Chapter 19 - Effective self-analysis

Self-analysis is the most fundamental routine that can change the way we look at things and how we react to the outer world. Every emotion that we feel, pleasant or unpleasant especially the unpleasant one, is a result of insufficient self-analysis. A condition where we do not agree to take control of our life and rather try to blame everyone around us for our experiences. It isn’t unusual to think that we got late because of the public transport, we aren’t beautiful or smart enough because of our genetic background, we do not find love because the world is full of fake people with ulterior motives and so on.

I will begin with a simpler example here. Let’s say you argued with someone because they pressed the wrong buttons. You go ahead and justify your behavior to others by explaining how someone's harsh words triggered you to act aggressively. Now, if you were to do a self-analysis of your reaction, would it be possible that maybe, just maybe your aggression was based on your perception about the situation and if you were to think the other person’s perspective, you may not have felt the need to respond aggressively but rather agree to the fact that there is a difference of opinion and its the most common human trait, that we all think differently at some level!

It is hard at times to be calm in a turbulent situation but that’s the point here! If we don’t change the way we react, we will continue to face similar situations in different forms and with different people over and over again. Someone will have to step up and break the cycle! Once I started reminding myself to be silent when someone is angry and agitated, their anger did not have the same impact on me. I was able to see the pain and insecurity that they were dealing with and somehow was able to find the source of their behavior. All I felt for them was compassion, I no longer felt the need to bad mouth about them, curse them, be rude with them or even argue with them.

I don’t feel the need to correct anyone anymore because what “I” consider as “correct” is my version, it is not a universal fact, not the ultimate truth, and definitely not the only form of thought. It is subject to change and may differ from person to person. I do not believe in religion and I used to always argue and debate on the topic. I don’t do that anymore!

I have come to realize that religion is good, it keeps a lot of people civilized and sane. The fact that I do not believe or follow any religion does not become a conflict of interest with people in my life who do follow one. I now understand that religion is like fuel for many people, just like some vehicles run on petrol, some on diesel and so on, I think different religions work for different people. I am still in the learning phase, I still let the situation control my action but not to the extent, it did a while ago.

Turns out, equanimity acts as a detox, it gives more space to handle a stressful situation. The deeper I dive in, the more I learn about myself and the more I learn about myself, the easier it gets to turn inward and spot the source of my reaction. My thinking pattern has shifted from:

“He is an arrogant person? How dare he talk to me like that!” to

“What caused him to behave in this manner? Why does his arrogance bother me? His behavior is a result of his experiences and understanding, it does not reflect anything about me. By responding in the same tone, I will just be fueling his arrogance. I know I am not what he is accusing me of, is there really a need to prove it to him? No matter what I say, he will go home with the same mindset that he had. By staying calm and not letting his accusations affect me, I can at least prevent the situation from aggravating.”

Understand that I am not resigning or giving in, I am just not spending my energy in futile arguments that would do no good to either of us. I am grateful to have more than enough people in my life who know me and respect me for the person I am. Similarly, I cannot run away from the fact that there are people who aren’t very fond of me. That’s how the world functions, believe it or not. Some people like pink, some don’t. Some like traveling, some cannot stand the thought of traveling. The greatest invention, the noblest of human beings, the kindest intention, will still be criticized. The moment I dropped the thought of being liked and understood by everyone, was the moment I found my peace! It wasn’t lost, was just hidden under the heap of self-criticism and public validation!

I hope you find yours too!

Live | Laugh | Learn | Forgive | Love | Observe | Fall | Rise | Accept | Let Go - Just keep swimming Dory ;-)

~ Anila Andezhath

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