I had a discussion today with someone who questions the notion of the necessity for exploring one’s inner demons. Or more precisely, for quietening those demons who would tell you to exert yourself, to push yourself, to do and be more. Now, I recognize that unless you are independently wealthy (and even then…), some exertion and unpleasant tasks will form part of your life. But there is, or at least I believe there should be, a balance between what you really have to do and the things your inner demon tells you you need to do and be to be worthwhile. It isn’t wrong to try to do more of the things you enjoy and less of things you don’t.
The person I had this discussion with is of the view that North Americans in general are over medicated, self-indulgent and given to feelings of entitlement. Some truth there, so isn’t it therefore vital that we look at the driving forces behind this? To address what we are trying to medicate, for example? And also, I don’t feel entitled or self-indulgent when I take time to relax, to breathe, to put my feet up, because I’ve recognized that this is what I need to do to achieve some level of inner peace. But in this achievement-based society, such laziness is frowned upon and the expectation to indulge in it for any length of time can be considered unrealistic.
It was also noted during this conversation that everyone is insecure as a general state of being, often only successfully quieting their inner doubts when otherwise busy and occupied (read: stressed by external forces so great as to stamp out all possibility of introspection), and that it is best not to dwell on these insecurities and to instead ensure you are busy enough that you are forced to dwell only on more productive problems.
My issue with this argument is that while it may serve to immediately keep you focused on constructive things, your insecurities will eventually surface. And in my experience, even if you’re not focusing on them, they are wearing you down in the background, so to speak. I speak from experience; I reached the point where I simply couldn’t push myself, or be pushed by my environment, any further. And when I recognized this and took a break from that environment, every insecurity that had been working overtime in the background overwhelmed me. And now, as I become aware of them (first step), I can start to see that it is necessary to ultimately address them. I just don’t think that occupying myself and exerting myself with worldly cares will serve me well in the long term.
And so, I continue to face inwards, to consider the demons waging war on my inner peace, and to take time to breathe and to debunk the myths those demons continue to spout. Somewhere in there is a way towards addressing some of the stress in life.