Self Examination ~ What’s In My Bag?
‘Search me, O God and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts.’
~ Psalm 139:23
‘…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’
Jesus Christ ~ Luke 6:45
‘The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.’
~ 1 Samuel 16:7
Self Examination ~ What’s in my bag?
So true! How many of us live or have experienced living from a sense of not being who we really are…and in moments of possible clarity, when the question arises, ‘Who Am I?’ We quickly reply to our self or another asking us this question, ‘I don’t know’ or we base our answer on external influences such as our titles and roles and material possessions, whether of being with another person, or our things. And we leave it there, by not being willing to take some time out to do some personal self-examination, long enough to see what is hiding in our bag, that may just belong to someone else’s opinion of who we are or a misguided interpretation of who we think we are by the things we possess…
It’s like keeping the permanently ‘borrowed’ ideas of an other’s view of us, as our own, and claiming ownership. Like a manufactured product, we are stamped with the seal of another’s approval or disapproval. The only thing about living this way is that it tends to keep us in an inner state of flux, the ground underneath the Souls of our feet keep shifting and lurching as we move through this way of living…and so, we find different ways of existing and surviving by contorting our selves into awkward and ill-fitting positions, and learn to live with them, not ever really experiencing a valid sense of being fully in our skins, standing up and walking in full stature of who we were created to be.
We don’t seem to be at peace underneath our skin, we may have a sense that we are falling short of being able to fill our own space. It seems over crowded on the inside, with a sense of there being very little room left for us in our own home.
We feel in a sense invisible and voiceless, not in our self.
We really are meant to know who we are. Yes, we are. It’s just a matter of doing some self examination, without any subjective participants involved. It really takes an objective point of view to be able to see the full picture and where our place and another’s place fits into it. And the interesting thing is, our understanding will grow wider and more expansive, the more we look in the right place to find our answer. And the answer won’t be coming from another human opinion outside of our self. In fact, this is how most of us have come to be who we are in the first place, by not knowing who we really are aside from all the roles and titles we have picked up along our life’s way from the daily impressions left without question upon our subconscious.
Many of us have been living our life based upon how another views us and expects us to be, by our believing the role we play is supporting their own perception of life, that needs our support to uphold the role of whom they subconsciously think that they are. We tend to accept another’s opinion of our self as our own, and the closer we are in relationship, the more so we believe the opinion to be reality.
And this is what can cause us to experience a subtle sense of distrust, confusion, restlessness in the soul, and all range of emotions from being apathetic, angry, melancholy, and even hostile that is wrestling away inside of us. A feeling out of sorts kind of living…and it is our emotions, that if allowed to control our view, colors the way we act out in our behavior towards another, they fuel our responses and the way we see life in general, by influencing the choices and decisions we make in our life.
Divine or Human Perspective
To stand still, by taking a break from all people and things familiar to us is difficult, yet very necessary in order for us to be able to examine our self as the main character in our life story to which we have added a cast of supporting actors in their proper roles to uphold our own. As we examine the roles played in our lives by all the character’s , we will see the way we have allowed other’s to fit into our story and for what reason, if we are willing to allow our Creator’s objective honesty when it comes to our self. Observing whether our examination includes or rejects a divine perspective, and/or is solely coming from our subjective human viewpoint, which can and does affect how we see life. And to understand the reason we are or aren’t willing to consider a divine perspective of life by examining our heredity and environment from a non-judgmental, non-emotional observance of those who were very much a part of these areas of our life.
From growing through and out of the fear of applying self examination by focusing on my own inner life, I discovered once I was able to admit to the trials and errors I had made by my own decisions in my own life, that when I have invited the objective opinion of the Antecedent of Time, into the examination process, I’ve been able to see life from a greater perspective. I seem to have a greater ability to be more honest with myself first, which has allowed me to be more honest with another because in the clearing out process of letting God shine His light into me, there is more room from the space cleared up by releasing what isn’t true about me at all. Without this objective divine direction, I’ve noticed I tended to have a short-shortsightedness about life, clinging to the only picture I held of myself, even if it wasn’t totally my own.
Asking for my human biases to be removed, presented itself one day during a quiet time, showing me that we have all been influenced by heredity and environment, yet by the Spirit of God, the ability to see through God’s eyes is indeed seeing much more of reality, and changed the way I saw His view of me, as well as the way I viewed the people in my life too. It’s been a very enlightening process, setting me free, little by little, as I have grown by learning to walk in the confidence of being who I was created to be according to the Grand Design.
None of us are here by accident nor coincidence. We all have a purpose to serve here on this earth for an appointed amount of time.
‘The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.’
~ Muhammad Ali
Insight shared from ‘The Butterfly’ known as Muhammad Ali. If the way I am in relationships and circumstances, remains exactly the same way as thirty years ago, it’s a sure sign that I am stuck in a pattern and not really free as I have thought myself to be. No new outcomes can come from a bag of old tricks, pulling out the same reactions, and responses that have not worked in the past, and the trail of broken relationships are the evidence of this and yet, if I still keep using them…what’s changed?
The idea to do a self examination came by the inspiration from the Spirit of God, speaking to my spirit and soul, asking me if I wanted to get well from my spiritual sickness by revealing I was sick, first. The Holy Spirit showing me that the only way to break free of the old repetitive pattern I was stuck in and frustrated by, was to die to life the way I knew it to be, and that it would require my being regenerated in spirit, soul and my body will follow this regeneration at the appointed time.
I was given a new heart and a new spirit. This is what has allowed me to be able to live from a new life patterned after God’s perfect design, that can only come from removing the old life. This is what is called being born again. Leaving behind the patterns borne of heredity and environment from a fleshly birth that had naturally hardened through the years, enslaving me to them to the point that I could not get free of them.
Self examination has since become a daily practice for me by asking God at the end of each day, what area needs to change in me so that I can walk with in the Light of God upon my life’s path, from letting go of my self imposed identity.
A divine intervention is what took place in my life, and made all the difference after many years of living a ‘spiritual’ life.
I no longer live a spiritual life, I am now living a Spirit of God filled life.
What I finally realized in what Christ Jesus was saying about being born again was that we cannot experience life any differently unless we are adopted into a new race, a new humanity through Him, Who is the second Adam. The first Adam became a living a soul, Christ Jesus is a Life Giving Spirit.
‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’
~ Jesus Christ ~ John 3:6
My perspective has been changed quite dramatically from being willing to go through the self examination process, many times throughout my life in cycles. First on my own through years of using self help and New thought methodologies. Something was still not falling into place…
Have you ever asked yourself, ‘why did I just say that?!?
Why did I just do that!’
‘Where did that come from?!?’
Moments experienced by all of us at some time and place in our lives and usually with those closest to us.
The changes have been subtle, especially after coming through heavy and hard hitting experiences of some very imposing circumstances and people, who showed up in my life as the iron sharpening the iron. Their purpose being to show me that I did not have it in me to be as loving as I really desired to be. I saw my inability to love as Christ loves and this is what made me take God on by asking Him to prove that if I asked, I would receive, if I knocked, He would answer, that if I sought, I would find.
Letting go of what lay behind me in order to face forward by pressing on towards the upward call of Christ.
Self examination is wise to consider when we are experiencing an unexplained suffering in some area of our life, through using it honestly, it can help us to see what is necessary in making the decision of what it is we need to let go of to be at peace in our soul’s heart and mind being united and not divided.
We keep what is ours and return what belongs to another by maintaining the proper boundaries of our self and others and by owning our life choices and allowing another to own theirs.
‘No one remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.’
~ Thomas Mann
The Path to Wholeness
This is what self examination does. It reveals where we are stuck by emotionally formed cords of attachment-something is holding us back from being authentic, or by attaching our self to a falsely held belief in identifying our self with being something or someone other than our self. We are divided up into a million pieces. Our mind and our hearts are engaged in war with one another in the battlefield of our souls.
I have found that even when the mind is empty and still of thoughts, the soul can be restless. And until the two become undivided there can be no peace in us. We remain incomplete and unfulfilled.
Formed attachments can be the root of what is preventing us from moving forward with the true pearl of knowing our self value based on knowing our Creator through relationship and not by an outward show, but by an inward glow of His Spirit living in us can we really ever know our authentic and true name and identity. He gives us His Spirit to bring us into fulfillment of who we are in Him.
Self examination that partners with God, can give us revelations, that allows us to see who we are underneath our masks and guises, and our assumed names.
We must know our real and true name to be able to walk in the fullness of our true identity.
Self examination leads into gaining deeper insights of ourselves, and along with wisdom, comes understanding.
We understand better our authentic nature and grow comfortable in our own skin.
Identifying and Understanding Our Ingrained Roles and Established Patterns
Years ago, when my daughter Sommer, was about seven years of age, she being in a cheerful mood came into the kitchen and asked me something as she sat down to eat, before I drove her and her younger sister to school.
My mood matched the cloudy overcast day consumed with all the responsibilities I had to bear alone while their dad was out of town.
I over reacted to her simple question, by snapping at her, as I was leaving the room to go look in on her sister. When I came back, I felt terrible at how I had spoken to my daughter, realizing that she was only seven, and wondering why I had been so short, and then, I had a sudden aha about how as a child, my mother had spoken to me in this same way with regularity. This happened during a time in my life of experiencing a period of deep change going on inside of me, and I wasn’t handling it very well… I went up to my daughter, and put my arms around her and apologized for the way I had just spoken to her and I said, ‘Sommer, I’m really sorry for the way I just spoke to you, I was wrong.’ What happened next, shocked me to my core, and sent me into a self examination process.
She burst into tears, and when she could get the words out, she cried out loud, ‘NO MOM! Don’t say sorry! You are never wrong!’ And she was being sincere! I was jolted, ‘WHAT?!? Where did she get this idea?’ And I began to see where I may have unknowingly given this impression to my daughter, after applying the self examination of where the way I had I behaved towards her, was really coming from.
This experience awakened me to another lesson in understanding myself.
And in my self examination process, the little thought that popped up that morning about my relationship with my mother as I had perceived at this time, was a key to understanding myself. It awakened in me to the realization of how I had been living on auto pilot, without an awareness of how my behavior was affecting those around me and how I had inherited a manner of response that I didn’t want to continue.
Self examination led me to the root of my ingrained knee jerking behavior, by following the breadcrumb trail of where I had been wounded. I had to allow them to be re-experienced fully (in all of my senses), by allowing my emotions that were trapped inside by not being allowed to openly and honestly express my hurtful emotions as a child in my life. I had untended to and festering wounds that needed to be opened up and cleaned out.
They had managed to get stuck, pushed under and silenced, and not just in my memory, but in my spirit and soul, locked into my body and even my cells. Our emotions have a way of getting deeply entrenched into our body, through our hearts, minds and souls. And I was living my life from my past, unknowingly in the moment, of the way I related to my life through my relationships with others. The circumstances that would arise in my life from carrying this view inside due to my ignorance and perceptual blindness, would continue to reflect this fact, until something changed.
The Light of God Set Us Free of Ingrained, Non-Productive Patterns
I had been living from a negative view of life being untrustworthy and hard, and uncaring about me, and that I did not really matter in the scheme of things. At this time, I could not have said this, because I was unaware that I was doing this, and I had yet to find the words to express what was in my Heart still to be forgiven. Forgiving as in letting go of the offenses that blocked my view of seeing Love being there with me and understanding me and why I was the way I was.
How often had I over reacted to something someone said, or a circumstance that popped up, from this place? From a reactive mind living life based from a past life experience. We cannot really be fully present in this moment, if we do not have a cleansed conscience. A guilty or unclean conscience will naturally follow into the present moment and continue to affect us and our quality of life. Making mountains in our paths, and Love is what melts and softens those mountains down to mere bumps in the road of our Journey.
The Love of God living in us and through us in our relationships with others.
Self examination is soul work, and it affects all areas of our life when recognized as such. I became more conscious of how I was responding to my daughter, and focused on practicing more self control of my emotions. I became more observant of my emotions, noticing the reactive mind rising from my past, repeating itself as an ingrained response, due to subconscious patterning and now, I pray for to have the Mind of Christ and bring any thought that seeks to take control of the seat of my emotions under Christ’s authority and name.
You may have an initial fear of doing this work, like I once did, believing in fear, that you won’t be able to stand the pain of re-visiting the experience. I desire to encourage you, that you are far more courageous than you may currently believe about yourself. And going through these self examination processes, will reveal that what you know inside can be trusted
When we are open to inviting and receiving, the Spirit of God’s wisdom and understanding~ we are given the ability by God to see with a Heavenly Perspective of life instead of from our limited earthly imposed limits of understanding.
Our perception shifts into living our life from the foundational ground of experiencing peace as a constant companion, we become intimately acquainted with God’s Spirit, anchoring us in our life more and more, and this is clearly sensed when meeting with another person along life’s way who has this same Spirit. This Heavenly perspective of seeing our self, comes from being given the ability to see with new eyes. Not as a judgment, but through the Spirit of God giving us discernment and the ability to know the difference.
Discernment comes about from having a change of perspective by understanding the difference of an earthly minded viewpoint and a Heavenly minded one.
When we are able to not get emotionally drawn into other people’s emotions and lifestyles like we once did, we know that we have been changed, otherwise we would not notice any difference.
Self examination is not intended to be used one time only to be tossed aside after just one use. It is a life long useful tool, most beneficial with daily use.
Letting Go To Grow Into the UnShakeable Ground of Understanding
There’s a place you may find your self in, where your perspective is being radically altered, especially when your usual experience of your established world turns into a similar version of ‘The Sky Is Falling’ story tale…
‘Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock (of unshakeable anchored knowledge). The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand (insecure emotional based beliefs). The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell?and great was its fall.’
~Jesus Christ~ Matthew 7:24-27
Examining oneself is a tool to sharpen one’s discernment into what is useful and what is useless or dead. As in false knowledge, false beliefs, false foundations. And once the dust settles after the storm that blew our house down has passed on through, there is an ability to see things more clearly about what you previously thought was holding your world all together.
After what wasn’t holding it up, falls away… we are left face to face with the realization of our Truth. Where we subconsciously may have been placing our trust fully into that wasn’t trust worthy, and what remains and does not disappear is revealed.
If we are willing to be still and know God in these times and not run and rebel. We will know God.
I’ve noticed that the more trusting I have become of the process of life, the more Accepting I have become of whatever changes occur in my relationships with people, places, and things, that are continuously moving through my life…my faith has grown as my acceptance has grown, and this has been wrought through learning patience in trials and testings.
Faith is remaining sure of the foundation we are walking upon, no matter what seems to be happening in the outer circumstances of our life, we are able to remain unshaken through them in our whole being.
Self examination will lighten your load.
Are you important enough, to make some time for yourself, to stand still long enough, and hear what the response of the Spirit of God is saying inside of you?
Can you say with full assurance, ‘I know who I am’ that comes from having a living relationship with the Great I AM, which is how to lose the ingrained, ‘I don’t know who I am?’
Choose To Begin
Practicing the technique of Self examination on a daily basis, will lighten your load tremendously. For you will be carrying your own stuff, and not someone else’s.
Self examination reveals how our emotions do play a vital role in determining the tone of how we view our lives…
And that my friends is a story left for another day ~
For now, InJoy playing with the idea that your real life story is unfolding as the Authentic YOU, underneath the assumed name you?might be ‘believing’ is you right now. The You, already completed yet, still?in the reading, as a Living Book, unfolding in Its awareness, line by line, page by page…in your revised editing process of Self Examination with
Your Life Author.
May you stop living from a past version of your self and begin by examining the patterns that may be keeping you bound by heredity and environment.
The Self Examination process, will lead you to the revelation, that you are You-nique-By Design, as established by The Author of All Love’s Stories Ever Written…if you will empty your bag and let go of the contents that prevent you from filling your bag with what is genuinely yours for the keeping, because it has your true identity stamped on it.
May you fill your rightful place in this world by being willing to examine your self to see if you are living authentically as you were created to be.
InJoy this day ~
Many Blessings in Love,
With a lot of help from the Loving Author of All stories contained in the Volume of the Books,
Expressing uniquely as Author of this story ~
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