Part one: What happened in Berlin?
I want to make an attempt to decode myself a little. Because I feel as if my inner critic, who is my worst enemy, has shown her true face and is weakened now. But I realize that if I don’t find a replacement to sit in the throne, from which she ruled over my internal landscape of experience, she will return again and cause the same situations to happen. The universe has a way of giving us exactly what we ask for. I realize that I summoned it upon myself and that it was a valuable lesson to be learned. But this investigation of my internal world gave me insights into the system of identification. Since very long I identified with this critic that lived inside my head. She is still there, but the fear she caused in me makes me distrust her deeply, which weakens her voice and gives me time to analyze her origin.
We observe the present moment through an internal filter of perception. This causes us to perceive reality in completely different ways according to the way we feel at different moments. These different internal experiences regularly caused me to look outside of myself for their cause. The problem is, how I have experienced it lately anyway, that the network causing us to feel in a certain way and thus perceive reality accordingly is really very complex. This network is an assembly of minor or major external influences combined with mostly our internal reaction system. Our internal system has become programmed throughout the years to react in certain patterns. These patterns are often very hard to discover and to be seen for what they are because we strongly identify with them.
Sometimes I feel as if negative patterns are like little devils that nest inside our minds and hide from conscious perception, using us as their own puppets. Because it really doesn’t make much sense to me that we would willfully and consciously make decisions that are harmful to ourselves and maybe even others. So, where do these negative patterns come from? And how have they become so integrated into my system that it seems as if my identity was built around them? Would it be so that if I were to let go of them I will feel as if I am not myself anymore? No. The problem is that “myself” should not be perceived as a static concept. Everything is continuously changing and flowing. The whole universe is in constant motion. Therefore, I should also try to surrender to the flow of change. I want to focus not so much on changing my behavioral patterns through thought, but rather through surrendering to the universal flow of energy that will lead my behavior to become what it is destined to become. This means that when I stop resisting what comes my way, I will be unburdened by the negative influence of patterns that resist what is naturally unfolding in front of me. To be able to resist the natural flow of growth, destiny, and events one has to build patterns of resistance. Those patterns block energy inside us and we experience them as bad habits, or not at all and we just wonder why bad things keep happening to us.
I have had a negative habit of trying to run through life when actually crawling was necessary. This is caused, I think, by the fear of having too little time. Also, my inner critic yells at me to always be at my best, to be my perfect self, to always try and achieve my full potential, or else it won’t matter. While the contrary is quite true. It does matter. It all matters. You’re just living. There’s no manual for life. It is all about trial and error.
I have learned from this negative experience that sometimes crawling is exactly what you need to be able to grow again. I think nobody can keep on running through life all the time, and as a matter of fact it is a damn waste to try and do so, because you’ll miss out on all the good stuff.
These bad habits established themselves throughout my life. Unfortunately, it is only the first step to recognize your habits for what they are: patterns of behavior that can be altered. The next step is to consciously and continuously alter your behavior, become aware of your thoughts, observe what you need instead of push yourself all the time towards what you want. Your needs are constantly changing and can differ greatly. We should not let our thoughts control our state of being, but rather we should try to observe what our current state of being is; tired/sad/energetic/inspired/etc, and we can then provide ourselves with the right attention. If anything, this will make us only more capable of chasing our goals and making our dreams come true.
Our thoughts are caused by the patterns in our brains. So, to “rethink” our patterns, is of no use. It would be a system trying to change itself, while it can only see from the perspective of the system itself. In my opinion it is only effective to slow down enough, practice conscious observation of the game our minds play, and then not to engage or identify with those games. For example: I want to become an entrepreneur. This takes time, patience, commitment and it’s a process of trial and error. I’ll have to go through this process before I can reach any success. In my head I can picture myself being successful at entrepreneurship. What happens then is that my negative patterns take over: at any point in the process my inner critic tells me it isn’t good enough and I should try harder. Also, I constantly think about it, stress about it, and I am frustrated that I am not yet where I picture myself to be. I try to run towards my goal. These patterns cause so much stress that they completely overrule my current state of being and it becomes unclear and seemingly unimportant to me to register what it is that I need to give myself today. Therefore, I am not receptive to the natural flow of events and energies that come my way. My negative patterns get in my way. If I would rethink those patterns it means that I get stuck in a loop, where the source of the pattern tries to solve itself. It will be like a dog trying to catch its own tail, without success, forever spinning round and round, becoming increasingly frustrated and nothing more. I know this because it happens every time: I become aware of my inner critic while also identifying with it. Then I argue with it, trying to behave, feel and perceive differently through this process of thoughts fighting thoughts, while always ending up where I started, thus going around in circles. My patterns are composed of thoughts. So, I shouldn’t reinforce their power by thinking, but rather redeem myself from their grip by not engaging in thought at all; through meditation, yoga practice or other kinds of mindful practices. This seems to be the only way for me. The most effective way that I have come across so far, anyway.