We’ve all heard the expression, “You are your own worst enemy.” In fact, it’s a theme that runs through all the sacred texts and philosophies since the beginning of time.
Most likely we’ve seen this principle operating in ourselves. Perhaps it was in a moment when we caught ourselves doing the very thing we didn’t want to do. Or we realized the discouraging voices in our own head were keeping us from doing what we did want to do.
And there’s that endless chatter in our minds that drives us crazy. All day it brings up past painful experiences and engages in arguments with people who aren’t there — and maybe aren’t even alive anymore! Do we ever wonder who is talking to whom?
If We’re At All Self-Honest We Can Feel There’s a Division Within Us, With One Part Warring Against the Other.
The inner struggle is easy to see if we just look. I want to lose weight, but then I go buy that pizza anyway and eat every last crumb. I need to make a decision, but I can’t stop weighing the pros and cons, and as soon as I start leaning in one direction, I fear the loss of the other possibility. I frequently find myself in an inner debate, rationalizing my behavior and feelings before some unseen judge.
So basically, I don’t know what I want. I’m always standing in my own way. I’m always imagining a hostile audience. In short, I am my own worst enemy.
This strange tendency of human beings has, as I said above, existed and been commented on from time immemorial. Here are just a few examples I found by looking through the OneJourney Living Book:
Stop thinking and end your problems. — Lao Tzu (570 – 490 B.C.E.)
The mind is never right but when it is at peace within itself: the spirit is in heaven even while it is in the flesh, if it be emptied of its imperfections, and taken up with divine thoughts and contemplation. — Seneca (4 B.C.E. – 65 A.D.)
The entire root of your problem is that you cannot get outside of yourself. — Francois Fenelon (1651 – 1715)
If he falls in this conflict, then he falls by his own hand, for physically and externally understood, I can fall by the hand of another, but spiritually there is only one who can destroy me, and that is myself. — Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855)
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self. — Albert Einstein — (1879 – 1955)
Oh Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, I come to you as one of your many children. I need your strength and your wisdom. Make me strong not to be superior to my brother, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, Myself. — Chief Dan George (1899 – 1981)
To See That We Are Our Own Worst Enemy Is Not a Problem. In Fact, It’s the First Step to Becoming Free of All Enemies.
Imagine if we wrongly believed our worst enemy was actually our best friend. We would be in a very vulnerable position, wouldn’t we? But if we discovered that what we believed was our “friend” was actually the cause of all our pain, we could finally stop listening to that deceitful voice and enter a whole new world of possibility.
As OneJourney founder Guy Finley tells us, making these inner discoveries is essential for our happiness:
We can only be as free as we’re willing to be truthful about ourself. — Guy Finley (1949)
If you are interested in learning more about the enemy within, and how to come out from under its false authority, Guy gives free ongoing talks that will give you the insights and tools you can use to break free of self-defeat.
Hear Guy Explain How to Win the War Within Yourself in His Ongoing Live-Streamed Talks
Guy speaks on Winning the War Within Yourself: The Intimate Enemy via his ongoing livestreamed talks every Wednesday at 7:00 PM Pacific and every Sunday at 9:30 AM Pacific. Plan to participate online in these free events, and then join in the lively Q&A session that follows each talk. Go ahead and pre-register now at www.guyfinley.org/freeclass and you will be sent a reminder email with the link to join right before the talk.
As Guy tells us, conflicting thoughts and feelings can keep us from making correct decisions and enjoying life. We may blame “enemies” outside of us, but the real culprit is much closer than we realize: it belongs to a false sense of self we have mistakenly come to believe is the same as our own. Every one of Guy’s talks will expose these negative inner selves and offer practical steps you can use to awaken the self above all troubles, break free of painful patterns, and reclaim your life.
If you’ve become aware of how often you make your life more difficult than it has to be, and you’ve begun to suspect that the things you tell yourself are not solutions to problems, but more often the creators of them, then you won’t want to miss these free classes.
When you see through the parts of your own consciousness that are the intimate enemy, you will also come closer to discovering your true self, which has always been your true friend.
Dr. Ellen Dickstein
The OneJourney Project
PS: While you’re thinking of it, preregister for Guy’s free livestreamed talks now: www.guyfinley.org/freeclass
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