Everyone Has Their Own Inner Struggles
All of us are fighting our own inner battle. For some of us, it’s like World War III in there. And we don’t always know the details of people’s inner struggles. The only people who truly understand them are those who are fighting the battles themselves.
We’re so oblivious because our mind is like a speeding train. It frenetically generates thoughts. It turns everything over and over, it makes hypotheses about what is happening around us.
The mind makes suppositions, it creates new ideas and concepts, considers and reconsiders, anticipates the worst and passes judgment on others… And, of course, on ourselves.
This incessant machine tortures us. And it leaves behind “mental garbage.” Scientists claim that we have more than 60,000 thoughts per day. They estimate that for most people, most of those thoughts (about 80%) are negative, toxic, and dysfunctional.
We are on autopilot most of the time. Because of that, we are highly influenced by our beliefs. These are convictions that we form during childhood and become ingrained in us through experience.
Some of these beliefs are in our subconscious. Our most immediate thoughts and judgments are born out of those beliefs.
The mind and its tricks
If some of your beliefs are incorrect or unhealthy, your thoughts and judgment will be too. We are constantly judging. We judge ourselves and others. And what usually results from all that judging is suffering.
Our mind passes judgment to protect us, for our own survival. Actually, judgments serve their purpose.
We tend to think that the other person shares our point of view, and that’s part of the reason we suffer so much. We all see the world through different lenses. What means one thing to me, means something else to you. We dare to judge other people because we believe that everyone should see things as we see them.
We even judge ourselves. We forget that we can’t judge the past from our current vantage point. We now know the consequences, but at the time they weren’t certain, just possible, like many other options.
In either case, other people aren’t making you suffer. In the first case, your own expectations of people make you suffer. We expect everyone to be exactly as we want them to be. It makes us incapable of accepting them as they really are. This is what the struggle is.
Paradoxically, when you stop judging other people, you will stop judging yourself. The way that we judge other people tends to be how we judge ourselves.
Acceptance and love cures all, even inner struggles
When you accept you who really are (including your flaws), you view others’ flaws more kindly. If we think someone is attacking us, it could be because they are dealing with internal struggles. They attack without awareness.
The root causes are the emotional wounds and survival tactics they learned as a child. They were wounded then, when they were only searching for love and acceptance. Very often that’s what leads people to act this way.
That’s why if you believe that someone is attacking you, remember that they probably aren’t doing it intentionally. It’s a flaw that they are projecting, or you are imagining.
Love grows as judgment shrinks.
We have to learn to accept the fact that that other people won’t always act how we want them to. Nor will they always treat us how we want. They will do it how they do it.
We are here to love before we judge, and feel before we reason. So if someone tightens their circle to exclude you, widen yours to include them.
Remember that love increases when we make our opinions more flexible, compassionate, and merciful. Love brings happiness, strict judgment brings suffering.
Don’t think of love as something that you can give as a reward or take away as punishment. Unconditional love isn’t that petty.
Victim or fighter?
If we stop judging and start to see with our hearts, our suffering will vanish. You can choose to be the victim of your struggle or you can be a fighter. A victim justifies, lies, blames, complains, and gives up.
But a fighter takes responsibility for what she has in life. She knows she can’t blame it on other people, she knows she created it. And she knows that she’s the only one who can change her circumstances.
Life will give you plenty of challenging lessons, but you decide whether you will be a victim or a fighter.
The truth is that those who don’t learn from their mistakes are condemned to repeat them. They might look like different experiences on the surface, but deep down they are the same.