Most of the time, we are so busy in the mundane things of our day to day lives that we do not get the time to pause and reflect on our lives. Sometimes, it seems as if we are going nowhere fast. Therefore, at times we really do need a break from our fast paced lives to take some time off just for ourselves. 2012 has come to an end and the beginning of the New Year would be a good time to reflect on the year gone by. Have you had the time to look back on how you spent the past year? I definitely did not have the time to reflect.
As a devout Christian, I go to Church every weekend and last Sunday, instead of giving the usual sermon, the priest handed out self reflection guides to everyone present. I found it very useful to help me reflect on how I spent the year, the experiences and changes I went through and it also gave me some idea on how I can make 2013 better. Therefore, I would like to share the self reflection guide here for people who may want to take the time to pause and reflect:
Settle Down in the Quiet
It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being, we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are quiet expressions of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition.
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
Quiet Reflection (Adapted from Anthony de Mello’s “A Testament”)
- The things I have loved this year (things I have tasted, looked at, smelled, heard, touched) :
- These experiences I have cherished:
- These ideas brought me liberation:
- These beliefs I have outgrown:
- These convictions I have lived by:
- These are the stuff I have lived for:
- These are the insights I have gained in the school of life:
- These risks I took, these dangers I have courted:
- These sufferings have seasoned me:
- These lessons I have learned:
- These influences (persons, books, occupations, events) impacted my life:
- These scripture texts lit my path:
- These stuff I regret or could have been better:
- These are my achievements:
- These are my unfulfilled desires, my hopes:
Well, I hope this guide will help give you some insight into how you spent the past year. I hope 2013 will be a joyful and prosperous year for everyone. So here’s wishing everyone love, joy, peace and hope not only in the coming year but in all the years to come. I finally want to conclude with this New Year’s poem:
New Year’s Toast
Here’s to the New Year…
May it bring more joy and success
And less grief and regret.
To our dreams…
May we never stop believing in them
And taking the actions that will make them a reality.
To our friends, loved ones, associates (or colleagues)…
May we take the time to let them know
How much it means to us
To have them in our lives.
Let us encourage more and criticize less,
Give more and need less.
And whenever we can,
Let us create harmony and peace.
To new beginnings…
Let us start fresh, right now,
To make this the very best year ever.
A very Happy New Year to all of us!
By Joanna Fuchs