Are You Acting Like a Spoiled Child?


The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper
Why is it so hard to see the truth about ourselves?

Our desires and fears color everything we think and see.
We’re not completely objective about anything.

But, it’s easier to look at someone else’s situation and see it more clearly, more truly.

Do you ever find yourself going in circles, unable to decide, unable to take action?
You feel the urge to move in some positive direction, and at the same time, you feel compelled to stay where you are, or move in some trivial way that is no movement at all.

Sometimes, we’re aware of being stuck, and it pains us.
Other times, we just dismiss it as no big deal.

Yet, when we look at others who are stuck like this, we can’t understand what’s wrong with them.

We often say to others the equivalent of “just do it.”
Personal Development seems easy from the outside, looking in.

Maybe you know people who are addicts, or who have some compulsive behavior, or phobias.

And you, who don’t suffer from their addiction or behavior, just can’t understand why they do what they do.

It seems like there’s an invisible force that pushes them in the wrong direction, or a barrier that stops them from moving in the right direction.

Much of the time, outside advice is no more powerful than the voice in you that tells you to move.
And you remain stuck.

We could speak of the power of habits.
When we’ve developed a habit, our mind works to maintain it and protect it.
We act in a certain way without thinking.

But that’s not the whole story.
There are many habits that you can break with attention and persistence.

While other behaviors haunt you.
As though there were someone inside you that won’t let you pass through a gate that leads to another life.

It’s as though there’s a jailer, or gatekeeper who guards you, and won’t let you out.


The Enemy Within?

This force within us that won’t let us move and change, seems like an enemy.

It sabotages our success, our growth, our relationships.
It keeps us stuck in a life that we want to transform.

We feel trapped, imprisoned.
Sometimes we feel as though we’re stuck in someone else’s life, while our true life is waiting for us beyond that invisible gate.

Will we ever pass through the gate to the life we ache for?

As long as we think that the Gatekeeper is our enemy, the more he will block our path.

Surprisingly, the Gatekeeper is not your enemy.
He’s here to protect you.
He’s the parent, the one who says “no.”

The gatekeeper is the one who treats you like a child, and thinks that you can only be safe if he holds you by the hand.

Think back to your time as a child.
Most parents try to protect their children from real, or imagined dangers.

Parents tell us where to go and what to do, and they tell us to stop.
Is there any word more associated with parenting than No?

Most of us move beyond taking orders from our parents at some point in our lives.
But we’ve internalized the idea that protecting ourselves from danger means acting like a parent.

That means standing at the door and saying no.


Who Stands Watch Over Your Life and Keeps You Safe?

We need a new way of looking at safety, and protecting ourselves.

We can’t just dismiss this part of ourselves that wants to keep us safe.
We have an innate, fundamental desire to be safe.

But we can replace our inner parent with a different kind of guardian.

We can appoint a trusted adviser, someone level-headed who will suggest which actions are more risky and less risky.

When you work with an adviser, you take responsibility for your own safety, and you accept that every action has risk.

And you are responsible to make the final decision.

Being a child often means not deciding for yourself.
It means letting someone else take responsibility for what happens.

Are we ready to stop being helpless children, who can always blame someone else for whatever goes wrong?
Are you tired of acting like a spoiled child, who wants his own way, but won’t accept any responsibility?

Are you ready to protect yourself?

I’m not suggesting that people with serious phobias or compulsive behavior can erase all their problems with a simple change in attitude.

But that change in attitude makes an extraordinary difference for everyone.

And for many of us, this change in attitude, changes everything.

3 comments to Are You Acting Like a Spoiled Child?

  • You realize of course that this post could be made into a Political argument? For example, that fellow running for Pres. who so wants to protect us from ourselves, because we are too childish to see the right way to go. His way.

    Seriously, you’re dead on here. Everything in life is a choice and we can choose to step into the (imagined) fires or risk or we can choose to play it safe and parent ourselves into a cozy little hole.

    I spent 35 or so years living in that little hole, going nowhere. It took a very patient martial arts teacher a long time to put a few cracks in the concrete layer I’d put up around my life.

    I’m not exactly leaping into those risky fires, but I’m a lot further along than I used to be.

    Great post.

  • […] Read the rest, now: Are You Acting Like a Spoiled Child? […]

  • Agree with Greg, great post.

    In my opinion the worse vice is advice and yet we spend the majority of our waking hours taking advice from ourselves and more often then not this is based on everything but the facts.

    I believe we over-protect ourselves not through caring but because of an inherent fear. A fear that we have been ‘taught’ by the people who care about us the most.

    You are correct Joel, we should be listening to advisers and we should treat our thoughts as we would any adviser; question the facts and make calculated choices based on what is best for your life.

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