You’re Your Own Worst Enemy
I’ve been public enemy #1 before.
I’ve been outcast.
I’ve been followed in stores, called racist insults in classrooms, on playgrounds, in the workplace and on the streets. I’ve been dirt poor and homeless and I’ve been talked about like a dog. I’ve been falsely accused, chased by groups down streets and from institutions, escorted from a job and have spent a night in jail. I’ve had a gun pulled on me, I’ve been in physical altercations and I’ve been curled up on the floor in fetal position crying out to God.
I’ve been through the Dark Night of the Soul and who is to say I won’t be there again.
There is nothing anyone can say to me, about me, that I haven’t said at some point in my life to and about myself. For that reason, I have cultivated a certain sense of self-knowledge that allows me to perceive life through a very particular lens, one that presupposes a tangible familiarity with spiritual truisms that have become more than mental or ideological structures, but that are very real and affective experiences that have resulted in changes in my character over a period of years.
I am not the same person I was when I was 17.
Or 27. Or even, 37 and 47. None of us are, really. But there is a process of mental and emotional release that is a potential for humans to experience, that most do not, because they do not understand that it is even possible or even a desireable state to cultivate.
It is also not easy to do. It takes something. For instance, that or those event(s) and associated pain that you’re ignoring? That you suppress with all of your will? That you’ve been pushing into the background for decades? Yes, that one right there, that you are thinking of right now. It is affecting every aspect of your life.
Every. Single. Aspect.
Like an octopus, its tendrils have been influencing your every thought and decision and you don’t even know that you don’t know that about yourself. This is everyone, for the most part. Except for those who undergo the process, which is continuous, of revealing those hidden aspects of self that contribute to the greater Self that we all are.
If I must put a value judgment upon who I am, I can currently say I am a different and higher version of who I have been in the past, because I have learned from some of my mistakes. There are many I am still learning from, of course, which will be the case for every one of us until we make the choice to leave this vale of tears. While I respect the perspective of all people, my sense of self is solid enough so that I recognize when people are characterizing me by projecting their own qualities onto me, which is often the case. We hate most in others what we sometimes can see in ourselves and until we realize that, all opinions about others are really judgments about who we are in the world.
We all can and should have this kind of internal discourse with ourselves as it is part of our personal recapitulation process, wherein we go within and determine, truly, who we are, beyond the lies that we tell ourselves and the illusions we cultivate to make ourselves seem better to ourselves and others than we really are. Learning not to lie to ourselves is quite important.
My personality, yours, are only part of who and what we are. As the accompanying image attests, we are much, much more than we often think. And we are not bound by any constraints, other than those we place upon ourselves. The trick in freeing ourselves from them though, is in finally realizing that it is we, ourselves, who have done this to ourselves.
Stop blaming others.
Take full responsibility for absolutely everything that happens.
Stop with the self-recrimination and hatred.
Easier said than done, obviously. The ceaseless chatter of the monkey-mind is always telling us lies and stroking our egos. Seek to still the running chorus and cultivate presence, so you can be present and accountable for all of who you truly are.
It is a choice.
One that doesn’t take into account what others think of you, rendering those thoughts less than meaningless. Because, in the end, it will become clear that there truly are no others. That we are each shards, or reflections of individuated collectives of consciousness coursing toward eternity on an infinite timeline, experiential interactions of quantum material bound toward that from which we sprang, an eternity and infinity ago.