I have been doing a lot of musing lately about what makes a "monastic". The simple definition, of course, is anything that relates to monasteries - monks or nuns - but in practice it is much more than that. It is a way of being, a thinking, a placing of self, in the way of stability, conversion of life, and obedience.
One thing that I have come to realise is that if I can't look myself in the mirror in the morning and say, "I might be a bit rough around the edges, but in the end, I love myself because I am loved and lovable" then I am not suited to the monastic life. I need to accept myself, flaws and all, and open those flawed places to the conversion of life that I have vowed myself to accept - which means that I need to examine my life to find those flaws. It's not an invitation to obsessive introspection, but to consider my actions and my life in the light of God's loving concern for me and for those around me. All of this is framed by my obedience in the Community, my love and respect for those who journey with me.