Who am I? What am I doing? Why am I here? Is this what I really want? How did I get here? If you ever asked yourself one or more of those questions (in your mind or aloud), it means you have indulged in some soul searching. Soul searching is not a retreat to the mountains or a vacation in a faraway location. It is merely reflecting on your present situation, and can be done anywhere at any time where you can have a moment of silence to yourself.

Nothing is forever, and nothing stays the same. We keep growing or changing as time moves on, and sometimes we are lost. We experience different phases of life and one of those phases unknowingly becomes our identity. How we see ourselves has a huge impact on our existence because all the people that surround us and all the things we do are connected. At times, the world that once seemed perfect suddenly begins to look flawed and sad.

People lose purpose or a sense of direction due to numerous reasons. Typically, it happens when we have made the wrong choice in career, relationships, or lifestyle. The feeling of emptiness, guilt, or dissatisfaction eats us on the inside. A successful businessman could be unhappy and lonely because he never got to settle down with the love of his life. A housewife living the ideal family life in a small town may wish she had opted for higher studies, and travelled the world instead of marrying young.

Human beings can go astray or commit wrongdoings intentionally or involuntarily. Most of us regret actions that have harmed us or other people in any way. A doctor previously involved in medical malpractice might want to redeem himself, or a company owner who harassed employees may wish to make amends. If you are willing to improve or transform who you are right now, a bit of soul searching can open your mind to better options.

For effective soul searching, you will need some alone time in a quiet, yet calming place. You have to consider all aspects of your life, i.e. the ones you want to keep and the ones you want to get rid of. You may need to quit a job, break up with a partner, or abandon an entire social circle to make that happen. Letting go of certain habits and material things is the next step. Change is hard, and escaping a routine you are adhered to takes a lot of courage and will power. You also need optimism because the new path you have chosen could be rather challenging.

Many people are mocked for being religious, in regard to the propaganda and backlash on social media. In reality, individuals embrace a religion to get some guidance and support. Faith in an unseen or higher universal power gives them hope. Many people need something to believe in or hold on to, especially in the course of soul searching; becoming part of a religion gives them that. People find themselves and true happiness in different ways; anything that provides inspiration or helps achieve the much-needed inner peace is a miracle.

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