Along the path to finding inner contentment, internal challenges face us. The goal is to have a self-sustained, enjoyable life experience that never wavers. Internal challenges block this very possible and ever-present experience of inner peace. These challenges are a combination of conscious and subconscious belief systems and positional viewpoints that justify underlying behavior that is not aligned with achieving inner peace as an unwavering inner experience. Peace is reality; suffering is falsehood.
We face inner challenges on a daily basis in the form of self-judgment, appraisal of others, fears and worry, and any form of inner rationalization for holding onto negativity. If we retain any type of negativity such as shame, guilt, resentment, grudges, never-ending desire, fear, and so on, it is impossible to experience inner contentment because the negative qualities override the underlying peaceful experience of existence.
To the seeker of truth who has genuinely looked within himself or herself to see what is taking place, it becomes blatantly obvious we ourselves are the power source that initiates what is going on in our minds. We determine the inner experience. External factors can play an influential part, but when all is said and done, we are the determining factor with ultimate choice of how we want to express ourselves and the energy we choose to give off to the world and therefore get to experience. Each individual chooses what he or she sees as important enough to him or her to hold onto it as an inner reality.
False-based underlying behavior can be a major hindrance to one’s ability to be happy. If the goal is to sincerely find peace from inner suffering, it is time to be honest with ourselves and take responsibility for what is going on inside of us. If we don’t take responsibility, the mind will give someone to blame, some reason to be mad, upset, unhappy with the results of a specific outcome, judgmental about what is going on, and fearful about the future. And it will never end.
To speed up the process of living a joy-fulfilled life, we put our underlying behaviors in the spotlight. During this time of inner reflection, imagine a box that is labeled “Inner Behaviors That Hurt Me.” Think about what you can do for yourself to make your life experience better. Look at your behaviors from a self-honest point of view. When the negative inner behavior is showcased to ourselves, we ask, “What is my benefit for holding onto this way of thinking?” If you have agreed with yourself that there is no benefit to you, mentally place it into the box. Look deep within yourself until you have found all the undesirable qualities you have agreed are not worth holding onto anymore. Place them all in the box, and seal it shut so it is inaccessible to you. Now visualize in your imagination that you are standing on the top of a mountain, holding the box that is labeled “Inner Behaviors That Hurt Me.” When you are ready, throw the box off the cliff, and watch it fall until it is so far away that it drifts out of sight. This is a great exercise for freeing oneself from the restricting qualities of the false self. It can be done anytime a behavior in oneself needs surrendered.
The final step is to now imagine another box with a lid on it that is labeled “My Happy Spirit.” Open the lid, and keep it ajar. Your inner spirit is now free to express its excitement, joy, and fearless lighthearted nature.
Everyone has witnessed or experienced the negative effects of bullying, whether it was as a child or an adult. Bullies put pressure on people and force them to do things they don’t want to do. No one likes bullies, and most tend to avoid people with bully mentalities and forceful personalities. It’s easy to understand why. They are no fun to be around and drain our positive energies. Now here is an interesting question. Who is the biggest bully in your life?
Instantly, you might think it’s a silly question. You might think, “I don’t have a bully.” But there is an awakening realization. One very present bully affects each of our lives, our own minds. That’s right. Our own minds bully us. Let’s think about it. Our minds make us experience negativity in the form of shame, guilt, grief, anger, fear, and so forth, the very same emotions a typical bully can make someone feel.
We have been bullied our entire lives. Every time we experienced negativity and inner suffering, our own thoughts bullied us. Because we have been bullied for so long and are so used to it, we have adapted to it and accepted its negative presence in our lives. Every time we experience inner negativity, we are allowing ourselves to be bullied.
Our inner bullies have a way of putting pressure on us. Throughout the day, they can put us down, call us and other people names, create problems, judge, discriminate, justify negativity, and project negativity onto others. When we align ourselves with our inner bullies and listen to what they have to say, we force ourselves to endure the resulting suffering. The pressures we put on ourselves becomes overwhelming and almost too much bear. We live our lives under our inner created restrictions and limitations. The more forms of inner problems we experience, the more evident it is that our inner bullies are controlling our lives.
By putting pressure on ourselves for every little thing, it feels like there are tons of problems in our lives. Self-pressure equals inner problems. Self-pressure does not lead to happiness or constructive problem solving. Surrender it. It only adds to the confusion of life. We don’t need to pressure ourselves to be a certain weight, look or act a certain way, or be something we are not. Embrace who you are. Let yourself shine to your fullest without the pressures of the mind speaking negativity. One easy rule to remember is to ignore everything that tells you not to be happy and at peace in each moment. They are all illusions.
It is time to enjoy and love ourselves instead of constantly judging and pressuring ourselves. Love the new you that arises from the knowledge that the real you (spirit) and the inner bully (the ego mind) are very different. The real you is already complete and happy. Identify with the real you, and experience your true nature of being perfectly perfect.