August 17

Purification:  Part II

Self examination

      It would be ludicrous to ask that you sit down and objectively take stock of you’re self, listing all your character defects, without some help and guidance.  It wouldn’t be fair to expect that of you because you are incapable of doing a rigorous and honest search on your own.  There are so many things that we as humans can’t see about our selves – the things that are buried under years and years of unconscious and addictive living.

      But if you had a guide – like a list of questions that you could ask yourself regarding your family and friends, and the painful experiences you remember from your youth and childhood – you would have a better chance of discovering what is eating away at you.

      When conducting a painful search of this nature, you need to be gentle with yourself.  Don’t forget to list all of your good qualities and strengths – the parts of you that are, actually, quite remarkable!  Knowing you are much better than pond scum will actually encourage and strengthen you to be brutally honest.

      There are basically three areas that need to be explored: 

  • Your resentments – about the past
  • Your fears – about the future
  • Your hurts – you’ve caused others

      Making a list of all the significant people in your life is a good place to start before taking a painful look at these emotional areas that lie hidden beneath layers of attachment and addiction.  Zeroing in on your relationship with these people gives you the focus you need to pin-point the problems.

      Listed below are some good questions that will help you explore your resentments, fears and hurts – the parts of you that are a result of your attachments and addictions. 

  1. Who are the individuals that I resent?  Why am I angry?

      Where am I at fault?  What are my mistakes?

2.   What am I afraid of?  Why am I fearful?

      Where am I at fault?  What are my mistakes?

3.   Who are the individuals that I have hurt?  In what way did I hurt them?

      Where am I at fault?  What are my mistakes?

      These questions could also address institutions, principles, places, and circumstances.  Shame can show up in our lives in a variety of ways, but the above questions will help you focus on most of them. 

      Write them down in a journal.  In order for you to deal with these intangibles, they need to be recorded clearly and concisely.  Writing them down makes them more concrete; and you are going to need to be clear about everything.  It’s hard to hit a moving target, particularly one that is seen through your rearview mirror.