Here’s an interesting truth: You have a personal opinion, a very strong one, you just don’t agree with it. If you read that last sentence you may be thinking, “WTF?” Social gaffe or metaphysical yogi paradox? Actually, if you are honest with your Self, if you are introspective at all, this is merely a psychological truth about the human condition.
Allow me to elaborate with a concrete example. Your personal opinion may be that you are a good person. You have a nice house, a reasonable job, two “beautiful kids”, a bank account. No one has the right to disagree with your assessment! But wait, if you believe you are a good person, why do you beat yourself up? Why do you call yourself a dummy for something as simple as locking your keys in the car? Or maybe you’ve never been that dumb, maybe it’s just the way you sidle past the mirror trying to avoid your own reflection. Or when was the last time you yelled at your “beautiful” kids. Did you think they were so “beautiful” right then?
Hmmmmmm. There seems to be a disconnect going on in most people’s minds between what they think they believe and what they actually believe. Psychologists and therapists make bank off of this principle. Even after you become well aware of the principle, it still remains a paradox. How shall we live now? Do you chuck your personal opinion and throw in with everyone else? What if everyone else thinks you are a real jerk, or annoying, or boring? Do you sit in the corner and check out on drugs? I guess you do if you are an addict. I can think of more effective ways to straddle the paradox.
1) Choose to remain mindful of the disconnect by spending time regularly meditating. IF you have no other time to meditate, use the last few minutes of your yoga class
2) Talk less and listen more. Let the inner chatter settle. Turn off the media, the TV, the radio, the headphones you use while you jog, get comfortable with silence.
3) Introduce your mind to your body. Not everything is intellectual. Your body has a lot to offer as far as intuitive information. Exercise it.
4) Notice what you’ve been feeding yourself. Is it a steady diet of junk? Are you familiar with the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” ? Its true of stuff you give your brain such as thoughtless humor, bad TV, callous behavior as well as stuff you give your body such as high sodium foods, low fiber, overly sweetened high fructose corn syrup.
5) Watch who you hang with, avoid energy vampires. If your parents are the people who taught you your low self image in the first place, you won’t get a better image by continuing to spend time with them!
6) Question your source. A lot of unexamined lives are lived because of what a church/subculture/religion or tradition says. I’m here to remind you that just because that’s the way it’s always been done, doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly stupid.
Find Peace through Strength, Sat Nam!