Ever feel like you're working against yourself?
I came across this quote the other day (see below), and thought that it highlighted how important it is to pay attention to those internal struggles we all feel. Paying attention to all of the parts of ourselves, all of the different conflicting feelings and thoughts, means that we can negotiate with everyone in our mind. And then the less-heplful parts of ourselves that work against us, can have a voice and be validated. That less-than-helpful part of the self probably had a good reason for being created in the first place. Paying attention to everyone inside of ourselves allows us to pro-actively address those feelings with our strongest, most wise, parts. And the first step is to be aware of them.
"There are many different ideas of “you” in your mind, each with its own agenda. Each of these “you’s” is a member of the committee of the mind. This is why the mind is less like a single mind and more like an unruly throng of people: lots of different voices, with lots of different opinions about what you should do. Some members of the committee are open and honest about the assumptions underlying their central desires. Others are more obscure and devious. This is because each committee member is like a politician, with its own supporters and strategies for satisfying their desires. One of the purposes of meditation is to bring these dealings out into the open, so that you can bring more order to the committee — so that your desires for happiness work less at cross purposes, and more in harmony as you realize that they don’t always have to be in conflict."
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu