How to find yourself and live on your own terms

Most of us are so fortunate to have loving parents who never stop guiding us in every step of the way; who raised us to be responsible, morally upright, law-abiding individuals and that guidance has never left our side to this date. They were on our side as we took our first steps, uttered our first words, when we sketched our first few alphabets and they were the first people to warn us about the world outside our home.

They have also taken part in our decision-making: from picking a dress for a Sunday mass, food selections, designing our first room, all the way to deciding what course we should take for College, the career they believed was worth pursuing.

Our parents’ voice continue to occupy a space in our head; telling us what is acceptable from what is not, how to approach each situation, the proper mindset for every problem we encounter, how we should feel, how we should nourish ourselves, and so on.

As we mature, we realize that it is not just the voice of our parents that we constantly hear; the mental script is also coming from a friend, a mentor, a relative— the media, a political personality, social influencer, etc. That said, do we even know what we want for ourselves, do we take note of what our own voice dictates? Do we ever listen to it? Can we still discern our own voice from the boisterous chatter of everyone’s constant dialogues? What is it that we want out life, how should we live it?

Searching for our inner voice can get really challenging in this loud world. It is quite exhaustive to filter our own persona from our conditioning. How we have been raised—everything we have acquired: learning, habits, viewpoints, influence, all of it initially came from our parents and constant people throughout our childhood. All of that accumulated information, acquired traits/mannerisms/belief systems defines our conditioning. This is probably what ‘ego personality’ comprises. The sum total of what we put together out of everything we have acquired growing up.

But is that all that we are? Nothing more but compilation of everyone’s influence; heterogenous result of traits, habits, thinking, mingled characters of the people we look up to? Or is there a host, someone in you waiting to be discovered, the ‘I’ on “I think”, the gut feeling that nags us when something’s wrong, the intuition, the inner man, the instinctual nature.

The society, on the other hand, (the greater part of it) will not help you search for yourself, they deter you from taping into that inner being. The society, dominated by the bigger people who runs the world, really wants you to be ignorant, to be a coward— so that you don’t accumulate as much intelligence; they don’t want to bring out that inquisitive part in you, to channel that strong will power that sits in the dark, waiting to take over. Why? it is rigged that the same people can rule the world and they sure don’t want any competitors.

So what is your motivation? why do you want to set your own terms in life that is free from borrowed interpretations and not governed by standards of societal norms? Is it possible that you solely want to react? Or are you in search of explanations to emanate out of your own experiences, be your own source so you can discover your inner potentials? If your choice is the latter, you have come to the right place.

Let’s get to it!

Man, Society and the State

The individual is increasingly deprived of the moral decision as to how he should live his own life, and instead, is ruled, fed, clothed and educated as a social unit, accommodated in the appropriate housing unit, and amused in accordance with the standards that give pleasure and satisfaction to the masses

-Carl Jung

Unbeknownst to many, it is the state policy that decides what shall be taught and studied. Most educational system worldwide is manipulated to serve the agendas of those who are occupying the highest positions in the government. If this is the case, how do we trust people whose messages about freedom are being widely spread? Are the messages their own or are they acting like a broken record of collective opinion?

Does every person know how to exercise his own judgment and power to decide? Or the better question is, are we capable of such? Religions, practices of democracy, freedom of speech— while all these create an impression that we are liberated, is it really us who decides for ourselves or have we mastered the craft of mirroring the societal norms that we’re not even aware that our psyche is influenced/manipulated by the greater society that we subconsciously choose what they want for us?

Awareness is the key. If we have the knowledge of what is going on around us, understanding what the motivations are behind all political propagandas, what the media is trying to promote, who reaps the greater benefit—only then we can focus on what is good for ourselves; determine our actions and set our terms on how we should live our life. This way, we can clear the road blocks and listen to our own inner voice.

We should not to dwell and create a neurotic disturbance in planning a revolution nor to walk along the street with the intention to educate people. This has always been the problem—the obsession to change the politics, educational system, economy, religions. So far, no one has succeed.

The only person you can help right now is YOU. You have to work on seeing your own struggles, determine the cause of your anxieties, explore your own mind. Only by doing this, you can concentrate on self-knowledge/self-discovery and getting to know the inner man, the shadow that has always been hidden behind your ego.

You need to have a freedom mindset and prepare yourself for the long arduous road ahead, to embark in a quest to be liberated no matter how intimidating it might be and be prepared to be ridiculed by many. You have to remember that by choosing to change your lifestyle, not everyone will be accepting.

“The Danger of dangers”

“Most people do not have a problem with you thinking for yourself, as long as your conclusions are the same as or at least compatible with their beliefs.”

― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

What happened to Galileo Galilei after thinking outside the box? He was sentenced to his imprisonment after his rigorous scientific studies that opposes religious beliefs. Growing up, whenever we exhibit unique qualities and think different from other children our age, we get shunned. Even in our adult life, every time we try to speak our mind or pursue our creative side, people mock us. Why? The greater society wants to suppress our individuality, our creativity; they see the indifference as nothing but a ‘sickness of the mind’. As such, men has grown timid, sickly, too scared of the unknown, too anxious about people’s opinions/judgments. Because of this constant drive to please the society, men has learned to put on many faces but his own.

The danger in following the crowd is losing your individuality, sacrificing not knowing your inner/true self. You become part of the sick society and after having acquired communal power, preys on higher beings, to ridicule people who are different.

“This is what is most terrible of all — the concept of the good man signifies that one sides with all that is weak, sick, failure, suffering of itself. The principle of selection is crossed, an ideal is fabricated from the contradiction against the proud and well-turned out human being who says Yes, who is sure of the future, who guarantees the future- and he is now called evil. And all this was believed as morality”

Friedrich Nietzsche

We have to come into an understanding and full acceptance that our ideas are not for the many. Our ideas should be motivated by our strong will power and desire for self-discovery, in unveiling our innermost potentials and exploring our boundaries.

It is a frightening thought that most people, when they are unable to accomplish anything, they are subconsciously driven by their desire to demoralize people around them; they look upon people who does not conform with mockery and judgments. These people find comfort in the thought that they are not alone in suffering. As such, it is crucial to identify these people.

Growth is uncomfortable but the only way for human excellence

The first step is to build your confidence; we have to trust our capabilities and know that we are meant to do greater things. Next is to practice independence; the change of lifestyle will disorient many and you’ll find yourself, most of the time, in solitary. You must assure yourself that being different is not madness, and not belonging to a group is not a sign of inferiority. Remind yourself that you are in a mission of self discovery, and you are constantly working to find your inner genius. Explore your mental capacity and go into psychological ventures; remember not to allow anyone’s voice get into your head.

Do not be intimidated in descending into the depths of your psyche, into the inner foundations of your mind. Know that there is something unteachable within us that has its own intelligence and instinctual nature, and your role is to look for it and to tap into it.

Upon digging deep in your search of your inner self, do not be discouraged if you consequently unveil your sub-personalities/ multiplicities, you must learn how to harmonize them and not to accidentally cause a turmoil. In order to gain control in putting these multiplicities in order, find your core. That core is built upon a strong drive for self-discovery of greater purpose. This core is your ultimate drive, the commanding factor, it is what prevents us from taking the wrong path, it harmonizes the sub personalities into one common goal.

Parting Words

In your venture to search for yourself, be prepared to take the path alone as not many will understand your motivations, be prepared for many hardships. In this modern world that everything is made easy, we tend to forget that suffering is an integral part of life. We, by instinct, avoid any discomfort thus we fall into being identified as a part of the mass or slaves of the society, following the herd mentality. Learn to adjust and find balance in discomfort; that uneasiness is not going to last long at that moment, so examine it because you will encounter a lot of it.

We need to start living our life full of consciousness and not blindly imitating other people. We need to go out there, expose ourselves and start living our lives in our terms—irrespective of people’s judgments, prejudices against us.

It is only by “learning”, we grow. One must not be stuck in following and blindly agreeing with societal norms or aged beliefs. This is not to actively oppose everything the society deemed as the standards but one must exert careful efforts in analyzing and becoming critical to one’s selections. Take only what you have rationalized as beneficial for your being. If it’s aesthetics, assess if it makes you feel good inside and don’t think about how others think of it.

We should thrive to become full and not constantly avoiding our repressed inner self because of our fear of indifference, fear that our actions will be frowned upon by our significant others. We have to integrate our inner self and continually work on it.

“The shadow, when it is realized, is the source of renewal. When there is an impasse, and sterile time in our lives, despite an adequate ego development, we must look to the dark, hitherto unacceptable side which has been at our conscious disposal”

-Edward Whitmont

We have to remain inquisitive, continually examining the morality that we have been raised to. We have to mold this morality to fit our individuality; to sculpt it by getting rid of the beliefs we don’t stand by so we can reconnect to the parts of ourselves that had been repressed due to social pressure. When we reconnect to the inner part of ourselves, we have to carefully identify its qualities, characteristics and intentions.

As opposed to our childhood days when help from adults is critical, now that we are mature, it is time to examine the value judgments and morals we acquired/have been taught.

Listening to your inner voice is not to promote evil nor masking it under an intention. This is not to say that we become criminals nor promote violence or destruction. Self-discovery should be driven by a greater purpose of self-restoration; of realizing your potentials and tapping into your inner genius. It is always being mindful about your actions, and continually questioning rather than blindly feeding yourself with aged beliefs.

I wish you best luck on your quest and see you on my next blog!

Remember, the path you’re about to take is not a straight road, be very intentional about your actions and dissect your motivations. Have a brave heart because in this modern society, there is a price to pay in owning yourself.

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