The first condition for learning is acceptance. The acceptance of my mistakes allows me to transform them. We have no power over what we do not recognize. Having no power makes us victims. To live as victims is to blame others and circumstances outside of ourselves. A victim is one who does not learn.
If we live as apprentices, all difficulties and suffering are opportunities to gain knowledge. We repeat ourselves when we live on autopilot, when we are not attentive and present when we use the same strategies waiting for different results, when we are stuck in the same mental spaces, repeating over and over the same version of who we are.
Guilt and judgment prevent us from seeing ourselves with neutrality. In order to understand our motivations, fears, and desires we need objectivity. Through criticism and self-judgment we lose contact with true reality, we filter reality through our own prejudices and beliefs, instead of seeing.
Pay attention to your reactions, see what kind of situations activate your reactivity. Observe with attention and openness what interpretation you make of the situation, how you perceive the other, what you say to yourself.
Connect with the emotion that manifests through bodily sensations. How do you feel? What do you need?
Practice self-empathy. Accept your emotions, whatever they may be, listen to what message they bring to you. Maybe they are warning you that a situation is too much for you or that you need to set limits or express yourself.
Ask yourself where you are still stuck. If the same lesson appears over and over, it is because you have not yet been able to integrate it.
Our relationships act as a thermometer, especially my relationship with myself, the most important relationship of all. Remember that the important thing is not what happens externally but how I position myself internally towards it, because our freedom lies within ourselves.
Recognizing that in certain aspects we are mature and in others, we need to continue growing, is vital in the path of personal development.
Ask yourself with honesty: What’s next in my own evolution? Take some time for introversion and self-inquiry, there is always a time for incubation. I recommend meditation, art, working with your dreams and other forms of inner guidance. The answer could come in many ways but it is always accompanied by an undeniable feeling of certainty.