Friday, May 4, 2007

An unexamined life is not worth living

This morning I heard on NPR a guy reflecting on his life with cancer. He talked about living life to the fullest. I'm doing that more these days than usual. And these thoughts overlap for me with how I go about making life worth living.

There's this quote by Socrates that I've been thinking about for years (and I do mean years!):
"An unexamined life is not worth living"
I don't know if it is true or not but it haunts me somehow, in a good way. It is why I started journaling. It's why I blog. I think in many ways Socrates knew then what counselors know today, that reflecting on life and self whether in counseling, journaling, or by blogging contributes to life. In my life I have found this to be true. Examining is a type of remembering. It can have a growth producing quality to it. When I look back on life so far I think of how I have changed and usually it's because of some examining I've done. Paying attention, being awake, seeing myself and my world just a bit more clearly.

I find that examining for me has to be gentle and grateful. Examining if done wrong can leave to picking out all the things one hates about self and life. Because of this I love the nights when I write out what I'm most and least grateful for in that day. What was my consolation and desolation today? I can't explain why this makes life more worth living it just does. It's actually and adaption of an old christian spiritual practice called "The Examen".

So for today I am grateful for: Anticipating time with good people. For b who is leaving for Jordan soon. For having a very clean house (in anticipation of a guest. :). For beautiful weather. For waking up on time without hitting the snooze button! And most of all for the very beautiful orange tulips that I purchased and which are sitting on my kitchen table. (I should have taken a picture!)


Anonymous said...

all of the above are what inspired the celebration and observation of quality friday for me. glad you are enjoying this observance as well, in its own form. :) -mvl

just me said...

mlv. Welcome.

bobbie rose said...

i am grateful for you too. and i will miss your friendship dearly. you mean a lot to me.

i expect some good emails/letters from you while i am gone:)