Inner peace if destroyed by mental tension. The source of most mental tension is the ego – that part of our psyche which constructs the image of ourselves we like to present to the world. Your ego is your idea of who you should be and who you would like others to think you are.
How do we put the ego in its rightful place and create inner peace for ourselves? Here’s six thoughts:
1. Give up the need to be right
Giving up the need to be right has nothing to do with whether you actually are right or not (which is often a moot point), but avoiding making others wrong.
Let everyone have their say and keep your counsel. Unless you absolutely must (e.g. in a difficult negotiation situation), avoid arguments and disagreements and refuse to respond to provocation.
In the greater scheme of things, you and your adversary are at one, so look for ways you can both be right. That’s win-win.
2. Stop judging
A judgement is ‘a view or declaration of what is good, right or fair.’ Some judgements are necessary because they help us to make sound decisions. Take driving for instance: judging speed, distance and direction are essential for our safety.
But there are other kinds of judgements: judging what is good or bad, better, worse, right, wrong, moral, immoral and so on. These are judgements of the ego.
Stop judging other people. Who are you to judge them? How can you condemn the path they have chosen? What right have you to make statements about what they are doing and where they need to be?
3. Get away from ‘what’s in it for me’
‘What’s in it for me’ is the mantra of the ego. Its first instinct is to protect and take care of itself.
The deeper, Inner Self has different priorities. It sees the bigger picture. It is concerned with what’s most likely to benefit all and how you can help.
4. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Ego-dominated people feed off others’ approval. They are preoccupied with their reputation and easily take offence. They are easy targets since they are easily upset and become aggressive when they feel under attack.
Learn not to take offence at what others say or do. Remember, when someone disagrees with you or criticises you, they’re judging only your outward appearance, not the real you. Step back – there’s always a lighter side!
5. Put a stop to jealousy
Jealousy is born of fear. The ego is dominated by fear. It begrudges others their talents and achievements, not recognising that one person’s success can benefit all.
In order to feel jealous, you must compare yourself unfavourably with others. Let go of the need to compare yourself with others. Take pleasure in their good fortune. Wish them happiness. What matters is not what others have or do, but how far you have progressed along your path.
6. Constantly remind yourself who you are
Constantly remind yourself you are Infinite Intelligence in human form. Stop looking outside yourself and instead look within to where lasting peace and joy may be found.
Before long, you won’t need to remind yourself any more – you’ll just know it.
The difference it makes
When you discover the truth about yourself, that you in essence are a spiritual being, your self-image is no longer based on your physical features. Your deepest values are non-physical – happiness, peace, love, truth and so on. You transcend your previous limitations.
You are equally aware of others as spiritual beings on their own journey. You see them in terms of their virtues, values and talents. Love is your predominant feeling towards them.
You take responsibility for your thoughts, words and actions because you know they are the seeds of your future harvest. You approach problems differently. You know that if you want change you must focus on ’causes’ because it is absurd to expect ‘effects’ to deal with themselves. You are self-reliant, at ease with yourself and warm and respectful towards others.
Isn’t this what you want?
©David Lawrence Preston, 23.6.2017
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How to Books, 2007