Sometimes it feels quite easy to write what you want you should do. In fact, when you write everything down the task of self-improvement looks quite easy! But, alas, knowing what to do is only part of the problem. Even when we have resolved what we want to do, part of our human nature can cling to its old habits, emotions and thought patterns. Even when we no longer want to pursue a certain emotion, it still can come to the fore despite our mental rejection.
Sometimes, it can feel like there are two parts to our self. There is the one positive part aspiring for a better consciousness. At times we glimpse this and feel a sincere happiness. At other times, we can feel overpowered by some undesirable aspect of our nature.
The first thing to bear in mind, is that everyone has this experience of making a few steps forward and a few steps backwards. It is necessary to accept our transformation takes time. – See: Changing yourself by accepting yourself. It is often just when we think we have made great progress and overcome some emotion like anger, that it re-appears out of nowhere and takes us by surprise. Human nature does take a long time to transform. But, when we experience the stubbornness of our own nature, it is important to bear in mind a few things.
- Don’t be depressed or mad with yourself for a temporary relapse. By becoming depressed over our weaknesses, we only strengthen them. A feeling of guilt or despondency is also very unhelpful. If we see it is a inevitable step in our self improvement then it loses much of its power. See: Avoiding Self Pity
- At the same time, we must distance ourselves from this emotion. We shouldn’t give it any mental support. By distancing ourselves from our negative emotion, it helps us to detach and slowly the experience will dissipate.
- A quiet but firm resolve to overcome any difficulty is the most effective way of quickly overcoming them. We should avoid elation at a good experience and despondency at depressing experiences. But, we do need flexibility and a willingness to give up old thought patterns and habitual responses.
I enjoy peace
Only when I am not afraid
Of changing my stubborn mind.
– Sri Chinmoy (1)
- Don’t Over Analyse / focus on your Negative Qualities. The best way to overcome negative qualities is simply to aspire for more light and concentrate on doing the right thing.
- Any experience is an opportunity to transcend the quality we want to. We need to maintain a careful balance between self criticism and self encouragement
(1) Excerpt from Peace-Blossom-Fragrance, Part 1 by Sri Chinmoy
photo Tejvan, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries.