When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way.
We all have the ability to sense whether someone is truly a strong and confident person, or if someone is just “putting up a front” in hopes to deceive others and themselves in the process…
This front that we put up, is what we call a false mask, a facade or the surface layer of the ego and its hope? To protect the individual from coming to terms with unresolved emotions, hidden hurts and real and true introspection.
Once this mask is cracked however, it leaves nothing but these wounds to heal. Yet, each time the mask is cracked, our tendency is to plaster over it with a new layer.
Layer after cracked layer we build upon, hiding the hurts we have endured and while we continue to add these new layers: you can’t build a strong foundation on something that is already broken.
Emotional wounds are alike to these masks as well as that of a peeling of an onion and when we begin to peel them back, we get closer and closer to the root of what needs to be healed and nearer to the real authentic person that has been hidden away.
This authentic you, is the inner child that is crying out for resolve, love, comfort and softness. This child needs you to face your deepest fears; the “monsters under your bed”, your demons and your darkest desires and take him by the hand and tell him that everything is going to be o.k.
This child in you needs to feel safe, secure and accepted. It is then, in this space of security will you find strength, security, humility, acceptance and above all love. The love that you have been searching for out there in the world, the love that has been inside of you for eternity.
The love that is yours to give to yourself and then share with the world, for love cannot be attained by seeking outward. True love is found only within and is shared with others. To search outside of yourself looking for love, you will only find attachment and need. You must love yourself first.
So what makes someone authentically strong and confident from the inside out?
They have done their inner work, faced their “demons” and incorporated their shadow side. Quite simply, they have faced their deepest fears; their darkest desires and rebuilt themselves from the inside out into a state of acceptance, humility and love.
1. Take Responsibility
“Everyone has a chapter that they don’t read out loud”. Reflect on those chapters and take responsibility for your role. This doesn’t mean that you should feel guilty or have regrets. Let’s be straight about it, we all can be pretty selfish and life is a learning curve. Don’t sweat it.
2. Learn To Accept Yourself
The largest part of building inner strength is to make peace with your own identity.
We all make mistakes, we are all the same, we are all human. There is no one on earth who better than anyone else and there is no one on earth who is lesser. What separates the strong from the weak, the good from the bad and the ugly, is acceptance.
In order to love yourself, you must accept yourself and in order to love others you must love yourself first. Those who are loved by many, love themselves, and those who are hated by many, hate
themselves. Life is a reflection of who you are inside, what are you showing to the world?
3. Have Humility
Guilt and regret are the major obstacles we will face on the road to inner strength and acceptance. While sometimes it may be easy for others to forgive you, we often find that we are unable to forgive ourselves.
We as we know, are our own worst critics and unknowingly keep ourselves locked in the cages of our own thoughts; beating ourselves up any chance we get, as if we enjoy the suffering.
When was the last time you laughed at yourself for something? Do that right now and let it go. Life shouldn’t be taken so seriously, the universe is playful, so should we.
by LJ Vanier