This is a weirdly loaded word for me.
First, as an insomniac, and as someone who believes that happiness is a choice, I feel my thoughts turn inward at all kinds of quiet times. Am I happy? Where are the weak spots, and what can be done about them? I might also use meditation to take introspection deeper, to get beyond the superficial questions about myself and explore my soul. This is the level where I might be able to touch my physical pain, to do the work required in sublimating it. It works for as long as I’m able to stay in this deep thought, and then vanishes all too soon when I’m pulled out. At what point am I experiencing happiness and pain at the same time? And how can I continue to make those two things coexist, since they must? Introspection can be a trap. It’s a dangerous hallway to follow because soon you’re opening up all kinds of doors, some which may be better off staying shut. And somewhere in there is the reason I don’t sleep. It’s never been easy for me to turn it off. I have taught myself a lot of relaxation techniques to flip that switch, but introspection is difficult to avoid. I think TV was probably invented for just this reason. And I don’t watch TV.
Second, as a therapist, I caution my clients against this time and again. A little is good, but way too many of us overdose on it, and that’s toxic. There is a fine line between introspection and rumination, and we must find it and respect it. Err on the safe side. We cannot live inside ourselves. Start a conversation with a real person instead, someone who can offer a different perspective. Preferably someone who could even be impartial. But don’t rely solely on your own thoughts. Magical thinking. Pessimism. Miscommunication. Negative thoughts. Identity issues. Traps. All of them.
I'm posting it at Saint Vodka rather than Assholes Watching Movies because it seems a better fit over here. Plus this old blog gets lonely...