his commandments. We have to be aware of the reasons behind our actions, whether they are because of something within ourselves or because of an outward stimulus. We can then change ourselves, or hopefully our surroundings, to alter what our actions are.

The other day, I heard someone talking about how they were easily angered and that they “just couldn’t help it.” I have a strong belief that anyone can change and that someone’s personality can be changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. God, as our loving Heavenly Father, wants us to become better people. This can only take place through change and change can only occur in our soul if we allow the Atonement of Christ to work through us. My invitation for everybody today is to do a little soul-searching and find something you can work on to turn your heart towards God and allow yourself to be changed a little by the Atonement. Become a better person by striving to change some part of yourself today! Pray to have opportunities to change and God will provide them.

Given to Wonder

If asked what my favorite hobby was, I would say daydreaming. I love to think about far-off places and run through fantastic scenarios normally found in some kind of blockbuster film. It is a pretty great way to kill time when you are bored or to help you fall asleep quickly. Occasionally, this tendency to allow my mind wander leads to the biggest questions of life, such as “What is the point of life?” and “Did I leave the iron on?” Okay, not so much the second question (I am very good about unplugging the iron when I am done!), but questions like the first one have plagued mankind for centuries, especially today. Life is pretty insane when you think about it, especially when you consider that you are only one of billions of people who live on the Earth today. It is no surprise that there are many people who wander about life without a particular direction, changing their heading wherever the wind blows them. What do they daydream about?

I don’t know the answer to that question, not exactly, but I do know that having some kind of anchor in life really helps put stuff into perspective. My own personal anchor is the best one, in my opinion. I choose to anchor my life around the teachings of Jesus Christ and what the LDS church teaches, namely that we are here to improve ourselves and that every single trial we go through, every pain we feel, is merely educational. It is really, really hard to see this during that particular trial, but we can always (but may not choose to) see how some tribulation helped us and made us better. I think that may be where the saying, “hindsight is 20/20” came from.

My invitation today is to get a little introspective. Think for a couple minutes about the hardest trial you have ever gone through and figure out how that trial made you a better person. What did you learn? How did your perspective on life change? My goal is for everyone to say, “Wow that really sucked, but at least I learned something from it.”

If you are curious as to how this perspective helped me through some crazy stuff in my life, check out my profile on mormon.org. Click the word “profile” or the white box with an orange border in the corner of my page. My story is near the bottom of the page 🙂 I will probably make a post about what I learned from that experience in the future, but there is the story.