08/12/10

DAY 3 Stare At Your List.. 40 Days to Find Your Focus

“My children, said my Grandfather, you will never see anything worse than yourselves.” Emerson, the so-called ‘prophet of the American religion’ writes this entry in his journal, circa 1850’s. He kept the journal, for over 50 years, and it’s full of brutally honest confessions, ramblings, and detailed plans for self-improvement. The 37 days left until Yom Kippur is a good opportunity to begin or resume daily journal writing as a form of self-reflection. And it’s a good time for the making of lists. I am a fan of lists, and I will commit to making many on this prepenting process, checking off one item at a time. Today’s list: What are 3 things that I regularly or randomly do and regret? The type of actions that makes me angry with myself for doing them? Big or small, legal or not, self-destructive or unhelpful to the better me I want to be – even if they give me pleasure in some way? Admitting theses to myself, painfully, privately is the first big step. Today’s task. Next step? stare at the list, at myself, as Emerson’s grandfather instructed, and sigh. Some call these items sins, or transgressions, or bad habits. This is what I need to change. Why am I doing this? What purpose do these actions serve? What will it take to modify these patterns? Replace them? What can help me change? I may never see anything worse than myself, but I can also see no better.