How To Beat Your Inner Demons
Learning to integrate both light and dark in your Self
- In each of us lies the ability to do great good, and great evil. Most of the time, when we think of our "Selves," we only think of one side of ourselves. This is perfectly normal. However, there usually comes a point in your life where you find a different part of you emerge. Sometimes it's the "real" you - an ugly side you've suppressed or disapproved of, in an attempt to fit in to society, appease others, or simply cope with your environment. This "real" you is you, but it also isn't. That's because the real you does not always have to be defined by the you that was born into this world. You have choice.
- Each week, I eagerly await the next episode of my favorite anime, Naruto Shippuuden. Why? Because, eerily enough, it seems to either reflect my life or contain answers for it. (Thanks to my Sri Lankan brother for introducing me to this show way back when.) Here's a link to the episode:
- One of the things that I was really anxious about was how Naruto was going to face his "true Self" at the Fountain of Truth. I have been battling with my "true Self" ever since I decided to leave home and detach from my birth family. The process was excruciatingly painful, but one that had to be done for my own spiritual growth, because an inner voice was prompting me to tread the difficult path for the sake of others. You can call this voice God, Buddha, Krishna, Allah, evil, insanity, whatever you want. All I know is that the more I learn to trust that voice, the more I seem to be satisfied with my life path. However, all this transformation did not come without its price.
FACE YOUR DEMON(S)
- In Episode 245, there is a segment where Naruto learns the secret of how to defeat his "true Self," which is supposedly dark, bitter and evil. Naruto ventures to the Fountain of Truth to face him. This sent chills up my spine because, recently, on January 19th, I read something from whitewolfjourneys.com that got me thinking about what those "inner demons" might be for myself:
"Mars in retrograde will provide opportunities for you to gain your confidence, inspiration and insight but you will be required to face your inner demons. While Mars is retrograde, you will be reviewing the way you handle anger, self-motivation and sexual relationships. Feelings of resentment and unresolved anger will come forward so it is imperative you find the proper channel to release this and do not go into denial or blame. Remember it is a time to look inward."
Therefore, before I even watched Episode 245, I was already asking myself, "How will I tackle these demons when they reveal themselves? What demons will they be?" I know we'd all like to think we're pure, angelic people but, having been "conditioned" and "corrupted" in some ways, we have a lot of unlearning to do - and some of this stems from the "demons" that have formed inside of us due to our environments. Just to clarify, "demons" are not just reserved for supernatural beings.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. TRUST IN YOURSELF.
- This particular scene gave me even more goosebumps. It literally made pull my chest in because it felt like something had struck my heart, and what struck me was the truth in this statement.
- And with that, Naruto fully embraced his dark side without trying to fight it. The love and compassion Naruto shows to his supposed "true Self," completely dissolves him and causes him to become one with the image Naruto wishes to shape for himself, and that is to be the Hokage of Hidden Leaf (his village).
- So, here, we have Naruto's "true Self" - the darker, sinister Naruto that remains angry and vengeful for the pain inflicted on him as a child - and Naruto's mature Self, the one who relied less and less on the demon powers inside of him, and willingly chose to walk the hard path towards building his own strength and will-power. The former Naruto is the one he was born with (pre-ordained or pre-destined), and the latter is the Naruto who he wished to be (Hokage and hero of the village). In life, we can go either way, and this relates back to the yin-yang symbol above. It is very similar to the story of the two wolves, as told in an old Cherokee tale:
BECOME ONE WITH WHO YOU WISH TO BECOME
- Naruto had a choice - to fight or suppress his demon Self, or love and embrace him. Naruto chose the latter, and this was the answer I needed. When it comes time to face my own demons, I will first acknowledge it, then show love and gratitude, and finally become one with it. I think it is when we see our inner selves as separate, do we start to find this struggle, this battle. It becomes a game of tug-o-war, but the game does not have to last forever. Like Naruto, you have a choice. Even if you have been dealt a bad hand in life, you can always come up on top through the development of will, courage and compassion (forgiveness).Take the future vision you have of yourself and integrate it with the past version, thus creating a strong, well-balanced individual ready to face both good and bad, light and dark in life. Being prepared for both is much better than being prepared for one or the other or, sometimes, neither. In the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi,
- Therefore, to re-cap, in order to beat your demons you must:1. Face your demons2. Believe and trust in your Self3. Accept your darker side, but love and forgive it (do not fight)
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