If we tried to trace introspection back to the earliest documentation of man looking within himself, we might have to go beyond language, verbalization, perhaps even consciousness. When, where, how, and why did we learn to turn our attention inward and contemplate our existence in life? For what purpose did the evaluation of ego, identity, and self, serve? Regularly practicing introspection is highly recommended for a man on a mission to change his life. Philosophers, authors, poets, leaders, innovators, workers, and other men alike testify to the necessity of spending time in introspection. By doing so, a man learns about himself, his heart, his mind, and his movement through the world. Introspection is quiet time spent alone with the self, consciously examining the consciousness, contemplating one’s own thoughts, and looking for answers within, rather than outside of the self. Introspection can be useful, instructive, and constructive- until it is not. We can spend the rest of our lives looking inward and do nothing more. Our time in introspection should inspire our progress.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart,” Carl Jung once said, “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Internal awakening is part of the spiritual journey of recovery that men are challenged to face when they make the decision to get clean and sober. Daily, weekly, and month introspection keeps the spiritual revolution fresh and alive. Intermittent introspection is recommended because, as science-fiction author Philip K. Dick said, “The problem with introspection is that it has no end.”
To what end do we take our reflection and self-evaluation? Introspection should take us in the direction of our dreams and the possibilities of our potential. The Beatles famous song “Dear Prudence” has the legend of being written about the sister of a famous actress both of whom had joined the international super stars on a spiritual trip to India. Prudence had found herself lost in meditation, trapping herself in the bathroom and not wanting to leave the sanctity of internal space. John Lennon and friends created the song to coax her out, to “come out and play” and “look around”.
We live between two worlds, our internal world and our external world. Drug and alcohol addiction created a blurry continuum between the two, trapping us in one, then the other, without a compass of difference. Working toward a sustainable sobriety teaches us how to balance time between both, creating a cohesive harmony and using each to propel the other.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program in Portland, Oregon, offering men the journey of finding freedom from addiction. Creating a sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men revolutionize their life through total transformation of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (855) 969-5181