Friday, August 19, 2016

366 Project - Day 232 - "Self Portrait (Examen)"


August 19, 2016 - "Self Portrait (Examen)"

Looking in the mirror can be hard. Sometimes it can even be "dangerous".

I don't mean checking your hair or making sure that you don't have something stuck in your teeth... I mean REALLY looking at yourself... looking deep and facing who and what you see.

As part of my prayer-life I do a daily "Examen" at the end of each day. The Examen comes from Ignatian Spirituality which is, in essence, a Catholic way of life and prayer based on the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola, meant to bring about a deeper relationship with God. It is a very powerful tool which can lead to positive growth and change... if you're willing to face what you find, that is.

Too often, however, we're not willing to face what we find. Why? Because when we REALLY look at ourselves, we don't always like admitting to what we see staring back at us.

It is sort of like being Atreyu at the Magic Mirror Gate of the Southern Oracle in "The Neverending Story". As Engywook - an expert on the Southern Oracle - says, the Magic Mirror Gate is the worst. It's where Atreyu will have to face his true self. He goes on to explain "Kind people find that they are cruel. Brave men discover that they are really cowards. Confronted with their true selves, most men run away screaming!".

The thing is, once you find yourself standing at the Magic Mirror Gate you must either be willing to face your "true self" in an effort to go forward... or refuse to do so... close the book... and never go anywhere in life.

But then you'll never know the rest of the story, will you?

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