Written by Erika Marcoux
There is something curious about discovering something about ourselves that we don’t like. Perhaps it’s a stubborn negative thought we’ve been repeating unknowingly to ourselves and just realize it for the first time. Perhaps we discover it by someone else pointing it out to us. Even more so, there may be the emotion of shame that accompanies this realization.
In getting to know ourselves, we’ll inevitably find out things we like and dislike. The key is to move beyond this dichotomy so that we can gain wisdom and compassion. By opening up to the discomfort and negative thoughts, we get to really know ourselves. This honesty gets into the nooks and crannies of our personality so that we can see ourselves clearly. We can notice those ego parts that want to hide and stay with the process by being with it . . . noticing it . . . and letting it go . . . . We can then gain the ability to fully live life.
There is nothing wrong with negative thoughts or difficult emotions. The problem arises when we attempt to ignore it or attach to it. Curiously, with our attention we build the ability to transform and broaden our understanding of ourselves. It builds a stronger sense of self that can stay integrated and whole while experiencing negative thoughts or situations. It brings stability that can navigate the waves of difficult emotions.
Taking a broader perspective puts us in the seat of being the objective witness. This gives us the long range view and enables us to see the big picture. Being objective is detachment, not to be confused with dissociation that is ignoring your experience altogether. Taking the seat of the witness enables us to see beyond our likes and dislikes and assume a larger space of acceptance.
Underneath that discovery of something we don’t like about ourselves is the truth of who we really are. And who we really are is conscious and compassionate. By shedding the layers of our discontent, we remember our wholeness and come back to life. This daily mindful practice of remembering is the key to experiencing a greater peace in every moment.