Within myself, in the sphere of nuclear family, in the sphere of extended family, in the sphere of work relationships, &/or in another sphere of relationships:
As a parent, supervisor, manager, or other authority figure:
Have I discouraged, am I currently discouraging, or do I scheme to discourage at some point in the near, middling, or distant future free thought and creative self expression in order to maintain control, in order to play it safe, in order to maintain circumstances as “I like them”?
By what I say or don’t say,
by what I think or don’t think,
by what I do or don’t do:
have I stifled, am I stifling, will I be stifling my own growth or the growth of others?
If so: with whom? in what way/s? when?
If so, this way of keeping the reins so tight: is such a way right and proper? Does it come from a place of goodwill, mixed goodwill and ill-will, or pure ill-will?
Out of impatience, out of fear, out of pride, out of a desire to manipulate disguised as love: have I caused my own spirit light or the spirit light of another to lose its strength by mockery, by discouraging words, by harsh criticism, by instilling fear?
Given this honesty, how to progress in the direction of integrity, in the direction of 2WAI outcomes?
Searching honestly within ourselves in the earnest desire for truth, where do the pangs of conscience disturb our peace? Maybe the realization of our selfishness is clear, maybe the realization of our selfishness is only dimly visible, or maybe all we sense is a vague sensation of something amiss within.
The regular practices of: introspective reflection; exposing layer after layer of our desires, our true motivations, our fears, etc. to the light of conscious awareness; coming face to face with our faults, shortcomings, and character defects; aligning with the intent to uplift ourselves from these darkened ways, these immature tendencies; appealing to our Higher Self to help us in the process: these are just as crucial to health as fresh air, fresh food, and clean water. Just as a skillful gardener eagerly seeks out plant and animal pests to protect the integrity of what belongs in her plot, so too should we want to reveal and engage with our faults in order to purify ourselves and grow stronger internally. What benefit is filling our minds with “good” messages if we don’t also work on purifying our unskillful ways–the roots of which are often found below the surface by committed self-examination?