“The unexamined life is not worth living”.
An “examined life” refers to “examining your own life” honestly, curiously and constantly to make assessments and discoveries which then lead to important decisions and actions.
In some instances curiosity does kill the cat but not while you are examining yourself. It may sometimes be seriously uncomfortable to so deeply examine yourself but it will not kill you and it is worth it.
I want you to develop the habit of interrogating yourself on those deep seated issues and things affect you the way they do.
For example; I have a friend who likes to slap me in the face! A lot! but playfully. This infuriated me in ways that neither he nor I could understand. So one day I sat and I questioned myself, “You know he is only joking, so why do you react so angrily”?
It took me about two days to come up with the answer; however I constantly kept examining myself until suddenly while not pondering the issue my subconscious yielded my long awaited response. It’s because of your dad.
He, my dad, enjoyed striking me in the face and of course I had no choice but to bottle up my anger. This molded how I would respond to people wanting to hit/touch me in the face, nothing gets me angrier!
I shared this with my friend and he vowed to never play like that again, of course sometimes he forgets but my response is calmer.
I hate push-ups and I hate cleaning bathrooms; not because I’m a sissy or because I don’t like keeping things tidy, but I associate these with my childhood punishments. 20 push-ups for every time I got in trouble (I was a very weak and skinny boy). Cleaning the toilets and showers with my dad standing over me like a slave master with a belt in hand. I did not learn to do these things out of pleasure and so I subconsciously hate and almost refuse to do them.
Understanding my reactions facilitated the healing process; I became aware of what blocked me and so I could address the problems with ease. Now my friend doesn’t slap me as often and I still can’t do push ups but I can sometimes clean my toilet.
Self-discovery and self-examination should be ongoing because they are necessary for our own growth and development to improve our relationships. So don’t just stop at the first answer or feeling you get. Constantly dig!