Facing our inner demons

“Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,” starts James Allen in his book “As A Man Thinketh” - Allen was, arguably, the world’s first self-help guru and his message was crystal clear: We are, today, exactly where our thoughts have taken us and we are the architects, for better or worse, of our futures.

Which kinda makes it interesting because in the intervening years we haven’t got any closer to learning how to easily exorcise our inner demons. Emily Eldredge believes that addressing them directly and learning to engage them is a process via which our inner demons can be drawn out and rendered harmless.

Neuroscientists will tell you that our “inner demons” are mostly issues that have to do with our social brain. Psychologists have some techniques for overcoming them. Facing down our dark side takes courage. All of this is part of our existence. There to answer the perennial question we ask of ourselves when alone in the dark: who am I?

Implicit to this is the fact that we also seek to understand who can I be? Where are the limits? How am I defined? And even better still: what can I learn to do?

Julia Brennan’s lyrics in inner demons have a line that’s devastating: “But when I'm all alone, they show up on their own” It’s one of the reasons we find it so difficult to be alone.

This is the age of transformation. We are learning that everything has an internal origin. And everything external is a danger to us, not because of what it is but because of what we are prepared to accept.

I understand the issues here. They’re sadly not new either.

That, however, doesn’t mean that history exactly repeats itself or that we have the answers ready-made for us. No. Each time a pattern becomes manifest, similar conditions arise, we realize that we must refight the fight of the past, re-affirm the values we hold dear, ensure that everything we believe in holds value because it doesn’t come easy.

The things we fight for. The things we long for. The things we learn to prize can never really come to pass if we are not prepared to fight the good fight. Face our dark side. Stare down our inner demons. Answer the question: Who Am I?

It takes an enormous amount of energy and mental discipline and it is, unfortunately, just the first step of a journey which begins inside us long before it is manifested in our choices, decisions and actions in the real world.

Coffee. Check, right? Donuts, croissants, cookies and chocolate cake. Plus, maybe some ice-cream if you’re Down Under. Have an awesome Sunday, wherever you are.

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