June 2021: The Best Classrooms for Self-Reflection

There are so many terrific ways for us to learn about ourselves, and when we have the courage to genuinely self-reflect, there are almost unlimited opportunities.

In my experience, two of the very best opportunities to self-reflect are presented by relationships, and by parenting.

In thinking about past and present relationships (intimate partners) it can be super valuable to reflect on what we found seductive, what we found troubling and if the relationship is over, what we ultimately found too distressing to deal with.  The trick here is to NOT get caught up thinking about the other person, or ex or current partner.   That is such a distraction from the rich lessons we can learn about ourselves by analysing what feelings were evoked for us in the relationship and why we made the choices that we did.

Similarly, parenting is so important to us, and the ways we react to our children can provide amazing opportunities for self-reflection.   Again, we have to be mindful that all feelings arise from inside us.  Our children (or anyone) cannot “make” us feel a certain way.   So if we cannot focus on what the children are doing, and instead focus on what our triggers are, and how and why we choose to react the way we do, parenting can be another powerful place for self-reflection and self-awareness.