Good versus evil. Black and white. High and low. Manic and depressed.
The cartoon of an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other sums it up nicely — don’t you just feel torn in two sometimes? We are all plagued by a great schism — an unexplainable but nonetheless real feeling of duality. We feel like two beings bottled up into one. We feel like we are battling ourselves. We feel, sometimes, like we can’t trust ourselves — we might go and do something we didn’t mean to do.
Many a philosopher, scientist and physician has studied this dual nature. Why do we have two sides? Why are we bi-polar? What makes us doubt ourselves? Why do we have such powerful internal conflicts?
I have noticed that I’ve been feeling less “dual-natured” these days, but this is pretty new for me, so I started wondering why, now, I am feeling more unified.
I love how Abraham-Hicks explains it. We are two beings in one — a physical being and a non-physical being, which together make up the “total you.” We have an undeniable link to our higher selves, and so we feel a disconnect — a dis-ease, anxiety, fear or frustration — whenever the two sides of us are not in harmony.
Our higher self, or as Abe would say, our “broader inner you,” dwells in a place of complete appreciation — of our selves and people/things around us. When we are having fun, feeling good about ourselves and grateful for the things in our lives, our physical self is in alignment with our higher self.
Of course, life is like a multi-coloured messy ball of yarn, and our thoughts are rarely uniform — they are a mix of positive and negative, self-loathing and self-acceptance. However, when the balance of our thoughts is negative, such as it is when we consistently don’t like ourselves much, we are in disharmony with our higher self and that ever-present dual nature is strong. But when you can find a way to appreciate yourself, your “lower self” is in harmony with your higher self, and you feel more unified and less schizophrenic. I guess I’ve been liking myself fairly consistently, and having fun with friends lately, so that’s why I am feeling so peaceful/at one with myself.
Another way to think of it is ego. The ego is the voice of the disconnected self — the physical part that doesn’t like itself. If you can find ways to quiet the ego, then you’ll feel much more at-ease and healthy. Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth is a fantastic book to read for help with that.
You know, I think that’s why being in love feels so great. When we are newly in love, we are full of appreciation for our lover, and they for us. Appreciation flows back and forth freely and we also, without realizing it, are appreciating ourselves. What you do to another, you do to yourself. Self-appreciation feels great and everything is looking up. However, if your self-esteem was low (before you fell in love), then you will eventually slip back into your pattern of not loving yourself, which causes you to stop loving your mate, and the feedback loop of appreciation is broken. The only way to fix it is to spend some time with yourself, liking yourself, and do whatever you can to accept and appreciate yourself more.
This is what I mean when I say it’s important to be self-centered. That’s not the same as being selfish; it is in fact, serving everyone in your life to be self-centered enough to love yourself and therefore be capable of loving others.
Self-appreciation is central to everything in our lives. If you can, catch yourself when you are critical and change your thoughts to more positive ones. Why not decide that you’re okay just as you are?! Celebrate your quirks and appreciate your body. The more you can appreciate yourself, the happier you’ll be!