Now that you know what the 5 methods of spiritual reflections are, let's take a look at how they play out in this example scenario . . .
Illustrations of the 5 Reflections Methods
We'll use this one sample diary entry for all the reflections, so you can see how the different approaches play out...
Values Lodestone Reflections
[Assuming values of Respect, Assertiveness, Non-violence.]
I felt pretty dumb just standing there. But it was a better alternative than planting my fist in her face. At least I maintained physical non-violence.
And I'm proud of the way I stood up for myself. I've been really wanting to be more assertive, and today I took a big step by confronting her.
I would have liked to do it more respectfully, though. I wish I'd used more Non-Violent Communication techniques, rather than sort of attacking her and demanding compliance.
I think I could have done that better if I'd planned the interaction instead of just blowing up when I saw her. Next time, I'd like to take a few minutes, even, to calm down and think before acting. And to remember to keep breathing, next time, to stay calm during the confrontation.
It'd probably get better results too!
Meanwhile, is anything needed to make amends?
While I could apologize to her, and even mean it -- not so much for her sake, really, but because I do feel bad about not living up to my ideals -- she'd probably take any overtures the wrong way.
I think my best action is just to let it go, and resolve to do better next time.
Please, Divine Within and Without, help me to remember my resolve next time something like this happens.
Janilla obviously has some issues here. I don't know what's bothering her, and to be honest I don't much care. What IS important to me is my reputation.
I guess in the long run she can't really hurt me by spreading lies. Eventually people will figure out the kind of person she is by her actions, and same for me. If I continue to act honourably, there's nothing to feed these rumours, and my actions will speak more loudly than her spiteful words.
At the time, I felt helpless, being frozen like that. I really dislike that feeling!
But maybe on some level I was keeping myself from becoming violent, and that's a good thing. I'm wanting to deal with my anger in more appropriate ways, and this is a step forward, really. I'd rather freeze on the spot than feel bad after hitting!
And though I could have done without being laughed it, it could have been worse. It's a better situation than a fist fight in the hallway, that's for sure.
(This is using the dream analysis method.)
Janilla: Selfish, lying, backstabbing, and just plain mean.
Saying things: Speech, words, communication, self-expression.
True: Real, important perspective, shifting, what I believe
Laughing: Mocking, disrespect, aggressive in a sly way. Also happy expression.
Mad: Angry. Crazy. Out of control.
Rereading the Symbols
Today, meanness really ticked me off, expressing things I don't believe, then turning a happy expression into something aggressive. When that happened, I felt a little crazy and out of control.
Wow, it looks so different from this perspective! When you put it like this, it really sounds like I was overreacting.
I think I was more upset because I felt out of control than anything else, when you get right down to it.
Omnipresent "I" Reflections
Okay, she got mocking and nasty when I confronted her, but to be honest, I could have done it in a better way. I sort of attacked her, in fact, by jumping down her throat like that, accusing her without allowing any explanation or other interpretations of her actions.
And on top of that, ordering her to do something like I have a right to expect obedience!
Backed into a corner like that, it makes sense that she'd respond in a way I didn't like. I would probably have done the same, in her position.
And I can see that this is a fairly common issue for me. Other people have said things about me that I didn't like, spreading lies.
I wonder, since this keeps happening to me, if there isn't a grain of truth in what they're saying! If three different people are saying I can't be trusted, maybe there's something in that.
In what way am I perhaps less than 100% trustworthy?
Well, I don't always follow through like I say I will. Even though I do get it done, it may not be on time. And to be honest, it's not always well done. That only happens when I get overextended, and I don't feel like it's usually my fault. But still, that's what happens. I can see how that would damage people's trust in me.
Do I care to change that? Yes! It matters to me what people think of me. But even more, honesty and reliability are important ideals to me. I thought I was basically honest and reliable, but now I can admit that I've fallen short of those ideals more than I want to accept.
So I'm going to try scheduling my time more realistically, so I don't put myself in the position where I feel overcommitted.
Divine Viewpoint Reflections
I've been wanting to develop more compassion and patience... This might be the Divine's way of helping me practice!
What would the Goddess tell me, right now?
I'm getting too caught up in my ego, here. What other people think. What people say about me.
Does it really matter? Will it matter once I'm dead?
Not at all!
What does matter, though, to me and the Divine, is how I handle this situation. And, how I live my life.
If I'm living in accord with my highest values, and letting my ideals guide me, that's more important than whatever is going on in other people's lives that they gossip and listen to gossip.
This also is a good reminder for me not to engage in gossip myself! I've been slipping a little. Not malicious talk, but still, it's not something I want to participate in.
As you can see, you'll find that these methods blur together, and your reflections are not restricted to any one method.
That's natural, and it's the ultimate reflection method.
Dividing the reflection process into 5 methods is simply to give you some starting points, and ideas of what to do. Once you've practiced reflections for a while, you'll find your own way evolves.
Still, if you consistently miss one of the 5 perspectives, focus on that one for a while.
The most powerful insights are found where we least like to look!
See the Conclusion: Spiritual Benefits of Reflection, in part 4. . .
Sharing the good stuff with other seekers is a way of paying it forward. Thanks so much! :-)
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