Reflection is the key process that helps us gain meaning in Life, helps us re-view our experiences, look at them again, reframe them, and see what is true and what is good in them. Reflection gives us insight, wisdom, perspective and a detached overview.

So often we get caught up in the trivia of life, caught in a web of emotions, or trapped in our own or someone else’s Drama Triangle. At this point, the flow of life gets stuck, and reflection ceases. We need to get Reflection moving again.

So what helps us reflect in life?

Reflection  - - - -  needs:

  1. Time (though sometimes insight can be instantaneous)
  2. Intention (you have to want to do it, not push it away)
  3. Support (this is the key ingredient)

Support includes:

Another person, touch, a listening ear, faith, nature, music, gardens, humour, hobbies, peer support in culture – and, just as music can transform feelings, support can dissolve a blockage, allowing an issue to resolve. So we can then...

  • Experience
  • Resolve
  • Integrate

(Experience, reflect, learn)

Or, for buried issues, we can...

  • Relive, in order to
  • Relieve, and
  • Resolve (by supported re-experience and expression of unresolved feelings to resolution)

It’s worth remembering how the steps we use to resolve any issue – it’s a sort of ladder:

The Ladder of Emotional Resolution

  • Accept
  • Acknowledge
  • Forgive three ways

  1. The other person
  2. The event
  3. Yourself
  • Release
  • Move on

So with any issue, we have to accept that it has happened, and acknowledge it in all its aspects. Then (this is the big one!) we have to forgive, three ways. First we have to forgive the other person, then the event – and (often a huge step) we then have to forgive ourselves, for the part we played, and for how we acted. In forgiving, we release judgments and feelings that act as blocks to healing – and in doing so, reclaim our power that we locked away in these judgments, and allow ourselves back into the flow of Life, remembering, and re-membering (putting ourselves back together again with the bits we lost when we tied them up in the issue that was stuck).

After that it’s easy to release the issue, and then to move on in life.

Reflection gives us perspective, a bigger view, and (sometimes) enables us to see the full picture.

The prison walls of narrow thinking, (especially if governed by negative emotions such as fear, worry, hurt, hate, anger and others) trap our thinking and stop us seeing the bigger picture.

Ego’s Prison Walls of Narrow Thinking

Stop Us from Seeing the Bigger Picture

Peter’s Cosmic Zoom

One evening, I was talking to two friends, both called Peter. Separately they described how they deal with difficult situations, and how they achieve an overview.

It ran something like this:

  • Just imagine yourself in the room, but outside yourself watching the issue.
  • Next imagine yourself observing from above, looking down on the issue.
  • Now imagine you are several hundred feet above, looking down – and
  • Next, distance yourself further again, so you are looking down at the issue from miles above.
  • Finally, look down from outer space, and see how important the issue really is!

Now that’s Perspective!