This is going to be a long discussion, even by STRENGTH with SUBSTANCE standard. I also have to point out as an exemption clause that I am not imposing that you should live like I do. I am simply sharing what has worked for me. I am not a guru or an expert and I am absolutely not better than you.
This post is pretty much about the lessons I learned from the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and I would recommend this book to anyone that desires to overcome their internal struggles or to anyone looking to have more weapons in their arsenal to combat life challenges.
What’s the battle within?
I wrote in a separate article that every single human being goes through a process of domestication where as children, we were taught some core values from external agents such as our parents, friends, religion, school, teachers, brothers, sisters, television and the society as a whole.
We form our personalities based on what we have learned from these external sources.
Arguably, the domestication process exists to ensure that we are integrated into productive and fully functioning members of society.
Ironically, the exact opposite is achieved. More often than not, we are left with values and teachings that clash internally with each other and before you know it, there is now a battle brewing within you!
That’s how it starts
During your adolescence, you may find that your internal world is in conflict but you don’t know why.
As you grow older, you discover that your normal tendencies are lost in the process of domestication and you have now become someone you know you’re not.
You can’t even recognise yourself any longer. You are now a clone and a product of your parent’s and society’s beliefs. You’re not happy. You don’t want to be a clone or a “copy” but…you can’t be vocal about this. Oh no no, there are consequences. The judge (the world) reigns supreme!
You can’t reject or challenge the judge. You can’t say “no” because you aren’t “mature” or powerful enough. You can’t say “no” to religion, you can’t say “no” to peer pressure, you can’t say “no” to society and you wouldn’t dare say “no” to your parents!
However, now that you’re an adult, you feel as though you have unlocked the special ability to say “no!” and you’ll be damned if you don’t utilise it to the fullest.
You decide to fight back.
You reject some of the things which you have been taught by these external agents. From this point onward, when society and the world tell you “don’t do this or that”, you rebel. You say “no!” Why? you are defending your freedom! You have declared war on anything thing or anyone that’s a threat to your freedom.
You are engaged in warfare. You are in a battle.
You are claiming back yourself
(or so you thought)
Why am I still not living happily ever after?
You thought you were winning the battle? That’s cute.
How naive to think you take back control of yourself without some resistance from the world. You must have forgotten that this is a battle.
Unfortunately, while on your path to personal freedom, you quickly abandon hope.
You soon realise that you no longer need the world to be a judge as you have now learned how to judge yourself during all those years of domestication. To an extent where when you try to live life on your terms, you discovered that the unwanted beliefs and teaching by the external agents still rule supreme in your life!
Remember that one time you were told that you were not good enough?
Or what about the time where you were made to feel “stupid, ugly or inadequate”?
I’m sure you can think back to that time where you made one small mistake but you pay for it continuously by reliving the memory in your mind a 100x. Don’t deny it, you know what I’m talking about.
In this state, you find that there are now a thousand voices all talking at the same time in your mind and none of them is hearing each other out. There’s so much noise. So much confusion and it’s at this point that you realise that perhaps, you’re boned!
The society is a battleground where we have learned to live by other people’s point of view so much that we fear rejection or the feeling that we are not good enough for someone else.
Without a doubt, this statement is even far more relevant in today’s digital age.
I wonder how many people there are on social media today looking like they’re sitting on top of the world even though deep down they might actually want to jump off it! The reason for this is simple: they are not truly happy. It’s all a facade.
We live in a world where we try to fit in, impress others and constantly live by their standards. Whether it’s our friends, parents, family members, priest, pastor, teacher, colleagues, boyfriend, girlfriend, society or whomever.
As a result of this, we learn to wear social masks to camouflage who we truly are.
We pretend to be what we’re not for the sake of acceptance. However, this behaviour did not happen overnight. Like I’ve illustrated above, everything occurs during the process of domestication. It’s a result of what we’ve learned through our experiences via our interaction with others. Good or bad. Throughout our lives, little did we know that we were being equipped with the tools to either create our ideal version of personal heaven or HELL. Tools to either win or lose the battle taking place in our inner world.
The battle continues
I am supremely confident that a lot of people today are living a pretentious life. They are scared. Scared to be themselves. As a result, they reject and dishonour themselves for the sake of acceptance or to please someone else.
Living like this can cause you to start abusing yourself mentally, emotionally and sometimes even physically simply because deep down you know that you’re living a fake and unauthentic life. You start finding yourself doing things which you’re not proud of or you start saying ugly things to yourself and worse: you start believing them!
You begin to inhale a lot of emotional poison and you let toxic people rule your life.
Although truth be told, nobody has ever abused you more than yourself AND the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit you will tolerate from someone else. “If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will definitely walk away but if it’s a little less than you abuse yourself, you will stay and tolerate it”.
However, if you genuinely love yourself to a point where you know your true self-worth, you won’t tolerate any nonsense. Neither would you have to prove yourself to anyone. You won’t have the need to question how adequate you are because your existence is not to conform to other people’s expectations of you. Instead, you will be living in your own world and on your own terms. In your personal heaven.
Remember this: Loving yourself does not mean you won’t have any fears nor is it exempting you from having insecurities, trials or tribulations. Loving yourself takes courage because sometimes it might require that you “suffer” in order to grow!
The picture below speaks for itself.
One cannot remake themselves without suffering. For hey are both the marble and the sculptor
How to claim back your true identity
This article has shed some light on the reasons why some people live life the way they do today. It has also explained some reasons why they suffer from internal conflicts when it comes to certain matters.
However, what it hasn’t done is absolve them for NOT taking responsibility for their own lives and well-being.
This post is not providing justifications for not addressing the issues that are preventing some individuals from living the life they truly desire, free from personal hell. Neither is it advising the individual to place the blame on someone else. Please know that ultimately, YOU are responsible for your action or inaction. YOU are responsible for internalising or spitting out emotional poison.
You are responsible for surrounding yourself with uplifting or toxic people and it’s solely YOU that’s responsible for your outlook on life in general.
Does Timi really live an authentic life?
Everyone has a battle that they’re fighting (relative to them and their circumstance) and I’m not exempted.
Growing up, mine was related to religion and inadequacy.
However, you need to understand that living an authentic life is a very subjective matter. It’s quite relative and varies from person to person. The real authentic “Timi” is a 24 years old anime watching savage.
I really do watch anime and I go to the gym quite regularly.
I’m also an online gamer that loves to read self-help books and I have this slightly above average website where I apparently upload dodgy pictures of myself and write really long posts on personal development.
In addition, I decided to quit my law career 8 months ago to pursue a more fulfilling role in marketing. Why? simply because I felt as though I was underachieving and stuck in a dead-end profession.
To top this off, I’m a potty mouth nominal Christian who still struggles deeply with sin.
As you can see, I’m not perfect and the reason I’m able to say all this is simply because I really don’t care what other people think of me anymore. I’m not living in their world therefore, I can’t bow down to their rules and standards.
Side note: you should care what people think when it comes to business.
Create your own heaven on earth
Okay so far, we are in agreement that sometimes we may have been moulded into living our lives disguised as someone we’re not as a result of our experiences. However, I believe that there are two things that can lead to true personal freedom:-
- Figure out who you ARE
- Figure out what you’re NOT
Once you discover these two things, you will claim back your true identity!
If you know who you are and remain confident in this being, it then becomes difficult for anyone else to sell you on some bullshit.
You won’t be easily influenced and you learn how to control your inner world when it’s going wild.
However, we need to get a bit deeper for us to know how to tap into this state of being.
You have to be willing to keep it real with yourself. You have to be vulnerable and tell yourself some honest/harsh truths and be willing to objectively critique yourself.
Learning who you truly are is a constant battle and a long life journey. Sometimes, it can get lonely along the way. It isn’t a destination therefore, you can’t afford to become complacent. YOU have to make a conscious effort and invest in yourself but keep in mind that life, people and even yourself are always going to find ways to sabotage your growth and progress. So, prepare yourself for a bumpy ride. At least now, you’re prepared for what’s to come.
If you’re waiting and expecting people to pat you on the back and tell you that you’re “great”, you will ABSOLUTELY lose the battle and struggle a lot in life!
Your confidence should not come from any human being but from God (if you believe in a higher power) and yourself!
If you can’t find the strength and resolve within you to tell yourself that you’re a beast then I seriously have a lot of bad news for you.
This isn’t one of those posts where I tell you that “you’re a bad ass or you’re awesome”. I’ve already told you to love yourself above but it’s now time to keep it real and hit you with the truth serum.
I feel like some of you guys might just be weaklings BUT that’s cool because you can learn how not to be a weakling anymore.
You just have to be willing to challenge some of your beliefs and grow each day but let me tell you now that it never gets easier but it does get better.
If you are truly willing to seriously examine and MOULD yourself into the person you wish to become, you will definitely transform. At the end of the day, ‘perception is reality’ and how YOU perceive yourself is what truly determines whether it will continue to rain fire+ brimstone in your world or peace, tranquillity and success reigns in your world.
I say all that to say this
There is a battle between two wolves inside of us all. One is evil: it is anger, jealousy, envy, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, false pride, superiority. The other is good: it is love, kindness, serenity, compassion, generosity, and truth.
Which wolf wins?
The one you choose to feed the most
What I don’t want you to gain from this article is for you to place the blame on someone else.
Oh no boo boo!
Granted, people might have had a part to play in your story (good or bad) but everything starts and ends with YOU.
The “wolf” you decide to feed will reign supreme.
As Denzel Washington rightfully said, “anything you practice, you get good at, including BS” therefore if you keep repeating and reinforcing BS in your life, you will only manifest the highest quality of BS.
Stop being a victim and live your life like a champion!
Ultimately, people’s perception is NOT your reality. Keep this in mind the next time you want to bend over to someone else’s standards.
Don’t forget where you found this article and remember to like, comment and share it! #BeSafeTho188