“Reflection is the beginning of reform.” Mark Twain
“Whatever good results I find in my reflections come to me when I am walking.” Goethe
“To reflect is to look back over what has been done so as to extract the net meanings which are the capital stock for intelligent dealing with further experiences.” John Dewey
When you “reflect” about your life do you only see the one-dimensional person that is displayed in your mirror or do you soul-search and look for a deeper meaning? What does your life mean to you? Do you analyze what has happened in your life to make you the person who you are, or do you just charge on without thinking?
Now that I’m considered “old” by some people… my kids and people much younger than I am, I do wonder about my life and what makes me… ME. What mistakes did I make? Can I hit a button and have a “second chance,” provided I can use the knowledge that I have now learned? I think about how my parents raised me with their strict beliefs and how I reacted to their confining way of life. I also remember the heartache and trauma in my family due to my brother’s rebelliousness against my parents’ mindset.
Then I contemplate about what I could have done differently that I didn’t do. What skills did I have? What did I know? I remember thinking as a teenager that I was SO SMART. Hmmm, I definitely need to hit a “redo” button there!
Also, how has society changed after all of these years… OR HAS society changed? Because life is no longer simple, is life presumed better because we have the use of technology? Have we learned to think critically or are we told what to think?
These questions constantly pop into my mind as I look back over my life.
I remember that my parents’ way of thinking was “my way or the highway.” Since I chose “their” way, would I have been better off running away to never look back? However, in those days “good kids” did what their parents wanted them to do… right down to a job whether that job was right for you or not.
What would I be like now if I had taken control of my life? My friends that graduated from college didn’t take a job in the area of their degree. In fact they became stay-at-home mothers as I did until my divorce. Suddenly, I was left trying to figure out what I would do for a living and how would I support my two children ? I bumbled along, but I managed to keep my kids, German Shepherd, and home all intact. My life’s road was filled with pot-holes.
The education I should have achieved prior to my marriage, I received after my divorce… learning to take hold of my own life instead of letting life run me over. I reflect on all of these questions and thoughts each time I look in the mirror.
So my words of wisdom to you now are, “take the ball and run!” Go the direction that works for you. Make your mistakes as you will learn from them, as I did, but you will learn so much more about yourself.