Journey Monologues No. 9: Are you staying conscious? #personalgrowth

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The ego defends against love, not fear. ….. The effort it takes to grow out of painful patterns often feels more uncomfortable than remaining in them. Personal growth can be painful, because it can make us feel ashamed and humiliated to face our own darkness. But the goal of personal growth is to journey out of dark emotional patterns that cause us pain, to those that create peace.

-Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

 

Starting our journey and staying on it are two different things. First we have to get on the path to self-realization. It is available to everyone and will take us back to our true self or Buddha nature. Our true self is pure. At the core, we all have the potential to reach great bliss and inner peace – even enlightenment.

To start on the path, we need only intend to do so. The spiritual, mental and physical aspects of our lives are all connected. We can start anywhere really. Get some exercise, meditate or do some reading – all with the intention of creating a positive change. Make the choice to go the distance, to look within and see what is there.

So many of us avoid looking at ourselves out of great fear – and for good reason. Though we suffer in our darkness it is, indeed, easier to stay there. But that is not living. That is not the intention of our lives.

There are those that say, it is in the past, leave it there. Yet, only through understanding the past can we truly live in the present. Covering up old trauma can only lead to the development of neurosis or flawed, often negative, patterns of thinking. People don’t want to be defensive, fearful, anxious, angry or hold hate in their hearts. These patterns develop from a place of pain. And, more importantly, left alone, these emotions and reactions can run our lives.

Getting on the path takes courage. It takes time. And it takes dedication. Staying on the path requires the same amount of effort – if not more. Life is not static. Indeed, it is very fluid. There are, continually, challenges in our lives – a move, a new relationship, a change in work, children. All too easily we can, again, loss our way.

To stay on our journey, we must remain conscious. This is where mindfulness comes in handy. Our delusions will work to send us off in a different direction. Funny how we work against ourselves, but, if you think about it, we may be trying to change patterns that are decades old. Our ego will create roadblocks or simply work to distract us. It is easily done in today’s fast moving world.  

Being aware of this, being mindful, helps us to stay conscious. This is so important. You would be surprised how easy it is to fall back into old patterns, even after years of work.

The good news is, once you became aware of any backtracking, you can, once again, resolve to change. We are retraining our minds – the computers in our heads that we make decisions from. Practice makes perfect. It is much easier to get back on track the second time, or the third or…. The important thing is to take the ride. Your higher self will thank you for it.