In last week’s article, I introduced the concept of your inner demons. I discussed how these often originate in early childhood, when our personalities are formed, from traumatic or perceived negative experiences. These can take the form of difficult emotions, which we can never shake, anxiety, depression or any other negativity that seems to loom over us and cast a dark cloud over anything we do.
We all have them but few people realize this and recognize them. However, if you feel stuck in any area of your life, such as your health, your relationships, your finances or your career, or are always plagued with negative emotions and thinking, then you are likely dealing with inner demons. What people do not realize about these entities is that they can adversely impact all areas of your life and keep you from finding joy, fulfillment and success.
There is nobody who has perfected every area of their life, therefore everyone has inner demons. The first step to releasing these is to first identify what they are and embrace them. Why would I ask you to embrace your inner demons? The reason for this is that most of us ignore them and try to suppress them to avoid the pain that they cause. The problem with this approach is that the pain, that you are avoiding in the moment, becomes suffering over time and your inner demons will continue to haunt you.
You need to identify them and embrace them fully if you are ever to release the hold they have on you. The way you do this is through journalling, which is one of the most powerful tools for personal growth and development. I encourage you keep a notebook, of some sort, by your bedside and, at the end of the day, journal about all of your day’s experiences, not just what happened but why you think they happened.
If you do this for some time, you will start to notice patterns in your writing, which will help you identify what your inner demons are. You may find that you have a pattern of feeling sadness or depression. You may always be anxious regardless of what your circumstances are. You may have a pattern of anger or rage, which gets easily triggered when life is not going your way. This will be different for each of you but the important thing is to uncover what your inner demons are.
Once you have identified your inner demons, then you need to embrace them. This may seem counter intuitive, however, as I mentioned earlier, what you ignore or resist will persist, which is why you must embrace your inner demons. The way you do this is to acknowledge your specific negativity and actively show yourself compassion. You see, life is a process of discovering who you truly are and shedding who you are not.
We accumulate a lot of baggage in our brief lives here on this planet, as I’ve already discussed earlier and baggage, by its very nature, weighs us down and keeps us from making progress in our lives. We need to become conscious of this baggage and not judge ourselves for carrying it because most of us are doing this unconsciously. Once we become conscious of our personal baggage, which is akin to identifying our inner demons, we must forgive ourselves as we were previously unaware of this.
This is the reason for self-compassion and why it is so important. This if often difficult to do, as most people are hard on themselves but is crucial in order to start to release one’s inner demons. Be gentle with yourself as you have been asleep to the realities of your negativity and are now starting to wake up. Loving yourself can be done in various ways. Take time for yourself to do a self-care activity, such as reading, going for a walk, spending time with a friend, finding and participating in a hobby you enjoy, getting a massage or anything that truly nurtures your heart and your soul.
Make self-care a daily habit in your life and it will help to elevate your self-concept and start the process of purging yourself of your inner demons. However, this alone is not enough to rid yourself of your inner demons. In next week’s article, I will introduce the next step to liberating yourself from this negativity. In the meantime, do the process of journaling to identify your inner demons and engage in active self-compassion and you will be on the path to true freedom.
Dr. Nauman Naeem