We all engage in the act of reflection, whether voluntarily or unconsciously, to reminisce and analyze life’s ups and downs, to make meaning of it all, is part of our nature as people. At our core, we are social beings that think rationally about the consequences of our actions before, during, and after we do them. And, especially during these trying times, most of us have found ourselves in deep thought and trying to make sense of all the good and bad that’s happening around us.
Sadly, however, a lot of people disregard the healing benefits of reflection, and the vast majority just sweep their unchecked emotions and feelings under the rug, closing them off and leaving them unattended. As a result, many of us have grown numb and insensitive to this pain, hurting in ways that we don’t understand and fail to fix whatever we do. So, today we’d like to share an important aspect of Catholic teaching; the daily examen. And how you can adopt St. Ignatius’ practice into your own life.
#1 Practice Thankfulness
The Daily Examen always begins with thanking God, and we strongly believe that we should practice thankfulness each and every day. Despite these trying times, we’ve managed to stay strong and even muster the courage to lend our hand to those in need. Thankfulness also closely ties in with contentment at our current position in life and is an excellent way of reducing the effects of stress on your mind and body.
- For Waking Up In Good Health: You don’t have to be the most religious of people to understand that waking up in good health is a tremendous blessing. With so much happening around us, we should learn to be thankful for our good health and getting the opportunity to start every day anew. It clears your mind and readies you for the day ahead.
- For The Blessings To Come: When it rains, it pours, and the logic of blessings works the same way. While we may be troubled by the effects of the global pandemic, we shouldn’t forget to look at the brighter side of things. We should be thankful for the boost in vaccines and the good they will bring to those who need them most.
#2 Ask Forgiveness
Secondly, after addressing the things and many blessings you are thankful for, we then proceed to ask forgiveness. We all know how burdensome and dreadful it can be to carry something so heavy on your mind and shoulders, constantly beating yourself up for something you did before. And, it can be very hard to open up and share such a sensitive topic with other people. So, find a place of peace and start by forgiving yourself first.
- For Sins And Shortcomings: Nobody’s perfect, and whether it’s for work, in school, or maybe something around the house, no one’s exempt from making a blunder or two. So, to grant yourself peace of mind, ask for forgiveness for your sins and shortcomings today. Regardless of the weight of the problem, never forget to come to terms with it, so it doesn’t hold you back.
#3 Seek Help And Guidance
Lastly, after thankfulness and forgiveness, the last part of the Daily Examen always revolves around seeking help and guidance. Remember, strength doesn’t only come from our mental or physical capacity but also from our faith. And, whether that’s faith in God or faith in yourself, seeking help and guidance helps put you at ease and gives you a sense of reassurance.
- For Future Challenges: Only you know of the challenges that will come your way. In fact, you might already be aware of the challenges to come in the next few days. So, seek help and guidance for what’s to come and have faith in the strength that comes from within yourself and the soul.
- For An Even Better Tomorrow: If you don’t have anything of note to think about in the next few days, then there’s nothing wrong with asking for a better tomorrow. People like to downplay optimism, but there’s merit to holding a positive outlook for the future and keeps you in a good spot.
Share With Your Community
Overall, there’s plenty you can adapt from the Daily Examen into your life, and if you feel comfortable with the process, then we urge you to share this with the rest of your community. Everyone should have the opportunity to relax and reconnect with themselves, and there’s no better way to ground one’s mind and emotions through the Daily Examen. So, be the voice that helps people attain the change and redirect the negativity in their life.