We’re nearing the end of the year as we head into Advent and the Christmas Holidays. And of course, there are other religious holidays celebrating as well. But as we near the year’s end, we tend to look back over what we have accomplished or not. While looking back, we do so with a purpose of deciding what direction we will take next year. Do we keep doing things in the status quo? Do we readjust our life goals? Were the goals we set last year unrealistic? Or were there circumstances that occurred that prevented us from being satisfied with where we are today? I want to look at the concept of soul searching tonight. It isn’t a new concept. It has existed since man was placed on this earth. The term may be newer, catchier. Who initiates the soul search may differ with sometimes it coming from within ourselves and other times it is forced upon us by situations we find ourselves faced with lending itself to an external motivation to search.
What Is Soul Searching?
The obvious definition would be “searching the soul.” But searching for what? And why?
A penetrating examination of one’s motives, convictions, and attitudes.
Why Do Soul Searching?
The Huffington Post states that there is a difference between your soul and your ego. Your ego is the social mask you wear in public, around others, whereas your soul is who you really are when you are alone with yourself. It is who you are deep down below the labels and/or titles others give to us. The soul is from the divine and it is eternal. When the external “you” becomes more aligned with the internal “you” then life is more natural and with less struggle. It is empowering and freeing as you have a feeling of inner peace.
The problem is that we are not taught at a young age how to line up our internal self (soul) with our public self (ego). So many of us spend years being controlled by anxiety, worries, depression, and insecurities. Many go into therapy or c ounseling for the symptoms of depression or anxiety and begin to learn the difference then. Others are lucky enough to have a close friend or mentor who leads them to understand the difference. Still, others discover the difference by reading either self-help books or searching the internet. And lastly, some discover the difference through a religious experience.
How Do You Find the Real You?
In finding the “real” you, there are at least three ways that I know of that can lead you in the direction of the real you. Journaling daily can lead you to an understanding of who you are and what is important to you, but the drawback is that journaling takes time…not each individual entry but time inlength of time to accumulate enough journal entries that show a pattern. Another way to find out who the real you is can happen if you go into therapy. Again, this is painstaking work and takes both time and money or at least goo health insurance. Another way to find out about yourself and one I have found to be one of the best a good way to do this is to ask yourself some questions about yourself. Try not to censor your answers because nobody will be reading the answers but you. Be as honest as you can and if you get stuck on one question, go on to the next. Return to the one you had difficulty with last.
Here is a list of questions that you can ask yourself. You can do an internet search and undoubtedly come up with anywhere between 5-50 questions to ask but I am a believer in smaller is better. That way you get right to the core of the question of who you are and what makes you tick. You will need a notebook, journal, or separate paper to answer these questions.
So this is the list of 5 questions that I have developed over time. reading, and counseling.
1. What is a lesson in your life that you wish you would have learned earlier than you did?
2. What is the last thing that you did which was the right thing to do but was also the hardest to do?
3. What is your greatest personal blessing but in retrospect you originally thought was a curse?
4. How do you think about your Country? the World? God? and how do these influence you”
5. What is one thing about you that makes you unique?