The ability to question what we believe will be one of the most powerful gifts we can allow ourselves to experience on the path to self-discovery, and also one of the most difficult tasks we will ever face.
Whether you have already incorporated a daily meditation practice, or journaling, or even some type of professional therapy or any combination thereof, becoming aware of the thoughts that run through our mind each day is a complete game changer. In short order, we begin notice the repetition and sometimes nonsensical nature of almost every thought that passes through. It’s only when we stay stuck in identifying with what is nothing more than the phenomena of the mind, and the firing of synapses that are entrenched in our conditioning, which we’ve probably never questioned, that leads to our suffering. It's funny because, we wouldn't allow our house to collect and store a bunch of trash, so why would we allow our minds to? The truth is, people go their entire lives without ever once questioning their beliefs, values, ideals, thoughts or assumptions. How has this avoidance tendency become so normalized? I have a pretty good idea: enter the ego. The ego is masterful at justifying how we need to stay safe, stay within the herd and don't disrupt the status quo. Don't get me wrong, as a dedicated Jungian, I believe we need the ego, but we also need to keep it in check like a well-behaved dog on a leash.
Okay, so you've decided you want to jump in and explore more deeply, what are some of the questions you can ask yourself? Below you'll find a few starters that work well with journaling your answers. If you don't like writing, you can also simply sit in a peaceful place and follow the threads of your mind. Turbo charge this session by setting an intention of only being devastatingly honesty with yourself. The deeper the honesty, the further you will go.
What is the source of this feeling I am experiencing now? Can I trace this back to my childhood? If so, what was happening then?
What are the ways that I am hiding, numbing, distracting myself from some truth about me that I don't want to face?
Could this “fill in the blank” (anxiety, fear, anger, depression)… be because I am not meeting my own needs or I'm ignoring my needs in some way?
When we can meet ourselves in this loving and compassionate way, over and over again, we truly begin on the path of transformation. And in time, we may begin to notice that our emotional burdens feel lighter and we are naturally allowing more peace and acceptance into our life. Suddenly, the world feels softer and kinder towards us and we feel more safe in it.
If we can allow ourselves to ask these deeper questions and are then able to sit with our findings, without self-judgement or shame, but rather developing a loving curiosity towards whatever surfaces, we then open ourselves up to massive growth. We then begin to deepen the relationship with ourselves. By realizing that we no longer need to hide, numb or distract ourselves from our difficult aspects, rather we can trust ourselves to be able to handle it all and love our way through it, and in doing so, we find peace, allowing more equanimity to our life. We may also notice we don't need to reach outwardly so often anymore for validation and security. Because of we've developed and nurtured our own inner compass, we can now be all those things and more for ourselves.
My wish is that you fall in love with the process of exploring your inner world, and view each discovery as an unearthed gem that we can hold with curiosity and love back towards healing. And I know I keep harping on this, but it is true - any healing we bring to ourselves, we also bring to the world. Put simply: we can't expect the world to change, until we do.
So much love...xx