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Recovering Inner Peace

Recovering a sense of inner peace, coming ‘back to ourselves’, becoming ‘whole’ again in ourselves – whatever we might like to call it – is a spontaneous or natural process that cannot be deliberately brought about. It can’t be achieved by some kind of ‘technological intervention’. Technology doesn’t work – cleverness doesn’t work. Aggression or coercion or trickiness doesn’t work…

 

 

 

We do not deliberately heal ourselves – the process of healing takes place all by itself when we do not interfere with it. The same is true for growth – we do not need to stand over ourselves like a sergeant-major ordering ourselves to grow, it is simply not our business to make ourselves grow. It is not our responsibility. It’s not about getting ‘tough with ourselves’ or ‘pulling our socks up’ or ‘copping on to ourselves’, or anything like this. That’s all just ‘self-aggression’ and it’s counterproductive.

 

 

 

The point is, therefore, that if we try to duplicate or replicate the natural process of ‘becoming calm’, ‘coming back to a state of mental wholeness’ (which is what the word ‘heal’ originally meant) then that interference obstructs this natural process. It doesn’t just ‘not work’, it works against us. We ‘work against ourselves by trying to help ourselves’. The more we try to figure out how to ‘wangle it’ the further removed from any possibility of wholeness or peace we become! The more we try to push for it to happen, the further it recedes away from us.

 

 

 

We don’t take charge of the healing process, we step out of its way. We don’t control the process of coming back to ourselves, we ‘give it space’. Controlling always involves ‘taking away space’ and controlling always stands in the way of healing, or ‘coming back ourselves’. The more we control the less we are in touch with the ‘intrinsic space’ that was there from the very beginning.

 

 

 

If I try to change myself deliberately to be the way that I think I ought to be then this always backfires. I can ‘force myself’ on the short term, but all I am doing is causing an artificial situation. It is an act, a pretence, a theatre, and when I get tired of maintaining the act it will revert back again with a vengeance. It doesn’t just go back to a neutral position, it goes back to the other extreme. There’s a backlash…

 

 

 

All that happens in this case therefore is that an oscillation sets in, an oscillation that never gets me anywhere. I keep hopefully thinking that I’m getting somewhere, and then  – inevitably  – I have the  excruciatingly painful (and bitterly demoralizing)  realization that I’m not… This is not true change, it is ‘willed change’, which is no change at all.  This isn’t change – it’s me banging my head against a brick wall…

 

 

 

Willed change is pure frustration, pure futility. It is refusal to accept the truth. It is us taking away our own space. Willed change is therefore nothing more than denial, or self-deception.

 

 

 

True change – on the other hand – always happens by itself. And when it does happen, it’s real, not ‘make believe’…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Nick Williams

Nick Williams works and writes in the field of mental health and is particularly interested in non-equilibrium states of consciousness, which are states of mind that cannot be validated by standardized experiments or by reference to any formal theoretical perspective.

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  • Pascal á mcDaibhid

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    July 23, 2016 at 11:33 am Reply

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