How do you define yourself?
This is an important question that requires reflection. For example, do you perceive the steps in your life as courageous, or does your ego’s perception of life as survival define your existence? To change this perception requires you to stop, embrace the present and seek the support of others who refuse to encourage your old behaviors. With self-actualization and spiritual courage comes a quieting and shifting of desires.
Do you have a childhood “survival story” that you hold onto for dear life? Having claimed your personal courage, now is the time to let go of that story if you want to remove yourself from bad situations. Such stories are ego-created scripts that block your path to growth, but they can be overcome by adopting a personal meditative practice, which helps to uncover motivations obscured by the controlling tendencies of ego.
A meditative discipline introduces us to a deeper level of courage consciousness that reinforces our ability to live more consistently in the “yes mode” of the true Self (rather than the ego’s “yes/no” of survival). We become less reactive, less identified with ego and less externally focused. Eckhart Tolle admonishes us in The Power of NOW, “Say ‘yes’ to life—and see how life suddenly starts to work for you rather than against you.… By watching the mechanics of the mind, you step out of its resistance patterns, and you can then allow the present moment to be.”
Soon, the old ego-scripts, the false self-stories, release their hold. Freed from the past, we no longer replay the old scripts that keep us stuck in denial. As the ego’s mental control scripts begin to fade, however, something unexpected happens. The internal space once dominated by the voice in your head begins to fill with joy, “the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one’s own true being,” writes philosopher Paul Tillich in The Courage to Be. Are you willing to face it?
Most of us seem to recognize that denial tendencies probably started when we grew up in dysfunctional families. At times, we even recognize how the dysfunctional scripts continue to show up in our lives. We all need to banish these stale scripts (about physical/emotional abuse, alcohol/drug abuse, winning at all costs, job titles, keeping up with the Joneses, hoarding and so on). We all have emotional, spiritual or physical scarring, but what matters is making the choice to use your courage to make a change, to escape the self-deception of denial.
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