The ability to review one’s own life is greatly emphasized in Ren Xue. One of the goals of self-reviewing is to identify what is in the way of our growth so we can work on it.
Reviewing our life is a time when we become intimate with our self and totally honest and open with our self. Oftentimes total honesty is not easy because we employ all kinds of strategies to avoid and hide from our true feelings, thoughts, intentions or desires, or simply reality, so we can just get on with life. We humans are true masters in the art of escape! We are so good at this, that we are even hidden from the fact that we are hiding! We aren’t even aware of this game at play.
This way of operating has its root in human nature – the instinct to “seek simplicity, avoid complexity; seek interest, avoid harm.” An instinct rooted in human nature serves to meet basic needs for survival. It also carries an enormous amount of driving force. This explains why, when we feel threatened or face challenges, we are ever so ready to find a quick and easy way out. It is much easier to divert our attention to something nice and pleasant than to deal with the root of the fear we feel. Likewise, it is much easier to justify our anger by blaming the trigger than to work on the old wounds from within.
There is another aspect to this root. The needs on the level of human nature are not limited to those related to survival in the physical sense; they also include the needs for Jingshen to ‘survive’ (Jingshen: the totality of the heart, consciousness and Shen). This includes the need to find one’s place as a valuable member in society, and the need to create meaning, prove our worth and fulfill the purpose of life. When we see our ‘faults’ and weaknesses, we can easily conclude that we are not good or worthy enough. This self-disapproval can negate our worth or even make us question our right to exist. The pain and suffering resulting from this way of viewing ourselves can be unbearable. This is why we do all we can to avoid facing our ‘faults’ and weaknesses.
Reviewing our life is to look back and identify what we have avoided and hidden from our-self. We can review a particular life event or experience. We can also review a particular period of time. We examine our thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions, and all the desires and needs that drive them. We also identify the patterns that mold them into what they are.
Does reviewing our self have to be a scary and self-disparaging experience? Not at all. The experience of this process is determined by how you see it and want it to be. For example, you can take it as an exploration, an adventure. We humans love exploring nature. We do it with enthusiasm and curiosity, and we get excited about new discoveries. We feel strong fulfillment and connection when we learn more about it. Your own life is also nature. Why not explore your own life in the same way? When you shed light on what you have been avoiding and hiding from, you discover what you didn’t know before and get to see more truth about yourself. When what is hidden in the dark corner is exposed and becomes visible, you can then invite it to play a positive role in your life.
I encourage you to review your past year and identify something you have been reluctant to face, and then work on it. When you have made reviewing yourself this way a habit, you will be able to look straight at your thoughts and feelings and things about yourself exactly as they are. There will be less and less suppression, shunning, pretending or disguising. You will also find that your perceived self-worth is not measured by how ‘perfect’ you appear to be; rather, it is determined by how honest and open you are with yourself and how well you are able to accept yourself with your heart.
I wish you a most amazing adventure and many great discoveries!
Experience this message as a meditation on REN XUE TV