The courage to take a hard look at ourselves
A mirror helps us see how we look, or more specifically, see whether how we look agrees with how we want to look. We also need to look at ourselves overall: at our actions, interactions, decisions habits, and life-trajectory. Or more specifically, we can see how our actions align with our values.
How can we place a mirror before ourselves? Through serious and sustained introspection. However, such self-examination can be so discomforting that most of us will end up avoiding it.
Nonetheless, sometimes others place a mirror before us by their words and actions. It takes courage to look into that mirror too. When we do that, we can set things right, thereby rising to a better situation in our life.
The Bhagavad-gita serves as such a mirror for Arjuna and through him for all of us. Though his words were lofty, his emotions were uninformed and were leading him to unworthy actions (02.11). As Krishna’s words helped Arjuna peer deep into the mirror held in front of him, he realized what was wrong and how he could set it right.
If we learn to study the Gita regularly and to seek guidance of the association with those studying and living the Gita, we will find ourselves with a mirror that can show us not just the darkness within us but also the light within us. In fact, we get to see the light of our spiritual essence and the supreme light of the Divinity within us. That light helps us not only to clearly see what’s wrong but also to set it right.
It takes courage to hold a mirror to take a hard look at ourselves; it also takes courage to look when others hold a mirror before us
Think it over:
- Why do we need a mirror to look at our life?
- How can the Gita provide us a mirror to look at ourselves?
- Consider how you can use the Gita to take a good look at ourselves.
02.11: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead.