Why Over-Reflection Can Make You Sad

12 Jun

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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3 Responses to “Why Over-Reflection Can Make You Sad”

  1. Sonya June 21, 2013 at 4:51 AM #

    A good reminder to many of us, I’m sure.

    I love the painting depicted in the back-ground of your blog. Do you mind if I ask who did it, and what type of paint is used?

    Kind regards.

    • Raeleen Mautner June 21, 2013 at 6:51 AM #

      Hi Sonya, thank you for asking! The background was painted by my brilliantly talented cousin Giuseppe DeFilippo. He lives in Calabria, and his father was a brilliant and esteemed artist, too. He uses oils. Do you also paint?

      • Sonya June 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM #

        Hi Raeleen,

        I have recently begun drawing classes at my local Arts Centre and I am thoroughly enjoying it. We have done a little painting with acrylics, also. I loved to draw when I was a child and decided to do more now my two boys are away at University. It has really brought a lot of joy into my life.

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