From Wikipedia, “Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one’s own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one’s soul. It can also be called contemplation of one’s self, and is contrasted with extrospection, the observation of things external to one’s self. Introspection may be used synonymously with and in a similar way to human self-reflection.”
So are we to learn from the self portrait? It seems strange to me, how I can look in the mirror each day and the man looking back at me is much the same as the 21 year old me, a long time ago; but when I see a self portrait, I ask myself, “who is that”? Do we see ourselves as forever young when we look in the mirror? And why should we be so concerned with our selves and our appearance? In Philipians, Paul tells us, ” 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
We do need to monitor our selves, to make sure that we are being less self centered, more in tune to others needs, and how we can help with the tools and gifts God has given us. I believe that is where the introspection comes into play, when we ask our selves, “who am I, and what are my strengths, how can I help”?
The self portrait may help us to see who we really are and how we appear to others. Our attitudes are reflected in our portraits and each picture is a captured moment in time.