Saturday, March 25, 2023 | Ramadan 2, 1444 H
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Unpack your thoughts, it’s time for self-examination


Sonia Ambrosio - - When 2017 started, it was like a new notebook. Empty. The pages were to be filled with whatever we had in mind. One could write stories, poems, and draw horrible figures. We could fill it with dreams, nightmares, bad-mouthing, or prayers. We were the masters of our blank notebook.

The pages are full now. Whatever we wrote will stay there. It is too late to edit, to correct mistakes, to change the sequence of paragraphs, or to erase words. We can’t change it.

We used our best and worst writing styles to express emotions, frustrations and fear. Yep, nobody is perfect. We have our flaws, selfishness, greed, and discontent. We also used the pages to blame others for our own troubles — even for our inefficiency. There are times when discontentment drives us to be unkind to those around us.

Well, not everything is lost. Before starting with the new notebook, the one in 2018, we could — or should — pause and go through the pages of our 2017 notepad. Spend time on introspection.

Reading with interest whatever has been written, weighing up one’s own feelings, and thoughts. Taking in the content of each page, absorbing the best and the worst lines. Some will make us laugh. Other pages might make us cry. There will be pages that might resuscitate an anger that had been bottled up or the forgiveness that was never expressed. Accomplishments were achieved, mistakes were made, friends came and went and, lessons were learned.

Examine it all, and appreciate the pages of your life — the ones in which you wrote on the most amazing moments. With the same interest, read also the pages you now wish you had never written. Do not try to tear them off — because they have already been recorded, but you can reflect on those pages before you start writing in the new notebook.

You know, it is not surprising that many of us will look into the New Year’s resolutions without a pinch of consideration for the last 365 days. Yet, most of our New Year’s resolutions are doomed to be forgotten just weeks later. We are so much concerned with bolstering triumphs that we tend to forget or to examine our notebook.

By the time we are able to grasp the thought-process and look into the mirror of our lives, it is the moment when patience and wisdom fall upon us. With that comes the heart-breaking reasoning that we are profoundly alone and disengaged — despite all the technological connections.

In one of these moments of reflection, I admit that tears rolled off my eyes for you and for me because no matter how much I desire to be understood and to understand the world around me, I am hopeless. I just want peace among people.

The philosopher Socrates once said that an unexamined life was not worth living. So, this is the time to unpack our thoughts. It is the right time for self-examination, to look for changes for the better. It is a new beginning. And once more, we will have the autonomy to fill the pages as we like.

We can look at the sky on a starry night or the sunset and reflect upon our actions and feelings registered on the 2017 notebook. We can wash away the dust of the previous year, and clear our mind and hearts to focus on the path ahead.

I hope that your 2018 notebook will be filled with joy, love, and understanding and that you can be the person you truly wish to be. My own journey has brought delight and gratification, and hopefully, the many people around me will continue to inspire my days.

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