Like most people, I have done my fair share of suffering through my conditioned mind.
My self-deprecating personality has always been accepted in society as neutral, even nice. However, the flip-side has been that I’ve been crippled by self-judgment. While I’m aware of the damage this mindset causes in my life, I’ve come to view it as a gift—a gift that allows me to see that the stories I tell myself are not always the truth.
After I had suffered long enough at the hands of anxiety and depression, I started the journey of looking inwards, a journey that has since become a fire.
My introspection has raised an important question: Is our reality born or bred into us from an early age? We must go all the way back to the start and do a little enquiry into our own experiences. Is the shape of our present moment innate or is it learned?
Could it be both? If it is both, how much of our experience is authentic to who we were at birth? Or to put it another way, what is our natural state of being versus our learned behavior right now, in this moment?
Most human beings walking this planet are a duality: the definition we were born with and the definition that we were taught—that which we were told we are.
That fire of my own path has burned away the veneer of what is not true. Despite this, my mind still wants to maintain control—it is the ultimate manipulative entity, an entity with no physical presence. For me, this is proof enough that this entity—my mind itself—is something I have learned, not something that I was born with.
We spend so much time struggling with issues that aren’t essential to whom and what we really are. While the outer appearance of self-deprecation was helpful in some social setting, it did not reflect who I was on the inside. This is possibly the reason that the first line of Don Miguel Ruiz’s famous Four Agreements is, “Never speak against self, even in jest.”
It all starts and ends with the self.
If we are not supportive of ourselves, no one else will be. We will be taken for granted, used up, ignored, and our outer reality will soon match our inner state. This was the space that I occupied for so many years through constant self-judgment.
So, if we find ourselves stuck on a merry-go-round of self-judgment, the first thing we must do is simply recognize that the judgment is in fact taking place. Get curious: when did this pattern start? Was I born with it? Is there an event that took place in my past that triggered it?
To simply begin looking inwards and tracking your inner-self can be extremely revealing.
We spend so much of our lives in a state of effort that blocks our natural flow to our true power and heart. That constant effort is exhausting, and it robs us of our natural-born potential. Don’t take my word for it; simply start looking inwards.
So much of our lives are consumed by control—control of sport, work, relationships—but that effort to control is also a learned behavior we have acquired along the way. It is an effort born of judgment and comparison to others. That urge to control is out of line with life itself.
Imagine a self that creates no future, and lives in no past, but only the present—what is happening right now, in line with the natural flow of life and its creativity.
That doesn’t mean we don’t progress. It just means we progress in the direction that gives us our best chance of being creative and living authentically. In essence, it finally gives us the chance to realize our own true potential.
No instruction booklet came with us when we were born that instructed us how to breathe and to teach our hearts how to beat. There was no need to be taught how to digest food or how to remove waste, or how to circulate the blood through our veins and capillaries.
If you were to lay out all of the arteries, capillaries and veins in one adult, end-to-end, they would stretch about 100,000 kilometers. What’s more, the capillaries, which are the smallest of the blood vessels, would make up about 80 percent of this length.
By comparison, the circumference of the Earth is about 40,000 km. That means a person’s blood vessels could wrap around the planet approximately two and half times.
Still believe we are not miracles? Still question whether there is true potential and power in the self?
We have forgotten the true nature of all living creatures because of the ultimate tyrant: the mind and its judgments.
Don’t kneel at the god of chaos, the mind—for he is the supreme illusionist.
As Anthony Paul Moo-Young puts it so eloquently, “You are the master and the mind is your servant, that is the correct relationship.”
Author: Grant Giles
Editor: Callie Rushton