How to Ditch Those Inner Demons & Embrace Heaven on Earth

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“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

-1 Corinthians, 3:16

Confession: I don’t believe in the devil or fiery infernos, not one single bit.

But I do believe in an innate human capacity for suffering and, in my experience, we are often our own worst tormentors.

I believe we can give ourselves (and one another) hell with our attitude and actions.Or, we can respond with love and connect to the divine within.

We create our own hell or kingdom of heaven right here on earth. Not at some indefinite point in the future. Here and now. In every single decision we make.

Question is: how do we avoid needless, self-imposed suffering? My version of hell.

We can begin by examining life’s gorgeous duality. Light and dark, yin and yang, birth and death, bliss and agony. It can be no other way—one necessitates the other.

Difficult times make us resilient and appreciative of the good. We don’t have to welcome despair, but instead of running from our own darkness, we’d be wise to pay attention to it.

It’s here to teach us and it’s here to heal us.

We can pay homage to the scars and give our younger selves NOW whatever it is we didn’t receive then. You have always been your own best protector—don’t doubt your enormous power in this process.

“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”

~Brene Brown

When you decide to look at your wounds with love, the emotional debris begins to clear. You can see yourself and your tormentors for who they really are.

You may get pissed off and break down and feel completely crazy in the process, but don’t worry, this is all part of it.

Walls of regret and shame and denial don’t come down easy. We must tackle them brick by brick. You will want to quit.

But never forget—tears and rage are prayers too. Ask for help when you need it. And when you don’t think you need it.

And the times it feels effortless, like you’re skipping toward salvation on a road paved with daisies? Be glad.

“Thank you” is a powerful prayer to the divine and my favorite way to begin and end any day.

The best news? In time, looking at the past won’t feel like work.

Old events will organically take on new meanings. You will automatically interpret them through a different lens.

Memory is, after all, only a loose account of the truth—our own special distortion of reality.

“Every man’s memory is his private literature.”

~Aldous Huxley

Don’t like the hand you were dealt? Carve out a new reality for yourself and create anew. If the past affects the present, then your loving presence now can also alter the past.

Give yourself the forgiveness or acceptance or validation you never thought you’d see and watch your perception of the past begin to shift—one act of compassion at a time.

I’ve found it’s vital to check in with my unconscious mind/body throughout this process {which really isn’t far from the conscious mind- it just speaks to me differently, in dreams and symbols and gut feelings}.

It’s here that we receive unfiltered guidance. All the time. We need only tune in and listen a bit. If we’re open to new messages about old stuff, magical stuff can happen.

Years of wreckage are transformed. And if we’re lucky, we’ll get to use it to help someone else wade through their wreckage. It’s alchemy in action.

But before we can turn our pain into purpose, we must filter out the lesson in the pain.

It might take two days or twenty years—our job is simply to become a container for the message.

Our bodies alert us when the time is right, and often, certain individuals will enter our life to facilitate {or even awaken the need for} this healing.

You will know when these individuals come around.

It will be enlightening and utterly exhausting all at once. The relationship will illuminate all your defenses and inspire all kinds of neurosis. Sometimes the relationship even brings repressed content to light, shattering decades of carefully constructed belief systems.

In the case of our psychological mirrors, a stable, long-term relationship can be difficult.

Try not to mourn the loss too much…the lesson will always outlive the teacher.

I’ve learned to honor these relationships, in whatever form, and for whatever duration, because they crack me wide open. And for all the emotional intensity and anguish they engender, we all need people like this in our lives.

Embrace these sacred assignments, even while you curse them.

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