I am been away for a while, partly because I’ve been focused on other things, but mostly because secretly, I’ve been doing a series of self-examination. I remember reading in school, Hamlet by William Shakespeare and in that work was the famous line quoted by Polonius, “To thine own self be true.” Self-Examination is a wonderful thing as long as you can be completely honest with yourself as you look in the mirror.
If we would be completely honest, we know a lot of people who have never taken the time to take that a reflective look at themselves. There is something unnerving to many of us about self-examination. All too often, we can see the lives of others very well and have insight, strong opinions, and advice for them, but it is unnerving to think what we would see if we look at our own lives. So, in order to avoid this we keep ourselves so busy, that we allow ourselves to push on making the most of each day and never take the time to consider if we’ve accomplished anything of any value or significance. While “carpe diem” may be an inspirational mantra it also often times leads people to live the same day over and over because they have never examined the day that they seized. What did you accomplish? Whose life did you touch? Will I be in the same rut and routine again tomorrow?
The fact is, we only really move forward in life when we slow down, turn the lights on and look at what we are actually doing. The tragedy for many of us, is that we live unexamined lives, so we never know, let alone understand what keeps tripping us up. For many people there is a fear of knowing. If we know then we have to accept the good and the bad that we have done in life. But more than that knowing requires change! While it is easy to look at our greatest hits, the misses are not favorite show to watch. By not looking at our mistakes we create a darkness that allows us not to see things we don’t like, but we don’t get to learn from them either. Hiding in the dark, does not teach us how not to stumble, it only allows us to not know why we keep stumbling. It is wonderful to have people around you to tell you your faults and your shortcomings, but it is never really effective until we take the time to shine the light on ourselves.
So to thine own self be true, turn the light on! We have all done things that we are not so proud of. There are the things that we wish we had not done, and certainly wish we could forget. The past is over, so forgive yourself and move on. Only by shedding light on the past can we learn from the mistakes we have made and not make them again. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, there is something wrong with not knowing why you are making them over and over again. So today, I admonish you to turn on the light and examine yourself. Don’t be ashamed, be honest! Now learn from it, and don’t make the same mistakes again. Stop hiding in the dark, after all, when the light comes on you can finally see where you are going.
Shining the Light on Myself,
Father, I thank you today for the desire to examine myself. Thank you for every person that reads this blog today! I pray that we begin to move from the secret hiding places of our pain, and our past and begin to move forward. Let today be the beginning of a brand new start with new dreams, new goals, and new focus! In Jesus’ Name. Amen!