Why Over-Reflection Can Make You Sad

Passero Solitario

“A gripping sadness pervades the great Giacomo Leopardi’s “Il Passero Solitario “(the lonely sparrow). Leopardi (1798-1837) is one of Italy’s most important historic treasures. This philosopher and poet created an extraordinary masterpiece of verbal art in describing the bittersweet similarity between his observations of the sparrow, for whom living a solitary life is instinctual, and his own life, which became painfully solitary through the loss of his health and his youth. The sparrow could continue to be happy because it had not capacity to dwell on its loneliness. Leopardi, having an exquisite mind for reflection, could not help but dwell on the sorrow he felt as his illness distanced him from nature and the world around him” (from Lemons into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy –HCI Books).

It is important to take time to reflect on where you have been and where you are going. This gives continuity and clarity. Reflection helps you to make sense out of your life and reach your goals .  Overdoing self-examination , however , can have just the opposite effect. It turns into self-scrutiny. Living inside of your own  head can keep us chained to our sorrows and negativity. No one is harsher on ourselves than we are.  If you want to lift your  spirits, try substituting some excess reflection time with spontaneity and action. Get involved with the  life you want to lead, don’t just analyze it.


For more insights on getting through loss and adversity, read “Lemons into Limoncello”; available wherever books are sold.

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