It is a good thing to really examine who we are at least once a year. I want to focus on what I believe are the most important character elements I can examine and work on improving. In other words, soul searching.
Not that exercising, eating healthy, and other positive factors are not
important. They are. But we already know the obvious: we eat fast food
regularly, drink colas, or too much alcohol, smoke, or have other
behaviors that shorten our lives. And we know others can see these flaws
in us as well.
What is not often mentioned is looking inside to find flaws that are not obvious to ourselves, let alone others. Some unpleasant traits are selfishness, dishonesty, betrayal, even gossiping. The list goes on. There are at least seven deadly habits on the most well-known list and ten on another that go to soul level.
I wonder why there is not more emphasis on these challenges to a good life? Why don’t we see more advertising for AA – Let us help you stop drinking now! Maybe it is because these helpful organizations are not businesses, such as Weight Watchers, and they cannot afford to advertise.
What is not often mentioned is looking inside to find our flaws
that are not always obvious even to ourselves, let alone others.
There are at least seven deadly habits
on the most well-known list
and ten on another that go to soul level.
Fortunately, society is in favor of people in deep trouble due to alcohol, drugs, smoking and other issues, getting help. Unfortunately, government spends very little to encourage abstinence from these disastrous habits. Thankfully there are organizations that do.
The problems of our society are best solved, of course, by each of us looking in the mirror, seeing our outside clearly, searching our very souls to recognize what we do not want to see, and then doing something about it. Even just recognizing an opportunity for character improvement gets us half way home.
We can’t expect to improve everything at once, but, we can take on one thing at a time. Forgiveness might be a good place to begin. Being unforgiving is not just unpleasant, but hurtful to us more than it is to someone we might struggle to forgive. If we learn to forgive others, it will be easier to forgive ourselves, and that can lead to looking for our own shortcomings.
If we learn to forgive others,
it will be easier to forgive ourselves
and that can lead to looking
for our own shortcomings.
Forgiveness is my albatross: I thought I had this knocked. I can forgive the most egregious sins, but those that others plan without remorse in my “No good deed goes unpunished” category, I struggle to forgive. Since I know I am not perfect either, I have to solve this.
Good luck on finding your soul shortcomings. We know what they are when we examine what makes us feel bad just under the surface. At least, that was my clue. What will make me feel good is being totally forgiving without approving of the behavior. And then I can root out whatever comes next!
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.