As we live on, we realize that every moment that passes by paves new pathway to tomorrow although changes that are happening around you, within you, are generally subtle, yet it's definitely profound when you look back. Though we go on living in a routine doing the same thing, without noticing every wrinkle that adds to our face or every thought that has set in and taken root to define who we are. One fine day you'd realize that you are not the same person you were yesterday and truth of the matter is you will not be the same person tomorrow. That is what we call evolution, growth and sometimes maturity. That is why I think personal reflection is essential; it's like keeping track of your growth as a person and monitoring your evolution. You remember major things that took place in your life but it's the aftermath of those things and small changes in you, which is brought forth and carved by those events that needs to be monitored to make sure you know who you are, what you are becoming and why you are the way you are. This allows us to make certain we are growing as a person in the best possible way we can. Also it allows us to make peace with ourselves and be able to let go of the things that we need to in order to take control of life that is ours to live.
Life is full of catalysts that creates opportunities and outlines to shape a person emotionally and mentally, we cannot possibly avoid these instigators that life throws at us. They challenge and taunt us. What we fondly call ironies of life sometimes makes mockery of everything that we believe to be of certain way. Life doesn't follow anyone's rules or regulations, it is the way it is. I have found that flexibility is what gets you through, even in the most difficult of circumstances. You should be willing to change, accept, reform as you go on when life makes you rethink about your believes and stance that you have taken. If you are rigid you cannot grow, you cannot evolve. Rigidity usually flourishes in stagnant water. Changes are inevitable and when it is forced you cannot negotiate with it and with the surprise element mixed in it, a change can rock your fundamental being. As I grow older, Buddha's middle path makes sense to me a lot, that middle path between everything of life and I cannot stop nodding in agreement. Extremity always has a tendency of being negative and obsessive which has always been bane of human life and happiness. If you are flexible you are at least prepared; as best you can as they say to go with the flow. Your thoughts, believes and emotions have room to mature and grow as life throws you in a whirlwind. Life is rigid, in a way it has predictable ups and downs for everyone in one way or another and your flexibility is what makes you capable of accepting and dealing with what life puts you through also keeps you grounded.
You cannot go on without evolving whether you reflect or you don't, you will change with time, along with everything else in life but once in a while you got to take a breath, for self-reflection and realize where you have reached and if that is where you should be, if not then you will know how best you can choose and negotiate with life as to where it has brought you and how you can change your course. Success, I believe is defined by the contentment that you have within yourself and if you are not content, reflection allows you that precious insight as to why you aren't as you had always thought you would be while chasing the place so diligently. The belief that being there or reaching there was your key to happiness and contentment. Where did it go wrong? Why reaching and being there isn't making you happy or content by any definition possible? That is when you know you have lived and ran too long without self-reflection and this definitely is the time to take a step back and do so, thereby making yourself equipped to deal with the discontentment and its reasons importantly resolutions.
With self-reflection you give yourself an opportunity to make informed decisions however hard that might be for the better tomorrow and better you. From what I have observed emotional strength comes from your ability to negotiate with yourself and rationalize the situation by allowing yourself to be detached though difficult to do but certainly not impossible, you need patience and importantly, what you need is to be forgiving towards your own self. Self-reflection helps you in doing that and it also helps when you need to detach yourself to rationalize and make decisions which may be difficult to make otherwise. It's important to be alone to appreciate the company. To know your own self and loving yourself which I think is important before you love someone else because that allows you to be appreciative of the journey taken together otherwise it will just be a one way road where you were dependent on someone else to make you feel better about yourself and life in general and trust me that is one really heavy and important responsibility for anyone to take and actually succeed. So be considerate to people you love and who love you by being self-assured.
Happiness is not a flow as I see it it's more like a spurt, contentment I think is more of a constant phenomenon. You cannot be happy all the time but you can be content however happiness follows where contentment resides. Now contentment comes from knowing that you are exactly where you should be and you have forgiven yourself as well as others from the mistakes that you have made or for the pain they have caused you on the way of life and assurance to your own self, of the knowledge that no matter where you will be tomorrow, even if you are in a hard place right now and uncertain of what you will face tomorrow, you are flexible and you will deal with it the best you can as you have done till this very moment and emerge a better person than what you were yesterday. We run after happiness but what I think matters is being content in who you are, where you are and what you do, happiness will follow naturally. That comes with self-assurance that even if you are in a bad place right now, you will not be here forever because you do have the ability to move on, to evolve, with self-reflection; make decisions and then take action to better yourself. If you are in good place right now, you do have the ability to appreciate it and take gratitude in the same. So sit back spend some time with your own self. You will know what to do because you will always know what is best for you if you listen to you, mind you, I have not written your mind or heart here, heart is clouded by emotions and mind with cynicism your inner being, the authentic you is always innocent and wise if you allow it a moment to be heard it will sing beautifully reminding you of all the good things that you have to be grateful about and all those things that you need to let go to heal and move on.