Every man, in reality, is two men. The man he is, and the man he could be. E. Nightingale
If you stand straight, do not fear a crooked shadow. Chinese proverb
All behavior consists of opposites. Learn to see things backward, inside out, and upside down. Lao-tzu
The person, who has no inner conflicts, let him or her step forward! Chances are none of us can take that step. The concept of duality is something we can relate to. Most of us are aware of opposites pulling us in different directions. Good and bad, right and wrong, love and hate, self-confidence and self-doubt, are some examples of the conflicts and struggles we must deal with.
Our dualities cause confusion and discord. We can be a version of Jekyll and Hyde or we may have an angel and devil sitting on our shoulders trying to advise us. We are pulled, pushed, and often tugged in opposite directions. We feel like a ping-pong ball as we get pounded back and forth. We can be like a pinball as we get bounced around trying to determine where we are going. These conflicts can be described as battles between the unselfish and selfish or the higher and lower selves. It is our good, bad, and ugly fighting each other. The more we are compelled to satisfy selfish needs and desires, the more we answer to our lower nature. The more we are at peace inwardly, the freer we are to act unselfishly and lovingly toward others.
It is hard to be aware, respond and be inspired to do things for others, when we are burdened and conflicted from within. We are instinctively compelled to satisfy basic needs before we can be sensitive and attentive to the needs of others. Whatever self-issues we have demands our attention. We will be pre-occupied and burdened with self-esteem, self-image and other similar issues until we have grown through them and have a more healthy sense of well-being. This requires at least a minimally harmonious relationship within. Until we can experience this needed balance we will struggle with our ongoing dualities.
We must take the time to listen, understand and really know ourselves. It requires that we learn to love ourselves unconditionally even though we may not like ourselves. No longer can we keep weaknesses and shortcomings hidden and locked in the closet; we must bring them out and overcome them. We must learn to be a good parent to the child each of us has within. We must learn and practice self-discipline. Those who are having some success at these things are on the path to living life with more satisfaction and fulfillment.
Challenge: Learn to live life from the inside out. Get to know and start overcoming your inner weaknesses. Bring them out into the open and expose them. Be self-disciplined and start making better decisions, one decision at a time. This takes continuous focus. Each time you choose the right thing; you reinforce and increase your ability to do the right thing again and again. Each time you do this you are truly becoming a better you.
Wisdom: It is as though we have two selves or two natures or two wills with two contrary viewpoints. Your lower self sees you as the center of the universe; your higher self sees you as a cell in the body of humanity. Peace Pilgrim
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Philippians 1:9
Our true enemy in life is our sinful nature that resides within us. On our own and in our own strength we will never totally overcome our dark nature. Through wisdom and understanding, we can make some significant progress in improving our lower and selfish nature. However, we can only truly overcome and gain freedom through God’s power and his love manifesting itself within us. It is His love and power that will free us.
Prayer: Help me to let go and let you direct my life. You will lead me in the direction that I should go.