As lyrically admonished by the late Bob Marley, “we must free ourselves from mental slavery”. Many of us hear those words and immediately assign form to a perpetrator outside of ourselves. We blame everyone that ever wronged us, and everthing that just never seemed to be in our favor.
I too am guilty of it. As plain as day I can list the persons whom I hold responsible and can even, in some instances, say exactly what wrong was done me. You might be thinking, it’s shameful that these occurrences are still vivid in my memory, or that I truly haven’t let go. Perhaps you’d be justified in your thinking; perhaps not. It’s debatable.
Some hurts feel so familiar.
I am constantly asking “why do I keep finding myself in these situations?” Same shit just a different hauler and the one common factor is, yup you guessed it, Me. My ability to recall persons and events where and by whom I felt wronged has served me well through this process. A process that requires consistent work and awareness.
What process? “None but ourselves can free our minds”
My thoughts are the ties which bind me and have kept me bound for as long as I can remember. Many of my conflicts and confrontations were birthed in my mind. How I preceived a person or situation determined my reactions. Reactions to which there were no previous actions. Over the years I had formed such a bond with my thought process; that it was darn near impossible to tell us apart. It was my safe harbor; my defense mechanism. A faulty strategy that shielded yet isolated me from living.
With that realization came the awareness…..could it be me? What are my actions (i.e. behavioural patterns, thought process, self image) saying? Am I fearful, insecure? Am I reacting to a preconceived behaviour or action that never occurred? Am I acting on assumptions? What haven’t I acknowledged?
Self examination is a necessary instrument and once used with precision will excise the very thing it reveals. Is it painful? Yes!! Extremely. Will it kill you? No! Your EGO, yes!.
Death is a necessary process.
The process requires that we die. Of courese not literally, but metaphorically dying to our selfish ways. Giving up our desire to all-ways be right, or to be in control. We have to be honest with ourselves, about where we are versus where we pretend to be. We have to identify and break all the self limiting beliefs and words we have used against ourselves. Honesty is such a necessary instrument.
I once heard and often repeated, because I believe it, that “the truth is only offensive if you’re in denial”.
I am not the author of the following guidelines but they are applicable to the process:
- Do not make assumptions. Be bold enough to ask questions.
- Do not take things personal. Other people’s actions are a result of their reality and had nothing to do with you.
- Be impeccably with your words. Do not use your word to speak negatively or gossip against yourself or another person
- Always do your best. Your best will differ from time to time depending on your health and surrounding. But whatever your best is in every situation give it. Doing so will prevent that self Judge from having space.