Retrospection Exercise

Retrospection Exercise

introductory spiritual exercises

Each night as you’re lying in bed preparing to go to sleep, say the following prayer (or something like it):

O Lord, reveal to me my deeds of this day and show me what I did right, what I could have done better, and what I shouldn’t have done. Forgive me for my mistakes and misdeeds and give me the strength and motivation to correct them on the morrow.

Then, go over what you did today in reverse order. Start with what you were doing right before you got in bed and then work backwards, touching on each event as it played out in the course of your day until you cover what you did the first thing that morning.

This shouldn’t take very long. The process should be matter-of-fact, leaving emotion out of it. If you can’t let go of the emotion, then give that to God, too.

As you do this, think of whether your action was positive or negative. If positive, bless it and give God thanks for it. If negative—something you either wish you hadn’t done or would have liked to do better—resolve to do better. Then ask God to take away and cleanse you of both the positive and the negative activities of your day. No attachment. Do your retrospection, hand it to God, and then go to sleep.

This exercise is very important for your soul’s development. Make it your lifelong routine. Also, don’t discuss it with anyone.

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