….the concurrent quests for self-discovery and selflessness and where these quests converge.
Happiness can be explored by the simultaneous embarkation of pure introspection and the quest to shed self-centeredness. There is a balance in the search for happiness; a line that so easily blurs. Happiness is borne of knowing one’s self, but also in service to others. Two seemingly opposite goals, pursued concurrently. It may seem to the casual observer that pure introspection is in and of itself a self-centered act. But look at the goal – know thyself. Introspection is not time set aside for tickling your fancy and self-flattery. Pure introspection comes from setting oneself in front of a mirror and pulling every aspect into a beam of scathing scrutiny. To magnify the good and bad with equal intensity.
All too often successes and strong suits are the main focus of attention when indulging in periods of introspection. However, pure introspection allows the ability to see yourself naked from every angle – emotional, mental, physical. Completely naked. Every flaw illuminated.
Initially this will be unnerving and disconcerting. But with this honesty and purity comes clarity. Stark, unapologetic – clarity. To be seen as you are – is a blessing, few people experience. The quest for happiness and contentedness is a foul and mind-clouding elixir, hell bent on preventing us from seeing the ugliness of some of our basest desires, thoughts and attributes.
This inability or unwillingness to acknowledge our faults and flaws is the greatest hindrance to growth.
Boiled down to basest components, human beings are social creatures who want to fit somewhere. Be accepted, be understood, loved and cherished. It is commonly thought that only when our best foot is forward, will we be accepted. Only when we pontificate on how holy and fantastic we, will we be taken seriously and accepted into the fold.
This is not the case. Despite the face people put on before leaving home, everyone is aware they are flawed. Look around you – the ones who put forth the heartiest laugh, flashiest smile, most self-involved stories – they are hiding something. Exaggerated attempts at appearing fine are dead giveaways that something is amiss. These folks have come to the impasse where they were confronted with a fault in their lives. Some sort of flaw was brought to their attention and instead of confronting it, exploring it and learning from it, they decided to mask over it, ignore it and move on. Following the latter course will allow this flaw to gnaw at happiness.
It is best to confront faults when they rear up and learn from them . A good technique for this is to use faults and flaws as teaching points when you come in contact or people come to you with an issue, an issue you might be familiar with. Most people don’t want to acknowledge their flaws, let alone share them with someone else. This is where the concurrent paths of self-discovery and selflessness converge!
I wanted to get this up on the blog. Please share your thoughts. This is a topic that is very important to me and I’m currently taking a class that is using a couple of different resources to teach about interpersonal communication and happiness has been a recurring topic.