“Happiness!” For most, it’s THE goal. Especially for those wrestling with mood disorders, PTSD, other anxiety woes, psychosis, and more. But, really, what is it? For my dough, THE goal is inner peace. So let’s chat how to secure it by accessing the Inner Self…

In Part 1 of this two-part series, I introduced the concept of securing inner peace through finding and freeing the imprisoned Inner Self. This powerful notion was presented to me during a therapy seminar a few weeks back.

The Inner Self Is?

For the troubled soul, the IS is typically imprisoned by the personality – the sum of our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Prob is, most folks believe the personality is who they are. Actually, it’s how.

Quick thumbnail, k? We all have an ego – that part of our psyche that mediates between the conscious and unconscious, handles reality testing, and maintains a sense of personal identity.

Located deep within the ego is our Inner Self (IS) – a marvelous reservoir that holds our finest dreams and potential. It also holds everything we need for fulfillment, and truly wants it for us. The IS is our inner peace headquarters.

The Personality Problem

So if the IS is “all that,” why is grabbing a measure of inner peace so difficult?

For the troubled soul, the IS is typically imprisoned by the personality – the sum of our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Prob is, most folks believe the personality is who they are. Actually, it’s how.

News flash! Our personality is the baggage our consciousness totes about so it can deal with the world to get what it believes it needs – the entire time the IS (who we are) remains imprisoned. And make no mistake about it, our personality will resist anything it deems threatening, so it’s learned to throw up defense mechanisms to maintain its distance from the IS – locking it up.

Some common defense mechanisms? Here are some shared in the comment section of Part 1

Not speaking-up, taking drugs, obsessing, avoiding contact with others, intentionally avoiding hurtful and troubling subject matter by diverting to insignificant material.

Inner Peace = Merging Our Personality and Inner Self 

If we’re to escape our personal prison – and secure inner peace – we have to merge our personality and IS. They have to become one and the same. Only then will they work in harmony to allow us to reach our intended potential (and purpose).

Thing is, though, our IS – the true self – won’t adapt and change to conform to our personality. Actually, it can’t. So that means our personality has to change; however, that isn’t going to happen as long as those defense mechanisms are rollin’ hot and heavy.

So how do we put aside our defense mechanisms?

The first step is identifying and understanding those we use. Always keep in mind, the personality uses defense mechanisms to ensure it doesn’t have to change.

It’s crucial we understand our personality uses a variety of strategies to sustain itself. One is covering-up its foundational weaknesses. A common technique is focusing upon those of others. I mean, if we’re consumed with the flaws of others, we can continue to avoid identifying and managing our own challenges. Right?

Another strategy used by our personality is overemphasizing the importance of specific things in life, thereby ignoring our weak spots. To that end, the personality tries to compensate for basic failures by creating and over-fulfilling unneeded needs – things we believe we have to have; however, truly don’t.

To implement the fix, we have to deny what we’re sure is so important in life. Some folks believe honesty, fairness, and love aren’t at all necessary. So their personality proposes other things – possessions, power, pleasure, inflicting pain, etc. – as vital. And the personality boldly tries to convince these folks they need these things to find peace. Heck, the personality will even tell them how to obtain them, and it really doesn’t care what it takes. All the while, they remain so industrious they don’t see what’s happening to them.

This has to be confronted, because as long as any of us are stuck on a level where obtaining possessions, power, pleasure/pain, and more is paramount, we’ll never secure inner peace.

Other personality strategies? Well, there’s the matter of rationalizing behavior by justifying and making excuses. This, of course, requires seeing our beliefs and attitudes as rational. Well, that’s easy – we can continue to look at the world in a manner that confirms what we already believe about it. By the way, we use defense mechanisms to pull it off.

Finally, when all else fails and our personality just can’t get what it wants, it plays a slick trick. It simply blames anyone, or everyone, for the problem at hand.

Let’s Tie a Bow

How ’bout we wrap things up with an exercise, taking us back to focusing upon the weaknesses of others? Make a list of how you believe folks truly are. Include the personality traits and characteristics you believe dominate their being. After completing your list, take a long, hard look. In fact, you’ll be reviewing a list detailing your own personality – having very little to do with others.

People, if we’re to escape our personal prisons and secure inner peace, we have to first recognize we’re, in fact, incarcerated. And to determine who we really are, we have to break-through the insulation. And that means turning our defense mechanisms away.

I think it’s time we start a dialogue between our personality (Outer Self) and Inner Self. I’m also thinking it’s long overdue.

Agree? Nope? Tell us about it in a comment…

Again, thanks to Gregory L. Little, EdD and Kenneth D. Robinson, EdD for their outside-the-box thinking.

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