How often it happens.
You decide to get up early in the morning, but a voice inside you tells you to sleep for a few more minutes, and unsurprisingly, those few minutes easily end up transforming themself into an hour or two.
Or, you decide to meditate for an hour with your full focus, but that same voice inside you tells you to read a book or watch a movie instead, or to check social media or get involved in mindless chats with your friends.
Or, when you see a human suffer from pain, it can even be any animal suffering, and that voice again pops up and tells you to discard it fully and focus on enjoying yourself instead and not to care about anyone else.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
I think it should.
I have faced this enemy before, and face it every day, and that’s why I know you face it too; if not regularly, then at least a few times every now and then.
For my part, I won’t hesitate to tell you that this enemy has defeated me plenty of times before. Perhaps, thousands of times, and even more.
Yet, every day as I start to live a new day, I still try to not let this enemy defeat me in living a mindful day. I try to fight every urge, every desire, that forces me to say the wrong words and to take the wrong actions.
Sometimes I succeed in my effort, sometimes I don’t.
But I never let the defeats, or even the triumphs, of yesterday decide how I live today. I don’t say this to brag, but that’s how I actually live my life every day. Or at least I try to.
And that’s the way I believe every one of us should live our lives.
Because the moment we let our past, or our future, interfere with our today, we create conditions that are bound to take away our peace of mind for the day, even if we do succeed in accomplishing what we set out to achieve on that day.
But, sadly, most of us still spend a great deal of our daily time carrying the burden of yesterdays and tomorrow, and rarely living in the present.
And this is exactly what our enemy within, call it the inner critic if you will, keeps telling us all the time. Instead of our success, even if we had many of them, it reminds us of our handful of failures again and again. Instead of hope, it makes us live in despair. Instead of showing us the kindness around us, it reminds us of the few cruel acts that we have witnessed.
I know silencing this voice isn’t an easy job.
But if you are in search of permanent peace and happiness, then you must defeat this enemy at every moment you recognize it gaining weight over you.
Trust me, I know this.
When I live one day at a time, and even within the day, one moment at a time, I rarely lose my peace of mind. I rarely get distracted by the negative acts around me.
But the moment I let my mindfulness loose, my mind instantly starts to distract me into all kinds of temporary pleasures such as watching movies, eating junk foods, or any other thing of that sort.
Simply being mindful of this enemy within me, which is nothing but the critical, lazy, pleasure-seeking side of my own mind, I gain the ability to recognize it as and when it begins to talk to me.
And then, if I am fully mindful, I always find it much easy to ignore it, and continue to work on something useful instead.
Isn’t this what mindfulness is all about?
Now, what about you? How often do you try to recognize this enemy within you? And how often do you try to silence it with your mindfulness practice? And even out of that, how often do you really succeed in silencing it? I am curious to know that.