There is a very surprising reason why we tend to suffer over our mistakes as we do. The real source of our pain in these moments --whether we're alone or with others -- is the fear of being seen as less than we've imagined ourselves to be. We all know how it feels to try and save face, to scramble for scraps of lost dignity. But fearfully trying to cover up a misstep is not the same as knowing where we're going. In fact, whenever we feel compelled to cover our tracks, something is in command of us, isn't it? But here's the real question: What part of us wants us to believe that a good "cover-up" is the same as being right? The answer is surprising: It's our "un-original" self . . a level of being that only knows itself through a slew of acquired social images, including the false belief that they must be protected at all costs.
Though we have yet to see it, beating ourselves up after making a blunder doesn't mean that we actually knew better than what we just did — nor does this kind of suffering lead to greater command or better decisions the next time around. Self-punishing acts prove only one thing: Something in us would rather suffer over what happened in the past than be present to those parts of us that erred in the first place. Real self-command dawns within us as we realize that reliving the past is powerless to change a present misunderstanding; it comes from the light of our new knowledge that having the courage to drop the level of Self that keeps wronging us and others is far more important than being seen as right. This same realization also grants us the courage to start life over -- again and again.
Excerpted from The Courage to Be Free by Guy Finley (Weiser Books, 2010)
About Guy Finley
Best-selling “Letting Go” author Guy Finley’s encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. His ideas cut straight to the heart of our most important personal and social issues – relationships, success, addiction, stress, peace, happiness, freedom – and lead the way to a higher life.
Guy is the acclaimed author of The Secret of Letting Go and more than 37 other books and audio programs that have sold over a million copies in 16 languages worldwide. In addition, he has presented over 4,000 unique self-realization seminars to thousands of grateful students throughout North America and Europe over the past 25 years and has been a guest on over 600 television and radio shows, including national appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, Wisdom Network, and many others. His syndicated weekly radio program is aired on several international networks including Healthylife Radio Network, WorldTalkRadio Network, Contact Talk Radio International, BBS, Earthchannel, and Penguin Radio.
Guy Finley is Director of Life of Learning Foundation, the renowned non-profit Center for Self-Study in Merlin, Oregon, and over 400,000 people in 142 countries read his popular “Key Lesson” emails each week. His work is widely endorsed by doctors, business professionals, celebrities, and religious leaders of all denominations.
Guy’s career reached this point through a circuitous path. Born into a successful show business family, he is the son of Late-Night TV and radio pioneer Larry Finley. His childhood friends were the sons and daughters of the most famous celebrities in the world. As a young man Guy enjoyed success in a number of areas including composing award-winning music for many popular recording artists including Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, Billy Preston, and The Four Seasons, as well as writing the scores for several motion pictures and TV shows. From 1970 - 1979 he wrote and recorded his own albums under the Motown and RCA recording labels.
Throughout his youth, Guy suspected there was more to
life than the type of worldly success that led to the emptiness and
frustration he saw among his own “successful” friends and colleaguesIn 1979, after travels throughout North America, India, and the Far
East in search of truth and Higher Wisdom, Guy voluntarily retired from
his flourishing music career in order to simplify his life and to
concentrate on deeper self-studies.
In addition to his writing and appearance schedule, Guy presents four inner-life classes each week at Life of Learning Foundation headquarters in Merlin, Oregon. These classes are ongoing and open to the public. For more information about Guy Finley and his life-changing work, visit www.guyfinley.org.