There is a way of living that supersedes the pleasure principle. But it’s not a way of living that comes naturally.
Mindfulness is the key to true self-mastery. It’s too easy to live life on autopilot, a slave to our appetites and aversions. Connecting to the source brings us inner healing and also helps us relate to others in helpful, healing ways.
Conquering our small, ego-driven selves is what true self mastery is all about.
Facing and embracing the truth about ourselves is hard. But when we do, we can become incredibly empowered. The truth truly does have power to set us free. And it can wrest us from the shackles hindering our spiritual and character growth.
Unconscious denial is nature’s defense against unbearable pain. But some denial is tactical – a way to be irresponsible while not looking so bad. To have reverence for the truth and for human dignity, each type must be confronted differently.
Hitting bottom is utter defeat combined with the inability to deny the true cause of that defeat. When the lofty fall and can blame no one but themselves, opportunity opens for constructive self-reflection and character growth.
Manipulators like engaging in evasion and diversion because these tactics keep the spotlight off their behavior. There artful dance around the issues can help them stay one step ahead of you. That’s why it’s so important to confront their tactics head-on.
No one makes a major life course-correction without submitting to a higher power or operating principle. But narcissists have a big problem with that.
In many ways, character is like a psychological immune system. Stressful things happen to all of us, but when you have a rightly developed will, you can more readily summon the internal resources to weather the storms of life. Still, the strength and solidity of our will must always be tested.
Not all undisciplined behavior represents a genuine addiction. And while there are some rare exceptions, most true addictions don’t just develop overnight. There’s a typical pathway to getting “hooked.” And that pathway is littered with many clear warning signs. Healthy characters respect and heed those signs. But underdeveloped characters tend to ignore or disregard them. That’s why character, and mastering character’s “sixth command,” is so important.