(This post about introspection was originally composed on December 16, 2005, but I have edited it and brought it current as of July 5th, 2021)
Sometimes emotions can get the best of us. It can be difficult to know what triggers a particular feeling, and if we let our emotions run loose, they can even produce physical symptoms and conditions. It can be helpful to write things out and take time for personal introspection to manage these emotions. Taking inventory of what we are feeling in a certain situation and why can help us resolve the problem. I find that when I work through my feelings in this way, it helps me get to the root of the issue. Then I feel more empowered and in control of the outcome. This self-analysis can be very calming and may aid in bringing your thinking back into alignment.
Fear and anger are emotions that are closely linked in many people’s minds, but each possess its distinct difference. Fear is an instinctual response to perceived pain or an unrecognizable event, while anger is a natural reaction to threat or a feeling of being out of control. Writing as a tool for introspection can help to analyze our feelings and bring us back into balance.
I share the following very personal exercise in the hope that it might help you frame your own inner assessment.
Introspection & Internal Dialogue –
Why am I so angry inside? Was there a time in my life when I didn’t feel this way?
Yes. When I was a child.
Why wasn’t I angry then?
Because I had simple faith. I was trusting. I believed what I was told & that gave me a sense of freedom so that I could just play and explore my world.
When did the anger begin?
When I realized I was being lied to.
Why does being lied to make you angry?
Because I form the basis of my own existence upon my understanding of what I have been taught. If what I have been taught isn’t based in truth then my perception of reality is based on deception & crumbles under examination.
Why is it important that your basis of existence prove reliable under examination?
Because it gives me a sense of stability….a foundation to build upon.
What are you building?
Myself. I’m building my self.
What is your self made of and why are you building it?
The self is made up of knowledge & understanding acquired through experience. I’m building it in an effort to evolve as a spiritual being. I intuitively feel that knowledge & wisdom are life’s pinnacles.
To what end? Why seek after these intangible rewards?
In an effort to understand my existence. To unlock life’s mysteries and find my creator. To find out if there is something beyond this life.
What if there is nothing beyond this life, and there is no creator?
What if there is?
I look around me & the world speaks to my spirit & testifies to the existence of a Creator. A grand architect. A Designer. I feel like that is indisputable.
Ok. Then if there is a creator, why is it important that you understand & connect with that being?
It’s a profound yearning. A sense of identity, I guess. Like an adopted or abandoned child searching for their real parent.
So, why then is truth such an important component?
Because anything less wouldn’t get me to the goal. It would just be more deception.
How do you discern truth?
Truth makes sense. It holds up under examination.
What if it comes down to one person’s word against another’s? Which do you choose? What measure do you use to determine whether both are telling the truth, but from different perspectives? How do you decide if something is a truth, a half truth, or a flat out lie? How can you know?
I guess you have to allow for intuition here. The ‘vibe’ you get from people. And I guess you have to look at their character & decide who has a track record of integrity. And you have to look at the evidence or fruit produced in their own lives.
The one thing that does bring me joy and makes me feel a sense of satisfaction inside is helping people become happier, more functional beings. I know I can do that right now.
Practical Application –
The above introspection exercise is a framework I came up with to work through moments of frustration or confusion. I’ve discovered using this outline as a tool for self-analysis really does help me in gaining insight and to come to grips with the source of my problems.
For me, the biggest challenge in feeling fear, or anger, or depression is rooted in confusion. Or the feeling that I am no longer in control of my own life. So, my brain ends up in kind of a tailspin. I know, though, and trust, that I have the sense of self and intellect to reign-in my emotions. I am, after all, the master of my own destiny. And I will not allow my emotions to get the best of me.
No matter the circumstance, I can always retreat to the safety of introspection. I have the ability to regain balance, and ascertain why I feel the way I do, so that I can bring myself back to center.
In researching for this post I found this article about What Causes Fear very interesting.
So, What Causes Fear and Anger?
Lots of things. Many of us are feeling these emotions right now, following a year and a half of oppression and confusion when it comes to truth and lies. Sources of vital information we used to trust have proven unreliable. Many have lost loved ones, businesses, employment, connection to family, friends, and community. And I’m sure I’m not alone in struggling with the idea of re-integration. Getting back to some semblance of normal.
I wanted to update this post because I re-read it today and discovered that this message might be really necessary right now. I know lots of people are dealing with depression. Our national identity has been altered and challenged. But this experience is not unique to the United States of America. It seems to be a worldwide phenomenon.
Introspection – Bringing It Back To Center
So, I want to encourage you to try the exercise outlined above. Wait until you can experience a sense of quiet and inner-stillness. Really reach into your gut, and tap into that ‘Higher Self’ we all have access to. Dig deep. And figure YOU out. Be your own psychologist. You have access to that inner wisdom anytime you want to go there.
I hope it will help you. I know it makes a huge difference for me.
Sending you lots of Love, Light, and Blessings.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like this one where I talk about my experience Wearing A Mask For The First Time.