A joyful journey, as I see it, involves holistic — or whole person — health.
It includes the emotional, physical, spiritual and mental realms. Balanced focus, divine empowerment, and confrontational self-examination in all areas will enable all of us to use more of our gifts in full measure. We are each endowed with talents and come as a “complete package” of inherent creative value and worth.
Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Why?
Could it be that there is not value in a life that is floating mindlessly along without concern of its true potential and full health?
To make sure we are not limiting ourselves and to instead experience greater joy and well-being, we need to ask ourselves these questions while traveling on this journey of life.
- Compassion vs. Judgment
Do I often think, “why is someone doing or feeling that?” in judgment instead of trying to come from a place of understanding and insight into the big picture? Do I listen for the meaning behind the words when someone is speaking to me? Do I try to hear their heart? Do I check my internal motive before I speak or do I care about just saying the “right” thing? Does my motive reveal a rejection of who the person is or am I really trying to understand them?
- Passion vs. Practice
Do I see a value in making marked investments in people and causes that concern me? Do I say yes to people and events coming from an obligation of “should do” or from a desire of “want to”? Do I live out of a sense of purpose and feel fulfilled or am I not sure how to use my time well? Do I confront when I see abuse or do I try to “keep the peace” and not say anything?
- Protection vs. Abuse
Do I protect myself by respecting and honoring my boundaries, making sure I give myself time for refreshment and enjoyment? Do I often give in for the sole reason that someone else requires something of me or do I first check my emotional fuel tank to see if I am overcommitted in one or more areas? Do I voice concerns when I feel like I am mistreated or disrespected or do I allow it by stuffing it? Do I find myself saying “it’s fine” a lot when what I really want to say is something else? Do I protect the emotional well-being of a fellow journeyer? Do I keep others’ confidences when required and when safe to do so?
- Growth vs. Stagnation
Do I see myself as a victim of circumstance or an agent of change? Am I always working on some internal area in my life where I would like to see victory or have I written it off to “I’m just that way?” Do I give myself a break when I blow it and not give up the fight even though I have lost a battle? Have I identified and have inner healing from all childhood wounds so I can have the capacity to love myself and give love to others?
There was another great thinker, English writer Charles Reade who penned “Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” This has been translated in modern days as “Mind your thoughts for they become your words; mind your words for they become your actions; mind your actions for they become your habits; mind your habits for they become your character; watch your character for they become your destiny.”
There is so much joy to be gained on the journey when we become purposeful travelers instead of accidental tourists! The examined life is very much worth living as it brings joy to us as well as to others.