Time, The Two Thought Systems, And The Power Of Choice

How long will it take before I feel better?

As with any good question, a surprisingly good answer is hopefully just around the corner. The following question asked me by someone recently inspired me to clarify an answer because I could feel that there was some important learning hidden within the question itself. It’s actually a question that I encounter from time to time, so let’s break it down and explore a query that often arises when people begin their healing journey: How long will it take before you feel better? This inquiry will lead us to delve deeper into the concepts of the false and True Self, the notion of time, and the transformative power of choice.

In the realm of personal growth, it’s natural for individuals to seek answers about the duration of their healing process. If you’re reading this, you may be someone who wonders how quickly you can attain inner peace and well-being. It’s understandable because when you’re in pain, you’re eager to feel better. Allow me to shed some light on this matter, keeping in mind that each person’s journey is unique. Some may find tranquility relatively quickly, while others may require more time and effort. It’s important to know that the length of your path to peace doesn’t reflect any deficiency or shortcoming within you. It simply highlights the individuality of your experience. Personally, I happen to be in the slow group, and I don’t see that as a hindrance or an insult! (Who said personal growth was a race anyway?)

Learning to discern the two distinct thought systems in your mind
Now, let’s return to the fundamental question: How long will it take before you feel better? As we work together, I aim to help you understand the existence of two distinct thought systems within your mind: the false self (ego) and the True (Whole) Self. These thought systems are entirely incongruent, having nothing in common. The false self consists of beliefs rooted in lack, fear, doubt, guilt, and shame. It shapes the identity you associate with as you navigate the world. On the other hand, the True Self represents Oneness, connection, completeness, serenity, and love. It goes beyond mere beliefs and manifests as an experiential state of being, predominantly marked by a kind of presence that exists in the present moment.

As we begin this journey together, it’s essential to recognize that your True Self has receded from conscious awareness, allowing the false self to govern your thoughts and actions. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is true for everyone and is actually at the root of most mental distress. The false self, despite its apparent authority, is inherently confused about reality and lacks the capacity to bring about genuine harmony and understanding. It thrives on maintaining the illusion that you are defined solely by its beliefs. Beliefs aren’t real. They are merely thoughts about who you think you are, words strung together into sentences that you have given meaning to in the context of your broader identity. Consequently, the false self may offer temporary relief from suffering, but it cannot and will not provide the lasting joy and peace of mind that your True Self embodies. It would rather have you believe in your limited self than risk having you discover the actual nothingness that it is because then it would cease to exist. It might seem scary because you identify with it, but if you didn’t, it wouldn’t be frightening at all. Unfortunately, most people never consider this possibility. (You know, the false self has some serious commitment issues when it comes to your true happiness!)

Now, let’s revisit the question at hand: “How long will it take before you feel better?” The false self, being the predominant voice in your mind, tends to ask unanswerable questions. Its intention is to reinforce its false identity and make you believe that the solution lies outside of you. It cleverly directs your attention to the concept of time, as if some external force existing on a timeline could rescue you from your pain and suffering.

Peace exists in your mind, not in time

However, it’s crucial to recognize the deceptive nature of this line of thinking. When you seek external sources for your well-being, you inadvertently perpetuate a cycle of confusion, fear, and disorientation. True peace of mind resides within you, not outside of you. And it’s available here and now, not in some distant future. Your healing, peace, and joy are an inside job, entirely within your control, right here and right now.

It’s important to acknowledge that embracing this understanding and making the shift from seeking external solutions to recognizing your innate power of choice may require some training and perseverance. The journey of realizing that happiness is a choice entails unlearning old patterns and facing uncomfortable truths about how we have unknowingly contributed to our own suffering. At times, this process may feel unsettling, but if you persist, you will overcome these obstacles. On the other side, you will discover a profound sense of happiness and learn one of life’s most valuable skills: the ability to consciously choose joy over pain.

Patience, Grasshopper. Patience.

In this transformative journey, be patient with yourself. Developing the skill of choosing happiness requires consistent practice and unwavering commitment to your own growth. Just like training your physical muscles at a gym, strengthening your mental resilience demands effort and perseverance. The initial discomfort you may encounter is a sign of growth and progress, a testament to your determination to lead a happier, more fulfilling life. (Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a rock-solid state of bliss!)

So, do not lose heart. Continue to cultivate your mind and nurture your capacity to choose happiness. Embrace the challenges as stepping stones on your path to inner peace. The power to feel better resides within you, waiting for your recognition and conscious decision to tap into it. With patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn, you will unlock the immense potential within yourself and experience true joy and freedom.