“It is by going into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center. You find the jewel and it draws you off.” – Joseph Campbell
We must recognize the power within ourselves to seek, reflect and find. Take the time to seek who you are each and every day. Search for your faith, passions, values and what brings your life bliss. On this internal search you will enter a battlefield of your conflicting actions. Those conflictions are the thieves of true happiness.
A few months ago I allowed myself to enter this cave, I found the woman I hated. The woman who did things to please other people (mostly men). The woman who compares herself to every woman. The woman who worries instead of trusting in the lord. The woman who lives in the flesh instead of the spirit. The woman who is seen as average, complacent even. The woman who lost her drive to become the best she can be. The woman who settled. The woman who is just like her father, harsh, hateful, demeaning, completely ungrateful and selfish.
After reflecting on who I want to become (who I’ve always been at the center), I have realized that all the things I was hating myself for are just my shadow. Your shadow is basically your dark side, the evil within us. You never get rid of your shadow but to become a better you, you must accept your shadow(s). You can start to accept your shadow by reflection. Now that I understand who I truly am I am more aware of my presence. I take ownership of the person I want to present to the rest of the world. I claim and take control over my life by allowing my actions, thoughts and spirit to only be in love and gratitude.
Reflect on what consumes you, your time and distracts you from following what’s in your heart and soul. My distractions include fear, self-doubt, comparison, selfishness and self-acceptance. I tackle these distractions by reflecting daily.
Personally, I have found that only in my faith can I truly find and accept myself. Daily reflections (and prayer) allow for intimate conversations with yourself and your soul. To reflect simply look at your actions, what did you do right/wrong today, what improvements can you make, what did I bring the world today, what did I do for others today? I ask myself a series of questions each day that allow me to accept what I have done in my past or that day, forgive, let go and appreciate my progress. Only in accepting our imperfections and coming to terms with actions of our past can we move forward into a better place.
No matter your religion or beliefs you can overcome your fears, evil, negativity or the devil by reflecting, journaling and making yourself aware of the effects of your actions on your soul and being. Prayer, solitude, dance, art, poetry, literature and mediation can help deal with what you might find by looking within. These forms of reflection along with journaling will help you overcome the vicissitudes of the journey. You’ll come across pain, emptiness, fear and shame but, you will also find courage, wisdom, love and true happiness.
Reflecting is like hitting a brick wall; where your old patterns and assumptions no longer fit your life or make any sense. Instead you are filled with capacities and a deeper understanding of your soul. Take the time to reflect, seek and find yourself. Only you can control the life you live and who you choose to be in this world. Daily reflections will help you reclaim your soul.