Taking a look around.
The lights are dim; I sit in front of the computer screen with a cup of tea to go along with my sigh of relief. It’s been a long, hard week and this moment that I’m using to type these words must be the first free time I have to myself this whole week. I try to block out all the things that I still have to do and file them safely in the back of my mind… Problems, questions and doubts have been saved for later and I run through the week’s events, picking out the things I hadn’t had the time to think of:
There are times when life seems to be running at full speed and you feel you can’t keep up. Pressure builds up from every corner and you find yourself wishing that someone could clone you! At times like these, we invest our concentration on the most important areas of our lives and switch to automatic pilot on everything that is considered minor routine. This pressure is usually so intense that we are forced to evaluate our priorities. For someone who has more than a few important issues at hand, this can become a complicated process and to someone as myself this means sitting down, looking in the mirror and asking myself what it is that I consider most important.
At lunch a colleague of mine asked why it was that I was so quiet, she was worried that perhaps there was something bothering me. My answer was
“Shh… I’m listening to myself”
No one can answer to my needs and values better than I can. Only I can define the boundaries, goals and limits set for myself. Recently reading an excellent blog about “disequilibria” or being “unbalanced”; my opinion is that everyone needs to have doubts or uncertainties in order to have space for evolution. Nobody’s perfect but if you think you are you eliminate the possibility of evolving. It doesn’t mean you should feel that you’re not good enough; it just means you should be aware that you could always do better. The purpose of introspection is just that, to re-evaluate your priorities and see where you can improve. No one can help you come to these conclusions, you simply need to sit down and discover them for yourself.
The beauty of introspection is that while you’re taking the time to define the image in the mirror, you start to see others around you through clearer glass. When this happens, most people think more carefully about the people they wish to be associated with and give more value to the true friends around you. Past disappointments have often led me to this stage but at this point I’m not led to changes; just deeper awareness.
From the corner of my eye…
When people don’t notice and when they least expect it, I observe them. It’s amazing what you’ll learn from the people around you if you look closely. Even from a distance, you can pick up a lot from someone who doesn’t know you have your eye on them. For a while I’ve been watching someone who I can only describe as a scavenger. I call her a scavenger because she knows to feed off other people’s hard work. An expert at creating compromising situations, I can only conclude that she must have years of practise at manipulating others into fighting her battles and always coming out as an innocent victim. It shocks me that those closest to her are so unaware of the scheming that goes into her character. At the same time, I begin to understand why sometimes strangers give the best advice.
Ignorance is bliss.
Many have been the times this week that I felt like switching off the phone, closing my inbox or simply blocking my ears. The less I know, the happier I’d be. Gossip and criticism seem to flood from everywhere and there are days where you simply can’t hear another word. The more you know, the less you wish you knew. The world is full of opinions and stories searching for an ear to listen. Most of what you hear nowadays contributes little or nothing to your happiness and has more capacity of hurting you than helping you. With so much talking going on, world hunger and terrorism should be topics with solutions. Lately I find myself switching off from conversations where there’s nothing to learn from.
If advice was that good, it would be sold instead of given. Although I love comparing ideas and opinions with the people around me, at this phase the only person’s opinion that I’m interested in is my own. Call it self-definition, auto-discovery or inner analyses… I call time out and I’ll recommend it to anybody. I forgot how good company I am and wonder why I hadn’t spoken to myself sooner. I find that I already possess most of the answers I search for and looking around me… things seem a whole lot clearer.