Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Looking back on our lives can show patterns in our choices. The times we wanted to speak up but didn’t. The times we decided to do something just once more. The times we accepted someone else’s valuation of us instead of appreciating ourselves.
Recoginizing these patterns in our decisions doesn’t mean that we should berate ourselves or wallow in regret. It means we can see the things we need to work on more clearly. If we don’t examine our lives, we may not see the patterns, and we may continue to make choices that are not in our own best interests.
What keeps us from examining our lives?
- We’re busy. We live in a culture that admires and encourages being busy. We’re expected to put in long hours at work, to take on family and community responsibilities in addition to work, and to take a Work Hard: Play Hard attitude toward our lives. Sometimes we can hardly take time to think about what we did this morning, let alone to examine our lives in a deep and thoughtful way.
- We’re distracted. Even when we’re not busy with our responsibilities, we can easily fill our time with TV, shopping, aimlessly surfing the web, or work that isn’t essential but makes us feel important. If we’re away from all other entertainment, we can text and play games to avoid having time to think abut our lives.
- We’re frightened. When we resist examining our lives, it might be because we don’t want to think about the bad decisions we’ve made. We don’t want to acknowledge them because it might make us feel unhappy. Maybe we’ve damaged ourselves or people we love in the choices we’ve made, and we’d rather say “Don’t look back” or “No regrets.”
Sometimes we need help doing the examination that can help us improve our lives. We need a block of time, an appointment that will make us stop our work or busy work or distracting play and focus on our lives. We may also need a listener, someone who can help us focus and identify the areas we want to examine.
We’re here to help you with that. Request an appointment.