Aside from sports team loyalty, I don’t have much use for being “true blue” or “dyed in the wool” when it comes to how I view life and formulate my opinions. This point of view is not to be mistaken for what is commonly derided as fence sitting, waffling, or dithering.
One of our frequently overlooked and best freedoms is the ability to change our minds. One of the greatest benefits of thoughtful contemplation and thinking is the process of re-evaluation. If we cannot re-think our position on important aspects of our personal and social lives, we become stagnant, narrow-minded, and destructive.
Anytime is a good time to allow yourself to re-evaluate yourself. Personally, I like the time around the change of season into early springtime. Nature’s display of rebirth or re-evaluation of the eco-system, inspires me to re-evaluate my life and my attitudes. What opinions hamper me? What opinions are potentially hurtful towards others and society?
Some of my springtime re-evaluations have been scary analyses of comfort zones, long-lived opinions and habitual thinking. Some have enabled major shifts in how I think and live my life. Most of them have allowed for a better life and a more joyful state of mind.
Re-evaluation is enabled by regular periods of quiet reflection and informal meditation. In the process, we might come to a point of deep understanding or an epiphany about something that has troubled ourselves or regards a common theme in our lives. Oftentimes, the process of re-evaluation helps us to reach a significant stage in our own journeys through life. At its best, re-evaluation helps us to become less dogmatic and more empathetic with ourselves and others.
Sometimes, we’re forced by difficult circumstances, like major life changes, to re-evaluate our lives. I like to have a leg up on this by remaining aware that life is not unchanging, that the world and the Universe cannot be permanent. Regular re-evaluation helps us to remember the great truth that every single thing there has been, is now, and will be is impermanent. Our efforts to set our attitudes and opinions in stone only lead to great unhappiness for ourselves and those around us.
One of the human traits that has allowed human beings to survive and thrive as a species, is that of flexibility. To adapt to changing situations around us, we must re-evaluate and change course. Those who do not re-evaluate and shift direction, die out. This understanding is not new. We only need to be reminded of this fact from time to time.
Sometimes it’s the other way around. A recent awakening may have burst forth. The epiphany made us realise that we need to change our thinking and adjust our way of life. We may finally realize that we need to be true to our compassionate, empathetic selves. We finally understand that it’s time to leave the prison cells of rigid, fearful thinking and ways of life.
Re-evaluation helps us to open up to new possibilities at any stage of life. Re-evaluation of life enables us to open our hearts to allow us to serve our higher needs and offer hope and inspiration to people around us. Re-evaluation helps us to rediscover that positive, beautiful drive that has been hibernating for years and years. We again thirst for knowledge and wisdom. We hunger for a full, well-rounded life.
The re-evaluation process cannot be hurried along. Only through a thorough review and analysis of our past experiences can we glean the full meaning and impact of them. We may have some deep hurts from the past that we cling to. Resentments cloud our thinking and cripple our ability to be compassionate and empathetic. Re-evaluation may help us to clear up any misunderstandings and view life with more complete knowledge. We can finally let go of the past and be more present, here in the present.
Re-evaluation helps us remember that we have caused unhappiness by what we have said and done. This realization helps us forgive ourselves of our past misdeeds. In releasing ourselves from guilt and dissatisfaction, we may find the strength to ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt. Where it is possible, re-evaluation helps us to recompensate for the grief we have caused. In this way, we can move on, honestly, with our lives.
Our reassessment sometimes indicates that we need to make some life-changing decisions. We come to understand that those decisions require a mindful, careful blend of intellect and intuition. By objectively evaluating our past experiences, we can see where we made mistakes and where we were correct. A true understanding of our past helps us negotiate our life path.
Our journey through life is like a journey down a highway. We must speed up or slow down to allow for traffic conditions we encounter with those who travel along with us on the path. We must use our judgement to steer around curves, obstacles, and to decide which way to go at intersections. A life journey, like a highway journey, requires occasional re-evaluations.
Re-evaluation of life can guide and help us find the path to freedom and satisfaction.
The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders this gem from Brian Eno: “Feelings are more dangerous than ideas, because they aren’t susceptible to rational evaluation. They grow quietly, spreading underground, and erupt suddenly, all over the place.”