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Build and Maintain Happiness Through Self-Sufficiency: Week Three—Self-Sufficiency Eases Suffering

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been exploring the idea of self-sufficiency on the blog. If you’re not sure what this concept means, please read my introduction post.

Last week, I focused on how self-sufficiency and healthy relationships work together. If you missed it, you can read it here.

In my intro post, I told you that self-sufficiency can ease suffering … not only any current suffering but also that of the future! That’s the subject of today’s post.

Self-sufficiency means you have a place at your core that you can go to any time you experience suffering.

You will be able to heal yourself without having to let others know that you were even hurt in the first place! You still have the option to share your feelings with others, but now you can share from a place of knowing that you gained from the experience and the self-healing, rather than sharing with an expectation that someone other than you will remove your suffering. This inner source of well-being is always available to you, and each time you test your inner strength (and it comes through), the greater your confidence will be that you can face anything that comes your way.

There is no greater feeling than facing a difficult challenge and being proud of the way you were able to navigate through it with grace and poise.

Think back to a time when you acted (or reacted) in a way that did not model the ideals you set for yourself. Perhaps you snapped back angrily when someone said something that annoyed you…or maybe you lost your temper over an incident that you believed to be a bigger deal than it actually was. (One example of responding in a manner that is disproportionately harmful relative to the situation at hand is road rage.)

Whatever the particulars of your specific situation, you likely re-live your embarrassment every time you are around someone or something that reminds you of your reaction, don’t you? This embarrassment can, in turn, set you up for failure the next time the situation arises and on and on it goes.

It’s not the event that hurt us that we regret but our response to that hurt that sticks with us. If our response is noble and virtuous, we are glad and proud. We can now draw strength from that negative event. But when our response or reaction is based on negative emotions, we feel sad and embarrassed and simply want to escape the feeling that arises each time the memory comes back.

How great would it be if you were able to look someone in the eye and simply say, “I understand” and walk away without giving them the power that they were able to take something from you that you cannot get back?

Each time we speak from a state of emotion, we share our own vulnerabilities, which may or may not be something that we are proud of. Whenever we express ourselves, we open our heart to others, and we must have the inner strength to withstand someone mishandling our vulnerability.

We can only do that when we feel an inner strength, which cannot be shaken by the views or opinions of others.

Having inner strength does not mean being immune to the impact of others’ words but implies that we have a place within us that we can go to…to be able to clearly examine the words or actions to find the truth of them and to learn from our experience. Inner strength is being self-sufficient enough to find your inner beauty—even in the harshest of times—and finding peace and comfort in that place that overcomes the hate and anger that can well up from believing in someone else other than yourself

By now, you’re probably wondering how, exactly, you can build this self-sufficiency I keep speaking of. I have a pretty easy method—something that anyone can do and something that only takes 5 minutes a day to practice. You can spend longer but for now commit to a small amount everyday instead of bigger amounts irregularly.

And I will share that method with you … but first, we have to talk about the process of achieving self-sufficiency, which I will do next week.

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