How often do you do introspection of your life?

“Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway.” -Mother Teresa

Last few weeks, my life was in a kind of paradigm shift, and a deep thought process of introspection.
I was taking longer breaths because I needed some extra oxygen to get out of my linear thinking.
Just to understand the correlation between my body and mind, I registered and attended a spiritual session where a spiritual leader was giving some hidden truths of life.
Gathering was in a big hall.
Spiritual guru was centered on the topic of pain and suffering and he was addressing how love and respect are still in the center of pain and suffering.
Around one hundred people were attending, and suddenly, one attendee said, “I don’t visit my father often, my situation is different now. My father and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other that we used to have in the past. I guess I just don’t love him anymore and he doesn’t love me either.”
“Please, love and respect your father, whatever the conflict is, he gave you this life,” the guru replied.
“I told you, the respect and feeling just aren’t there anymore,” the attendee replied.
“Whatever, you respect and love your father,” guru said.
“The feeling of respect and love isn’t there,” the attendee repeated.
“Then love and respect your father. If the feeling of respect and love isn’t there, that’s a very good reason to love and respect your father.”
“But how do you respect and love when you don’t respect and love?” the attendee replied.
“Because, respect and love both are verbs. Respect and love both are feelings and they both are products of respect and love. Both are verbs. So always respect and love your father.
Show your sacrifice and listen to your father.
Always empathize, appreciate, and affirm him because he brought you into this world.
So, please, if you can, respect and love your father unconditionally, even if he did something wrong to you.”
“Are you willing to do that?” the guru asked.
The whole hall was in a pin drop silence during this exchange of words.
During that moment, I came across my father’s face multiple times, and it happened automatically, and his face was constantly coming in front of me, even though he was on the other side of the planet physically.
Pictures and snapshots of my last face to face conversation with my father constantly hanging over my head.

“You know,” my father said, “our whole lives, your mom and I never made our kid’s life easier” my father stared out the window behind me.
I saw dark shadows under his old tired eyes.
My father was almost 90 years old and had worked actively for close to 60 years.
My father’s mouth was turned up in the tiniest smile when I was listening to this, but I wondered if it was a smile at all.
My dad and mom raised our family, including me and my two younger brothers, and two elder sisters.
They started from nothing and built a great life through hard work and they taught us many core values of life, especially when you are in life’s punishment.
I could say a lot of things about me, my want, my desire, but that wasn’t how I was taught in my family.
One thing they taught me which I will never forget is to bring good health, satisfaction, and trust into life.
They consistently taught me not to let these three things down in life even if we are in distress, pain and suffering.
In my house, humility was valued more than anything else in life, but that’s not how it works in many places where we work nowadays in this modern world.

I was in introspection but who can understand this better than my father and mother.
I constantly relied on my father’s advice not to let my trust go down during turmoil.
After the meeting with the spiritual guru, I called my father in the evening at home and talked to him.
I always get relief and start to think differently when I communicate with my father, I reach a new level of understanding that almost runs by nuance.
Because each conversation contains the cumulative effect of the previous conversations, that is hardly anything to catch upon.
Instead, I can share deep insights and feelings rather than just my current understanding about life.

I don’t see life as a fixed piece of pizza where there is only so much time.
Time with my father and mother doesn’t mean time away from my wife or kids.
I started to see the effect on my kids.
I see time with my father and mother would actually increase the depth of our kid’s relationship with me and my wife as parents.
Kids experience by seeing how much we love our parents and it helps to continue the cycle moving forward.

I have read about a parable from Roberto Assagioli about three stonecutters who were building a cathedral in the fourteenth century.
The first one says, bitterly, “can’t you see what I’m doing? I’m cutting stones into blocks and I will be doing this until the day I die.”
The second one says, warmly, “I’m earning a living so I can support my lovely family. I can provide clothing and food in our home filled with love.”
The third one says, joyfully, “I’ve the privilege to help build a great cathedral so magnificent it will inspire people and lift their spirits for a thousand years.”
Same work, but each person brings very different meaning to it.

“We often have more choices than we realize.
We must never cease from exploring inside us, even if we are in pain and suffering at the moment,”
At the end of all our exploring will be to arrive at where we began and know the place for the first time,” the spiritual guru said.
That’s what I’m getting from my father as we are celebrating his 91st birthday soon.
A lot of times, especially in the past, I didn’t have time to go and see my parents every year. I didn’t have time to call my mom everyday or every other day.
And the truth is, we can’t introspect in front of other people even if we are happy and satisfied, but introspection along with our parents is normal.
To introspect along with our parents is to release the stress out through tears so we become stronger.
As we all know we have only 24 hours in a day, so the question is how to manage to be with our parents in times of distress.
The secret I learn is this.
Many times, in life, if we think deeper, peace and satisfaction comes not from doing, but from undoing.
Peace comes not from getting, but from letting go.
I let go of my past.
Peace is there with me already until I disturb it.
Behind the dramas of our everyday lives is always the light of the projector.
I am just that.
If I start to undo, I get a lot of time.

I learned the task of undoing.
Many people are not happy on this planet and maybe you are one of them right now.
So what they do, they fall into the trap of codependency that spawns some very metastasizing emotional cancers.
These emotional cancers are criticizing, complaining, comparing, competing, and contending.
I also do one of them many times.
How much time is needed to do these?
I know I need a lot.
If I start to undo these emotional cancers, how much time I get, I’m just guessing, maybe a lot.

The essence of being human is being able to direct our own life.
We are human so we can do more than an animal or recent AI robot, because they can only react.
We can make choices based on our values, these values can be transferred from us to our kids, same like from our parents to us.
This concept of undo also applies in today’s fast moving innovative areas of research, development, and technology.
We all know how to get new innovative thoughts into our mind, but we’re struggling right now to get the old ones out.
This is one reason our generation is always suffering.
The old one never wants to leave, it is with us all the time consuming our energy and time.
From my father’s lesson, I learned that we are not made or born as great thinkers or innovators, we’re self-made thinkers or innovators, this should be our trust with us.
We are a function of our choices.
I have read in books that Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are also products of their choices by undoing many things in their everyday lives.
It gives at least motivation to us when we go for introspection.

Good choices are built by unwavering habits.
And, these habits lie at the intersection of knowledge, attitude, and skill.
Most of the time, people cry at home in private when they are suffering.
We all do the same.
But the reality is we have to make our home a productive place to synthesize our knowledge, attitude, and skill.
Because, if you look around, the most important work people do in the world will be within the walls of their own home.
As you can imagine we work 8 hours outside home but we are 16 hours at home.
There are many successes but no other success can compensate for failure in the home.
For example, we can visualize anything that we want in life at home, we can pen down that visual form in printed form.
Visualization is very powerful but there is more powerful than this, that is writing down on paper.
That’s what I’m also doing at the moment.
I’m releasing my introspection through a pen into the paper, I feel relaxed.
I’m writing so I’m connecting my conscious mind with the subconscious mind.
I’m writing which is a psycho-neuromuscular activity and literally it is imprinting my brain.
Based on this sketch, we can get our hands dirty, we can cry, we can make mistakes, we can take risks, and perform whatever we want.
We can communicate to our mind about our worth and potential so clearly that we can come to see it in ourselves.
Our minds always try to do the right things for us but our bodies always try to do things right. We must try to seek the best path moving forward.

At the end of the spiritual session, the Guru said, “Life is about coping with change, it is also about coping with complexity, so you are the architect and manager of your life.”
“You cannot innovate inventories, cashflow, and costs of your life, you only have to manage all of them, they don’t have the power and freedom to choose because they are as they are.
Only you have the power to choose,” the spiritual guru added.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina