Uncovering the Joyful Self we were meant to be
This article is about becoming more present and conscious. It’s about all the ways this will serve us and enrich our lives. When we create a much healthier relationship with ourselves, it then inevitably spreads out to positively affect others. Our whole lives become transformed as we uncover the joyful self we were meant to be.
Imagine if you could accept yourself exactly as you are? How it would be if you no longer had to strive to be someone better, wealthier or more attractive? Who would you find if you could uncover the joyful self you were meant to be? The person that you truly are before you tried to fit into somebody else’s box of beliefs. Before you tried to conform to another’s idea of how you ought to behave, what you ought to believe in, and how you ought to live your life.
Our non acceptance of who we are
It’s hard for us to imagine being at peace with ourselves because most of us have been so conditioned to please somebody else. We’ve tried to measure up to another’s standards, to “fit in”. In doing this, we’ve lost touch with who we truly are in the first place.
Striving to keep up appearance, we waste a lot of time and energy trying to please or impress others.
Why do we do this? – Because basically, we don’t accept ourselves as we are.
We live in a consumer society which tries to keep our attention and energy always tuned into the next thing we need to buy, earn, or strive towards in order to become popular, successful – even loved. At the same time we keep our emotional pain and disappointments well out of sight, hidden and denied.
In this way, we become strangers to ourselves. Our inner world has become an emotional wilderness. How can we ever uncover the joyful self we were meant to be. So often we find it utterly boring to “be alone with myself” and we seek distractions to feed our busy mind.
Then we suffer some great challenge in life – an illness, the death of a loved one, a divorce, or bankruptcy and all these painful memories we thought we had pushed away come back to haunt us.
Useless Baggage that’s not even ours
Maybe we’re carrying so much useless baggage that we’ve lost touch with ourselves “who am I ?” It’s always a surprise to discover that so much of this baggage of fear, limitation, aggression and poverty consciousness, (to name just a few) actually belong to another; yet it was programmed into us!
As children we often take on the fears, limitations and prejudices of our parents or teachers and then believe them to be our own.
So often people extend compassion and care for another’s pain, yet they have no mercy for their own suffering. We can only give from a place of plenty, so what prevents us from being compassionate to ourselves?
I believe it’s a combination of several things. It’s the baggage we carry from others; our own unreleased emotional pain; and the continuous false promises from our consumer society. This false propaganda that tries to hypnotise us into believing that the only way to attain happiness is to buy, get, and acquire more.
Overcoming Resistance – Taking Responsibility
We’re burdened and divided against ourselves. What we really need is to overcome the resistance to feeling our pain. Then, in releasing it, we come home to ourselves. How do we recognise what doesn’t belong to us and let it go? By taking responsibility for our own unwanted painful emotions. We don’t need to search very hard for these because they turn up regularly in our daily lives: jealousy at being passed over for another person, anger at being intimidated or manipulated, pain at not being seen or heard.
Releasing trapped energy
In the wild when a hunted animal reaches safety, it often shakes itself vigorously, having escaped a predator. In doing this the animal is shaking off the excessive adrenalin surging through its system from their flight to safety. With humans however the adrenalin that’s generated within us from stressful people and situations has nowhere to go. It remains trapped within our bodies. This not only makes us feel pretty awful – it can lead to stress related illnesses or emotional trauma later in life. Therefore, we need to find a neutral way of discharging this trapped energy. And this needs to be a way that does not engage the aggression of another. Then we can release our backlog of emotional pain; our unshed tears; our unreleased anger.
Sometimes what may appear crazy on the surface can actually be a great way to neutralise and release our anger, frustration and grief. We may find great relief by:
- screaming into a pillow
- punching a mattress
- throwing stones in the sea
- releasing a loud scream in our car
- writing out our pain and then symbolically burning the writings as a means of release
- going for a run/workout in a gym – if done deliberately & consciously
We could write out our painful feelings and then symbolically burn them as a means of releasing them.
Turning Attention Within the Body
So how are we to heal this inner division and find lasting peace and true self acceptance? Often it’s the really simple things that work. We can take a few deep breaths and counting to 10 instead of exploding in anger. Perhaps it’s possible to leave the room to give ourselves more space to calm down.
By staying present with the chaos that’s within us we can bring about profound change.
Now we can generate calm instead of lashing out with blame. We learn to see through and grow beyond the coping strategies from our past. It’s no longer necessary to indulge in “poor me” victim. We become aware of passive aggressive behaviour we’ve developed as a fearful defence against some past attack. We can then begin to uncover the joyful self we were meant to be.
The Soothing Magic of Inner Focus
How do we do this? By remaining focused upon ourselves – on the very sensations erupting within our bodies. When I notice my pounding heart, or that I’m holding my breath or clenching my stomach, these sensations quieten down. They become soothed and soon become transformed into something much more peaceful.
Standing back in this way, we create choice. We can now respond in a completely different way – if any response is even necessary. We don’t lose the plot by becoming the victim of explosive reactions that only leave us feeling remorse, exhaustion and even more anger later on.
When we take back what’s ours, what’s not ours falls away.
The Power of Forgiveness
We all have a wonderful capacity to forgive and let go. If we could observe how much energy we lose in holding a grudge against another, we’d be horrified. Because it is we ourselves who suffer from withholding forgiveness. Knowing this, we would really strive to find ways to let go and move on.
When we’ve made peace with ourselves, when we’ve faced all our long standing demons and resolved them, we find that our relationships with everybody else will inevitably change and improve. We begin to attract completely different people and situations into our lives . Not needing to relive the same old boring dramas anymore, our whole way of life becomes transformed – more positive, joyful and fulfilled. A whole new future opens out for us!