Five mentors preside over our inner world, each with a duty to guide us through a specific dimension of our psyches. The Compassionate Guardian expresses for love, the Resilient Hero enforces for freedom, the Resourceful Developer develops for prosperity, the Bold Creator expands for destiny and the Joyful Luminary intuits for meaning.
In part one of this five part series, we meet the custodian of love, the Compassionate Guardian.
The storms of life are hard, they're disruptive and they operate beyond our control.
To thrive in this world, we must build our lives on foundations that are flexible, stable, and deep.
Lives built on flexible foundations that lack stability and depth are unable to withstand the elements. They're doomed to repeatedly pick up the pieces from every storm and rebuild anew.
Lives built on stable foundations that lack flexibility and depth can withstand most storms without lasting injury. However, they're unable to adapt to the changing seasons. Forever forcing their lives into a foundation that may no longer fit.
Lives cannot be built on deep foundations that lack flexibility and stability as they will cave in on top of themselves before any development can occur.
Building a foundation that is sufficiently flexible, stable and deep to withstand the storms, and to adapt to the seasons, is incredibly challenging.
Strong foundations start with a solid blueprint that incorporates the specific needs of what is built on top of it.
Since each of our lives is uniquely ours, our blueprint must be developed around a deep understanding, acceptance and trust of our true nature.
We need an expert to guide us to build our foundation, one who:
understands, accepts and incorporates every part of us -- the stable and the erratic, the strong and the weak, the disciplined and the lazy, the success and the failure, the wise and the ignorant.
loves us unconditionally -- not because of the good or in spite of the bad -- but because our true nature is inherently lovable.
sees us as the unique marvel we are -- there has never been, or will ever be, anyone quite like us.
We all have that expert. It is our inner voice.
Our inner voice expresses itself as thoughts and feelings. Many are hard, messy and difficult -- they can be downright cruel and terrifying. However, if we listen carefully, many are pleasant, reassuring and affirming.
We must listen to our inner voice. However, without understanding its intentions, it is very difficult to fully trust it or to acknowledge its importance.
Our inner voice is our guide, its sole mission to help us to build and maintain our foundation. The blueprint is developed around the "who" we really are -- the part of us that exists beyond all of our conditioning and insecurities -- our authentic self.
The inner voice guides us with feelings that are designed to move us toward alignment with our authentic self. Negative feelings are meant to discourage misaligned actions, while positive feelings are meant to encourage aligned actions.
Harnessing this understanding of the role of our inner voice, we can lay the groundwork for a foundation that is flexible and stable.
However, depth comes from digging beyond the mere symptoms of our experiences to unearth the underlying causes -- our self beliefs.
Our self beliefs operate with the same pattern as our feelings -- our negative self beliefs manifest themselves into negative experiences, while positive self beliefs manifest themselves into positive experiences.
For instance, if we were to find ourselves consistently attracting people, places and experiences that make us feel weird/unusual, our inner voice is guiding us to dig deeper. Staying at the surface, we would likely blame these negative experiences either on external circumstances (e.g. Those people are very judgmental) or internal circumstances (e.g. I'm socially awkward).
However, by digging deeper, we discover the underlying self belief (e.g. I feel unworthy). But, we must not allow ourselves to stop digging here. Just one more layer below is the root of the problem, our unmet need. Here, we will uncover the "why" we feel unworthy (e.g. we have an unmet need for praise).
With this deep excavation, we discover that we must place our attention on obtaining the praise that we need.
To do this from a place of self-reliance, we should endeavor to receive the praise we need from our inner voice, as seeking it from external source will keep us dependent on it.
Meeting our unmet needs allows us to begin to unwind our negative self beliefs (e.g. feeling unworthy) and the multitude of negative experiences that arise from them.
Digging to the core of our authentic self is hard, messy and unpredictable. The task is relentless and endless. We know we're acting out of alignment whenever we feel unwanted or unvalued.
As the Insecure Dependent, we feel inherently unworthy of acceptance. Interacting with the world out of a state of insecurity, we're driven to mold ourselves to be either in alignment with, or in rebellion against, the expectations of the people whose acceptance we most crave. In this process, we give up our true self and become highly sensitive to the opinions of others. Since a large part of our self worth is derived from approval, we're prone to emotional swings that are tied to how we're treated by others.
As the Distant Phony, we feel inherently not good enough. Feeling deeply inadequate, we become obsessed with improving ourselves to prove our worth. Our sense of self becomes intertwined with our ability to gain control of ourselves, which we falsely believe is accomplished by dismissing (repressing) our emotions. By continuously distrusting our emotions, we are uncomfortable with any authentic emotional expression in ourselves or others. To cope with discomfort, we become cold and distant.
Putting in the blood, sweat and tears of digging for our authentic self, our inner voice will act as a Compassionate Guardian, able to truly connect with the world out of inner wholeness. We will become accepting, humble and present -- living in alignment with our authentic self.