EVERYTHING we do is with the intention to make our short-term, present emotional lives either, less painful / stressful, more tolerable, or more meaningful / pleasurable in some way.
We are always coping with the imperative of making the NOW bearable as we pursue our longer-term ideals.
How to integrate our short-term intrinsic rewards with our long term goals/desires?
One thing I know for sure – it is NOT by seeing yourself as an enemy.
Coping mechanisms are “learned” by your inner auto-pilot which learns from experience. Most of the inner auto-pilot’s learning is not intentional and not controllable, but you can can shape and influence it.
The more aware you become of your inner auto-pilot, and how to work with it as a friend, the more powerful and influential you become with yourself.
Your inner pilot wants to trust you. You can gain your own self-confidence by treating yourself with compassion and seeking to understand instead of fighting. Start by reminding yourself that you are never intentionally sabotaging yourself. You are not afraid of success. You just aren’t ready.
Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Cooperate with yourself. Isn’t that what you want from your friends? Give it to yourself first.
Changing this attitude toward myself helped me heal multiple addictions and greatly reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of depression and anxiety. It works even more easily with little things in life.
When I decided to make everything I do more intrinsically rewarding in the short term, life took an upward turn. I figured out how to enjoy cooking, cleaning, eating, even letting go of things i used to hoard. It’s a journey…not an instant transformation…but it’s so worth getting started.
In the end, we are the only thing we really can ever count on and trust. If we believe part of us is “an enemy” and that we must “fight our impulses or our resistance” rather than really try to understand what that part of us needs, we will stay stuck in the fight.
Fighting only works short term. It pushes resistance underground til it gets strong enough to fight back – yet again. If you really want to end your inner wars, stop fighting…stop fearing that if you stop fighting, anarchy will take over. Start at least trying to make friends with your resistance.