The Prison We Create For Ourselves
As requested, I will share some of the insights I gained during my sharing session on the 28th April on creating a kinder inner voice. I chose this topic because I find that many people prolong their suffering because they’re unable to grant themselves the permission to receive love from themselves.
The love and support we receive from others means nothing if we are punishing ourselves by adopting a cruel inner voice. Kid Chan, 41, who was by my side to share his experience, said that sometimes years can go by after someone’s said something harsh to us and yet we remain imprisoned by their words even though the ones that hurt us have happily moved on.
Alternatively, it could be that no other person was involved but you made some choices which bore consequences which you have trouble moving on from because you are still stuck in fear and regret. Months and years can go by, others have forgotten what you did but you’re still not over it. You’ve imprisoned yourself in that moment in time.
The crazy thing is: we have the key to release ourselves from that prison. We can escape at ANY time, the key is in our hands, but we choose to stay behind bars because we can’t let go. As much as we would like to believe that holding onto certain memories protects us from further harm, it only prolongs our suffering. Once we have learnt what needs to be learnt, we can move on.
No one ever returns to the same page of a textbook once they’ve memorised and fully understood its content, the same applies to lessons in life. Once you absorb what needs to be absorbed, move on. The ego wants to play the victim as long as it can, but our higher self knows that healing can only begin by forgiving whoever that hurt us and then truly letting go.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black President was imprisoned for 27 years. In his memoir, he said the most profound thing:
We may not realise it, but when we hold onto the parts that still hurt, we deny ourselves the healing that we so desperately need to become the best version of ourselves.
Of course, healing takes time, and the process of letting go may take a while but make the intention and keep going back to it. Put it as your screensaver, post it on your wall or desk at work. Don’t forget it.
Lastly, being in a room full of people who were honest about their struggles made me realise that we are ALL struggling with something but some of us hide it better than others. The truth is: no one has it together all the time and no one goes through life unscarred. Man or woman, young or old, rich or poor, job or no job—we all have struggles.
The best part is: we are not alone in this struggle, we are all on the same battlefield even if we are separated by what appears to be, very different lives.
On days when you think to yourself ‘I wish I was more like so and so’, remind yourself that you’ve no clue what difficulties you will inherit if you were in another person’s shoes. I’m a full believer that Allāh is the best of Planners and He has given each of us the lives that we have because it’s the ONE that will help us fulfil our purpose.
There is SO much to live for if you just give yourself the chance to not only heal but to allow yourself to fall and get back up again. It’s in the healing that we discover our struggles have a much higher purpose.