Imagine that a happy and friendly young child was taken out of the loving family environment that he was used to, and put into an environment full of conflict, full of anger, criticism, bitterness and resentment, a place where only negative emotions were on display.
If he spent a prolonged amount of time in that environment, what do you think would happen to him? I can tell you that one of two things would happen: either he would totally crumble as a human being, and become very depressed and unwell, or he would adapt his personality, his behaviour and his thought process to fit in with his environment, in order to survive and feel as secure as possible within it. He would become a very dysfunctional human being, maladjusting himself automatically to the negative emotional drives and expressions that surround him.
And this is what usually happens when an innocent, good-hearted child (which all children are) is brought up in a highly dysfunctional environment. Something which is innately good, becomes corrupted by negative influences. This applies to you also. You are innately good, without a shadow of doubt, but your environment – i.e. the society you live in – is a corruptive influence to a large degree.
So your most vital job is to distinguish yourself from the corruptions that society (and possibly corrupted parents) has forced upon you. You are the kernel of goodness right at the very core of your being. Goodness characterises your essential nature. So you have to peel away the resentment, peel away the guilt, peel away the self-judgement, peel away the intolerance and hatred, peel away the pessimism and the fearfulness, and rediscover that kernel of goodness, that core of love.
Only that is who you truly are. Everything else, every negative or destructive tendency, every aggressive or pessimistic tendency has been added to you by society, by the people who surrounded you as you grew up. That is not what you are really like, they are imposed attitudes and behaviours, and they are also reactions to a dysfunctional environment. You have to rediscover your heart, the goodness of who you are, your innate innocence.
Ask yourself this important question : “Do I want to actively create more suffering in this world? Am I a cruel and evil person, or do I really just want to be free, peaceful and happy, but feel deeply frustrated and confused about how to operate in this world? Do I feel insecure and uncertain, whereas I just want to feel safe and secure?”.
This is usually the case for pretty much every single human being on the planet, and I am assuming that you are not evil. Very few people are, but many, many people are frustrated, insecure, afraid, confused, bitter and angry. They have a deep desire for peace and happiness, but get easily frustrated by the world and by other people, and find themselves simply venting their emotions into the world, or taking them out upon themselves in the form of self-criticism, self punishment, self-denial, self-hatred.
This is far more common than you think, and it always overflows into every human relationship that a person may have. I am sure you have observed this within yourself at some point. So we have to remember that what we really, truly want is to feel secure, peaceful, happy and loved. Keep reminding yourself of this as often as possible, because these are the true heartfelt desires that originate from the real you, from that kernel of goodness within you.
Every time you get in touch with those true desires, you get in touch with where they come from, which is your heart, which is where your goodness originates. If you keep fuelling the superficial, external version of yourself – which is made up of negative thoughts and emotions like frustration, a sense of victimhood, thoughts of resentment, criticism and anger – you will continue to remain at a distance from who you truly are. You will just perpetuate a theatrical, dramatic version of a person who you believe you are, but who you can never be for very long because it is fabricated and it requires a tremendous amount of energy to be sustained. And most importantly, it offers zero sustenance for your soul, which suffers deeply in the absence of your true goodness,
The more you try and uphold this false version of yourself, the more likely it becomes that sooner or later – whether it is through serious illness, grief, trauma, loss, catastrophe or similar – you will be shaken down to your foundations. The fabricated version of you, which you had built up and dwelled within for so long, is razed to the ground, and you are left with only what is true.
You are left with vulnerability, with a deep need for security, with a deep desire for love, kindness and protection. Nothing else can sustain this primal core of your being. Love and compassion are the fuel for your heart, which is your dwelling place in this human body. You are the innocence, the kindness, the beauty that dwells there. That is what you must rediscover, that is what you must re-identify with, because it is your true identity! Everything else is accumulated, absorbed, taken on from your environment; familial, social and societal.
So truly the best news of all is that wherever you are, that core is always there, available to be accessed. And the truth is, without the existence of that core, the artificial layers could not be built up. But it is time to deconstruct them, so that your frustration can finally disappear, your sense of isolation and suffering can vanish for good.
There is a core of joy, a core of humour and laughter, a core of playfulness and innocence, a core of love and care. Whenever you encounter a characteristic that is far away from these, do not engage yourself with it, do not feed it, focus upon it or dwell upon it. Dismiss it and look for what is beneath it. Where is the insecurity, where is the fear, where is the deep sensitivity and vulnerability that we are trying to protect from being seen or from being hurt?
When you look for this, you will always come back to the innocence of your heart, because that is who you truly are and that is where you truly dwell. You cannot avoid it, unless you want to continue to suffer, which very few people do. Keep reminding yourself of what you truly need, and what you truly desire for your heart to be at peace. This will keep you in touch with who you truly are, irrespective of what is happening in the environment around you. This will keep you in touch with your goodness, which is the essence of your true identity.
“Develop the strength of your heart”
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“We are all children, longing to find our way back to
the world of innocence, joy and freedom we once knew”