At the center of your being you have the answer. Lao Tzu, 500 B.C.
Our minds function on 3 basic levels. The level on which we are functioning can determine our level of fulfillment, peacefulness, success, happiness, and health.
On the outer level, we are focusing on the person whom we want the world and ourselves to see. Sometimes referred to as the Persona. This is necessary for our functioning in relationships with other people, and even ourselves.
On the next level, there are all of the emotional states, thoughts, and experiences of our lives that we would rather not see. We store up memories, feelings, beliefs, personality traits (both positive and negative) some of which we can see occasionally, but others of which we are not even aware unless they come bubbling up unexpectedly due to something we are experiencing. It is good to gradually, patiently explore this area of ourselves since it is affecting us whether we are aware of it or not. It is important to be aware of this level; but not to judge yourself negatively for it, and not to be afraid of it. The great psychiatrist Carl Jung called this level “The Shadow Self” and urged us to “make a friend of the Shadow”; not to resist or fight it.
At the center of our being is that part of us that connects to a Power greater than ourselves, and thereby knows the ultimate truth about ourselves and our lives. However, this “knowing” usually is expressed more through states of being, such as peace and joy, rather than through conspicuous thoughts. It is usually just a state of deep contentment, and confidence in ultimate victory. Most people have experienced this state, at least briefly, most often through meditation, prayer, or communing with nature. We have all experienced overcoming some significant problem, and often people attribute an amazing breakthrough as being the sign of a Higher Power operating in their lives. unfortunately, most people forget how that power has helped them in the past; so they continue to worry or to try to control the uncontrollable. We do not have to worry, nor try to control. We can take our problems to the center of our being where we can let it go and surrender it to the ultimate power in the Universe.
A self-guided meditation which I find helpful in accessing this center of higher consciousness goes like this: Get comfortable, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths slowly, and feel the muscles of your body relax; Think of how you have been presenting yourself to others; Then, move to the next level and think of something about which you have been concerned (e.g. health, finances, relationships, work, etc.); Now, focus on that center where you know that all is well, that there is a Power greater than yourself that has gotten you through many difficult situations before, and which can help you overcome any difficulty; stay in that center for a while, feeling the peace and perhaps joy or insight come over you; Then place whatever you have concerns about in that center, where you can surrender control of that to a Higher Power.
After the meditation, it is important to remind yourself what you experienced in that center, and to return to the center, daily.
At the center of your being is the answer.
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D. June 28, 2017