Life is tiring, unpredictable, vast, and impossible to control. To even attempt to make basic sense of things is a recipe for sleeplessness. It is a never-ending abyss. There are so many forces at play and they seem indifferent toward our goals.
There is a solution that is very direct and pretty intuitive, yet it seems much like a wet fish. It’s the potential dinner that is flopping around in the boat that your hands curse.
It is the inner citadel within us. Zeno of Citium of ancient Greece stated: “The man who conquers himself, conquers the world.” Emotions and anxieties don’t have to be denied, but should be and can be domesticated. What lies within us is very controllable and goes wherever we go. It’s kind of difficult to leave your brain at home to go pick up some things at the store.
When this inner power is tapped into and opened up, the limiting forces of yesterday and the invisible monsters of tomorrow fall away.
We begin to build the inner citadel when we:
- Forgive those who we feel wronged by and say out loud: “I forgive you (name of person), it was not you who wronged me, but my own distorted ego. Our disagreement no longer has power here.”
- Look at nature and marvel at the things we pass by every day. When we look and appreciate the natural phenomenon that we normally disregard as trivial. Those plants on the neighbor’s porch are millions of convergent biological forces at play. The more we consume non-organic technology, the more important these moments with nature become.
- Take time to simply sit in a quiet room for 5 minutes and simply be. You do not need to be intimidated or feel pressured into any specific kind of “meditation”. Just breathe. Just be.
These are not habits that form over lunch. It is certainly not an easy endeavor. However, it is always the hardest questions that produces the most effective answers. You don’t become an Olympic swimmer by sitting in a hot tub. You can build your inner citadel very rapidly by doing one of each at least once a day. If you can’t do them each one time, do them each five times.
The fact of the matter is, that the inner citadel is a learnable concept. In fact, so many great traits and abilities are learnable though simple repetition. We are infected with the tainted idea of “the naturals”.
We become tied up and jealous about people in our own daily circles. They are the people who seem to be born with grace, and talent, and style with money pouring out of their hands. The “born leaders” everyone fawns over?
This is absurdity defined. No one is a “natural” or a “born”. You literally cannot pick up a newspaper and read in the Birth section: “so and so was born on this day with inner peace and infinite wisdom”.
What are we all afraid of? Bad traffic? The people we see as “SO much more successful than we are at SUCH a younger age?” The anxiety we feel when others try to one-up us for no reason? Not having as nice of a car as (insert x person)?
It will no longer matter. None of it will matter. The inner sanctuary goes wherever we go.